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Herbert Marshall on "What's My Line?"


BingFan
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Herbert Marshall has long been one of my favorite actors, whether in leading roles or character parts.  He was wonderful in classics like TROUBLE IN PARADISE, THE LETTER, FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT, THE RAZOR'S EDGE, and ANDY HARDY'S BLONDE TROUBLE (which may not be in the same league as the others, but I consider it a classic nonetheless).

 

If you like Mr. Marshall as much as I do (or even if you don't), you may find his appearance on the old "What's My Line?" show amusing:

 

 

By the way, I recently heard a radio production of Daphne Du Maurier's "The Birds" from the early 50s that starred Mr. Marshall and was very good.  (It's much closer to the original Britain-set short story than Hitchcock's film revision.)  At the end of the show, announcer Don Wilson called Marshall "Bart," if I heard correctly.  Can anyone confirm that Marshall's nickname was indeed "Bart"?

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Loved the "The day has come" reply he gave in that typical British understated manner to Dorothy Kilgallen's question of, "Would you describe yourself as a 'character man'?"

 

(...and I swear, Arlene Francis had one of the quickest wits ever...I was really hooked on these reruns on GSN a few years back)

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Herbert Marshall is one of those wonderful classic film actors that I have come to appreciate so much after seeing him in so many films, mainly on TCM.  Its amazing how many films he appears in, films that I like. And he always plays his role well.  Interesting that he was first the murdered lover in the 1929 film THE LETTER and later the scorned husband in the Bette Davis remake of THE LETTER.  And he was almost 40 years old when he started his film career.  IMDb  gives his nickname   as Bart.  Other films he is in that I like, ANGEL FACE, and THE FLY.  And TCM recently showed IF YOU COULD ONLY COOK , a screwball comedy with Jean Arthur.  And how many people realize that Herbert Marshall  did it all with an artificial leg?

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Speaking of "What's My Line" , after seeing the Herbert Marshall clip I had to check out Fredric March's appearance. He was, as I expected, a real cut up. And the dummys that made up his nameplate for the show misspelled his name, "Frederic".

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Loved the "The day has come" reply he gave in that typical British understated manner to Dorothy Kilgallen's question of, "Would you describe yourself as a 'character man'?"

 

(...and I swear, Arlene Francis had one of the quickest wits ever...I was really hooked on these reruns on GSN a few years back)

Having seen, and enjoyed, a number of those old What's My Line shows recently, I was also struck by Arlene Francis' contribution as a regular panelist. Not only was she one exceedingly bright lady, but she was so darned gracious as a personality, as well. She was also, of course, as you pointed out, Dargo, a very quick wit. Perhaps because of her career as a stage actress, there was also a worldly sophistication about her (without any pretentiousness) that I find very attractive.

 

I like the formality and politeness and civility that is demonstrated by host John Daly and the panelists on the show. Such a constrast to the anything goes attitude on television today. What is it about so much of our society that now seems to love the boor?

 

The other great thing about What's My Line is the rare opportunity to see some special guests panelists that are hard to come by today, such as a Fred Allen or Ernie Kovacs in great form (one episode has Groucho as panelist). And the mystery guests they had is a Who's Who of Hollywood's Golden Age!

 

But, getting back to Arlene Francis, I can only say that when I see her husband on the panel (Martin Gabel), based on what I see of her appearance on this sh0w, I am genuinely envious that he had a lady like that with whom he could return home.

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Sounds to me as if you too slowly and steadily fell in love with Arlene Francis and just as I did while watching these old episodes of WML a while back. eh Tom?! ;)

 

Yep, I agree. Martin Gabel was a lucky guy.

 

And yeah, your point about the "formality and politeness and civility"(and I'll add, the sophistication) of that era and which is especially exemplified within this program in particular, was a point I too would bring up when asked by others why I had gotten so "into" watching these old reruns of this program.

