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Robert Young -- MGM to??


lydecker
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I always enjoy They Wouldn't Believe Me and noted that it was, of course, an RKO noir.  I was wondering why/when MGM took Robert Young off contract and if he signed with another studio or was freelance from that point on.  Was he part of a larger "purge old contract players" movement at that time?

 

Lydecker

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I always enjoy They Wouldn't Believe Me and noted that it was, of course, an RKO noir.  I was wondering why/when MGM took Robert Young off contract and if he signed with another studio or was freelance from that point on.  Was he part of a larger "purge old contract players" movement at that time?

 

Lydecker

 

They may have felt he wasn't worth the money he was asking. Or he may have wanted to go freelance.

 

According to Edward Dmytryk, the budget for Crossfire was $300K -- of which $150K went toward Young's salary.

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They may have felt he wasn't worth the money he was asking. Or he may have wanted to go freelance.

 

According to Edward Dmytryk, the budget for Crossfire was $300K -- of which $150K went toward Young's salary.

 

In the following 8 or so years after They Won't Believe Me,  Young was in more RKO productions than MGM.   But I still can't find if he was signed by RKO and loaned out to his old studio for the MGM pictures or if he signed a limited type contract with RKO (say 3 films type deal). 

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I think Young's last film at MGM under contract to the studio was SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS with Lana Turner. He left, because he wanted other roles (and also he was at the high end of the salary scale and MGM as probably going to scale back on using him). He did return to MGM in 1949 for THAT FORSYTE WOMAN. But for the most part from 1943 to 1952, he was a freelancer who did films at Fox, Columbia, Paramount and had a multi-picture deal with RKO. 

 

He also did a lot of radio. Then, he turned to television and the rest is history.

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According to the MGM volume in that series of coffee table books on the various studios, he left after The Canterville Ghost in 1944

Okay, well it was around that time. Sometimes films are released out of order, though. 

 

Like I said, he did come back to do THAT FORSYTE WOMAN.

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Thanks for all of these responses.  There is not much (that I can find, anyway) on the web on Robert Young except in broad detail.  Can't find out whether MGM refused to re-up his contract or he left on his own.  I would suspect MGM might have been willing to re-up but at less money so he left to test the freelance market.  It seems as though decent roles dried up for him by the end of the 1940's so he moved to radio, then TV where he had a great "second" career.

 

Lydecker

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Thanks for all of these responses.  There is not much (that I can find, anyway) on the web on Robert Young except in broad detail.  Can't find out whether MGM refused to re-up his contract or he left on his own.  I would suspect MGM might have been willing to re-up but at less money so he left to test the freelance market.  It seems as though decent roles dried up for him by the end of the 1940's so he moved to radio, then TV where he had a great "second" career.

 

Lydecker

His second career outstripped his first career.

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His second career outstripped his first career.

Totally though I do enjoy his films.  Read today that Ralph Bellamy was originally supposed to play Marcus Welby but Robert

Young impressed the director and got the role instead.

 

Lydecker

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WAY back(OUCH!) when I was a kid, my first "encounter" with Young was his stint on "Father Knows Best".  I didn't know he EVER made movies until Bill Kennedy showed "Lady Be Good" one rainy "stay inside" Saturday afternoon.  I was surprised at how YOUNG( no pun) he looked.  THEN a few years later, I sat down to watch the OLD movie "Tugboat Annie" mostly because I was a fan of the TV show of the same nam that starred MINERVA URECAL( whom I often got confused with Marjorie Main).  Seeing Robert Young in THAT one also surprised me!

 

Good as an actor he was though, he did seem stymied by the same bland, non threatening countenence that surely would have limited him to roles of the "goofy sidekick" and "best buddy" of other leading men, much like it had DON DeFORE.

 

 

Sepiatone

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WAY back(OUCH!) when I was a kid, my first "encounter" with Young was his stint on "Father Knows Best".  I didn't know he EVER made movies until Bill Kennedy showed "Lady Be Good" one rainy "stay inside" Saturday afternoon.  I was surprised at how YOUNG( no pun) he looked.  THEN a few years later, I sat down to watch the OLD movie "Tugboat Annie" mostly because I was a fan of the TV show of the same nam that starred MINERVA URECAL( whom I often got confused with Marjorie Main).  Seeing Robert Young in THAT one also surprised me!

 

Good as an actor he was though, he did seem stymied by the same bland, non threatening countenence that surely would have limited him to roles of the "goofy sidekick" and "best buddy" of other leading men, much like it had DON DeFORE.