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Sounds to me as if you too slowly and steadily fell in love with Arlene Francis and just as I did while watching these old episodes of WML a while back. eh Tom?! ;)

 

Yep, I agree. Martin Gabel was a lucky guy.

 

And yeah, your point about the "formality and politeness and civility"(and I'll add, the sophistication) of that era and which is especially exemplified within this program in particular, was a point I too would bring up when asked by others why I had gotten so "into" watching these old reruns of this program.

Yeah, Dargo, I'm pleasantly surprised at how impressed I was with the gracious and witty Ms Francis.

 

Impressed enough that I looked her up on Wiki. She and Gabel remained married until his death in the '80s, and the lady herself lived until age 93, finally succumbing, I'm sorry to say, to alzhemer's disease. She had also had some cancer issues that were not specified. Sorry to read that, of course. What an eventful life she appeared to have had, though, appearing in 25 Broadway plays, being a pioneer for women as a television host, as well as host of an early radio version of What's My Line, all in addition, of course, to her 25 year panelist gig on the TV version of the same game show.

 

And I noticed in watching the Herbert Marshall episode (I wonder if anyone ever called him Herbie?) on What's My Line, that it was Francis that was able to identify him. Difficult, even for as sly a performer as Marshall, to hide from the perceptive powers of this lady for very long. I loved Marshall's dry sense of humour on the show, and appreciated his brief reference to Ernst Lubitsch as "a divine man."

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Herbert Marshall has long been one of my favorite actors, whether in leading roles or character parts.  He was wonderful in classics like TROUBLE IN PARADISE, THE LETTER, FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT, THE RAZOR'S EDGE, and ANDY HARDY'S BLONDE TROUBLE (which may not be in the same league as the others, but I consider it a classic nonetheless).

 

If you like Mr. Marshall as much as I do (or even if you don't), you may find his appearance on the old "What's My Line?" show amusing:

 

 

By the way, I recently heard a radio production of Daphne Du Maurier's "The Birds" from the early 50s that starred Mr. Marshall and was very good.  (It's much closer to the original Britain-set short story than Hitchcock's film revision.)  At the end of the show, announcer Don Wilson called Marshall "Bart," if I heard correctly.  Can anyone confirm that Marshall's nickname was indeed "Bart"?

I remember seeing this one on WML? reruns. I believe they asked him if he was a leading man, and his response was something like that those days were well in the past.

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thanks for the heads up, bingfan.

your 'what's my line' link sent me on a bit of a binge.

i can think of worse ways to spend a friday afternoon.

I have also spent some time binging on episodes of WML on youtube. I wish the Game Network would bring these back, instead of multiple back to back episodes of some of the current game shows. Or better yet, that these Mystery Guest appearances get a dvd release.

 

I originally got into these episode on youtube awhile back, after stumbling onto the episode featuring Linda Darnell; the link to that episode was posted on the thread for her. It gave insight into her funloving nature, as mentioned by many coworkers, and another side to this lady. She looked beautiful and was charming, speaking in convincing Italian. However, many of the comments posted on youtube were quite derogatory, and the clip was removed. It was later posted again, but no commentary was allowed. Too bad.

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Glad to read of others' appreciation of Herbert Marshall.  I don't think he ever gave a bad performance and I love his voice.  He was great in The Letter, The Little Foxes, Trouble in Paradise.  I read somewhere that he and Vincent Price were laughing so hard in the scene in The Fly where they encounter the fly-man in the web in the garden they had to do several takes!

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Glad to read of others' appreciation of Herbert Marshall.  I don't think he ever gave a bad performance and I love his voice.  He was great in The Letter, The Little Foxes, Trouble in Paradise.  I read somewhere that he and Vincent Price were laughing so hard in the scene in The Fly where they encounter the fly-man in the web in the garden they had to do several takes!

You don't think of Marshall in the context of screwball comedy, but he was excellent in BREAKFAST FOR TWO, co-starring with Stanwyck.

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