 

 

Sepiatone

Gad, I don't know what film was my first Robert Young film. I knew him from Marcus Welby and ancient reruns of Father Knows Best on some indy channel. I love how his good guy image can be turned inside out in films like They Wouldn't Believe Me.  Too bad he didn't do more noir.

 

Lydecker

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Robert Young could do drama and comedy equally well. He made a second film noir in 1951 The Second Woman costarring Betsy Drake.He played an architect who felt responsible for his girlfriends death, and Betsy tries to help him prove he is wrong. Robert won two Emmys for Father Knows Best and one for Marcus Welby M.D. I think that Robert was chose as SOTM during TCM`s first year, but I wouldn`t mind if he was honored again.

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Totally though I do enjoy his films.  Read today that Ralph Bellamy was originally supposed to play Marcus Welby but Robert

Young impressed the director and got the role instead.

 

Lydecker

He impressed the director by performing hemmorhoid surgery on him, on the spot.

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Thanks for all of these responses.  There is not much (that I can find, anyway) on the web on Robert Young except in broad detail.  Can't find out whether MGM refused to re-up his contract or he left on his own.  I would suspect MGM might have been willing to re-up but at less money so he left to test the freelance market.  It seems as though decent roles dried up for him by the end of the 1940's so he moved to radio, then TV where he had a great "second" career.

 

Lydecker

It seems that Young may have been unhappy at MGM, as he was a second string star there. He must've had more opportunities at the studio during the war years, as most of their top male stars were absent. He should have gotten better parts after H.M. PULLMAN, ESQ. But he possibly was not happy that the roles and/or films were't better.

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It seems that Young may have been unhappy at MGM, as he was a second string star there. He must've had more opportunities at the studio during the war years, as most of their top male stars were absent. He should have gotten better parts after H.M. PULLMAN, ESQ. But he possibly was not happy that the roles and/or films were't better.

..although his most visible lead role was probably THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME, toward the end of the 1940s.

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..although his most visible lead role was probably THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME, toward the end of the 1940s.

 

Are you sure it wasn't Bride for Sale also starring Claudette Colbert and George Brent made at the tail end of the 40s?  

 

But seriously,   I assume Young's biggest box office hit in the late 40s was Sitting Pretty with Maureen O'Hara and Clifton Webb.   While the movie was centered around Webb it was popular and lead to two additional Mr. Belvedere movies with Webb. 

 

Of course it could have been That Forsyte Woman, the MGM film already mentioned with Garson, Flynn, and Pidgeon .  It was the most costly film and MGM suffered a lost on it. 

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Are you sure it was Bride for Sale also starring Claudette Colbert and George Brent made at the tail end of the 40s?  

 

But seriously,   I assume Young's biggest box office hit in the late 40s was Sitting Pretty with Maureen O'Hara and Clifton Webb.   While the movie was centered around Webb it was popular and lead to two additional Mr. Belvedere movies with Webb. 

 

Of course it could have been That Forsyte Woman, the MGM film already mentioned with Garson, Flynn, and Pidgeon .  It was the most costly film and MGM suffered a lost on it. 

 

I don't know if it was his most "visible" role, but his favorite film was surely Crossfire. When he hosted the Kopykats TV show in the early '70s (and Powers That Be, when will this show be available to see again?) he performed his famous monologue on hate in a decidedly serious segment for the show.

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I don't know if it was his most "visible" role, but his favorite film was surely Crossfire. When he hosted the Kopykats TV show in the early '70s (and Powers That Be, when will this show be available to see again?) he performed his famous monologue on hate in a decidedly serious segment for the show.

 

Well Crossfire and than They Won't Believe Me are my two favorite films Young was in during post war 40s.    In Crossfire I like how detached he is.   i.e.  just a cop doing his duty until it comes to that monologue.   Take the ending where he shoots the man dead; not wooden but still detached because well,  the guy ran and didn't stop and his job was to stop him.  

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Are you sure it wasn't Bride for Sale also starring Claudette Colbert and George Brent made at the tail end of the 40s?  

 

But seriously,   I assume Young's biggest box office hit in the late 40s was Sitting Pretty with Maureen O'Hara and Clifton Webb.   While the movie was centered around Webb it was popular and lead to two additional Mr. Belvedere movies with Webb. 

 

Of course it could have been That Forsyte Woman, the MGM film already mentioned with Garson, Flynn, and Pidgeon .  It was the most costly film and MGM suffered a lost on it. 

Young was the center of THEY WON"T BELIEVE ME. In SITTING PRETTY, he was just along for the ride. (I wonder whether that was the role that got him "Father Knows Best" (the head of a family with children).

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