Robert Taylor: We’ll Always Remember Him This Way

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This is a magazine article from 1969. “He was more than a pretty boy….he was a man who respected his profession and was a  master of it….” said Governor Ronald Reagan, overcome with emotion as he recited the eulogy at … Continue reading

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The Law and Jake Wade, 1958, Is Playing on TCM on May 23 (USA)

000458The Law and Jake Wade, 1958, Is Playing on Turner Classic Movies on May 23 at 10:30 a.m. est. Closed captioned.

Was there ever a more suitable cowboy than Robert Taylor? I think not! Again Taylor plays the man with a hidden past, as he did in Undercurrent and Conspirator. This time he is a marshal in a small town, who owes his former companion, Clint Hollister, a menacing and dangerous man on the run, played wonderfully well by Richard Widmark. He breaks him out of jail just as Widmark had done for him a year previous. The mistake is that he finds Jake and takes him and his fiancée on a torturous trip to get the money Jake hid from a bank hold-up. Patricia Owens as Peggy, is angry and confused, when she finds out about his past, even though she had told him in the beginning that anything he had done before she  met him was of no interest. There is plenty of action in this western, and the scenery is glorious. Good against evil, or bad ethics on Taylor’s part. You may wonder, what was he thinking? Supporting cast is great with Henry Silva in an early role, which shows you are great actor in the making. Old standards are Robert Middleton, who made many films with Taylor, and DeForest Kelley who went on to television fame in Star Trek. Taylor plays his part with quiet reserve, as the opposite of Widmark’s hostile and outwardly evil character. If Taylor had done any- thing else with the part the story would not have seemed as credible. I don’t think that Robert Taylor ever got enough credit for being an actor who could be anyone for anybody. Every man, a common man, therefore playing good guy or bad guy, he was always believable. Watch it, you will not be disappointed. Review by mamalv for the IMDb.

Here are some wardrobe shots from The Law and Jake Wade

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West Point of the Air, 1935, Is Playing on TCM on May 17 (USA)

West Point of the Air, 1935, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Tuesday, May 17 at 12 noon. est.  Closed captioned.  This is one of Robert Taylor’s earliest films and he has a very small part.  However, any Taylor purist should see this.

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Wallace Beery and Lewis Stone have both risen as far as they can in the Army, Stone’s a general and Beery a top sergeant. Since Stone has a daughter who grows up to be Maureen O’Sullivan and girls did not aspire to such strictly male things as a military career back in the day, both old guys hope that Robert Young who is Beery’s son succeeds.

Young as Beery’s son gets a legacy appointment to West Point in West Point of the Air and upon graduation joins the Army Air Corps. Can he measure up is the burning question.

Wallace Beery adds to his repertoire of scene stealing old codgers again in this film. Imagine Judge Hardy in the military and you’ve got Lewis Stone’s performance. Between the two of them they make West Point of the Air passably good entertainment.

Though Robert Young and Maureen O’Sullivan are the two young leads, MGM was giving some exposure to two of its younger contract players who went on to have bigger careers than the leads. Rosalind Russell plays the typical bad girl divorcée who seduces Young and move him from the straight and narrow path of duty. She’s good, but no trace of the sparkling Roz of The Women or His Girl Friday.

And Robert Taylor has a small role as another of the young flying cadets with Young. One look at him and you knew that man was going to be a star and he has a death scene that I’m sure made a lot in the audience write to MGM and ask who this handsome devil was.

West Point of the Air was nice, but nothing terribly special except as a training ground for future stars. Review by bkognbing from Buffalo, NY.

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Bob Taylor Chases Girls

RT3549The following is from Motion Picture magazine, February 1937.

A reporter on a Hollywood paper got the thrill of his life, just the other day.  He’s got a gal friend who works in movies and lives at the Girls’ Studio Club, where a score or more of the screen’s most beautiful young actresses live.  The reporter’s phone rang, and his gal friend’s voice, all excited, screamed, “Come over quick–Robert  Taylor is loose on the second floor of the club, and he’s chasing all the girls into their rooms…..

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The reporter, envisioning he sweetest story he’d ever covered, waited not.  He dashed furiously to the club.  And there, he discovered, Robert Taylor actually was loose and chasing the girls.  BUT–Robert Taylor turned out to be just a little long-haired dog, who wandered into the club several days before, and was adopted by the girls and christened “Robert Taylor.”

Wouldn’t they?

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Robert Taylor DVDs Are On Sale at TCM.com

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Turner Classic Movies is running a big sale, including 14 Robert Taylor films. I would encourage anyone who wants these films to buy them now.  This would, I hope, encourage the release of more Taylor films on DVD.

These are the DVDs.  For more information or to buy, go to TCM.com and click on Shop.

Ivanhoe  1952  $12.97
with Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders

Johnny Eager  1941  $14.96
with Lana Turner, Edward Arnold, Van Heflin

Knights of the Round Table 1953  $14.96
with Ava Gardner, Mel Ferrer

Lady of  the Tropics  1939  $16.46
with Hedy Lamarr

Many Rivers To Cross  1955  $8.42
with Eleanor Parker, Victor McLaglen, Alan Hale Jr.

Quo Vadis  1951  $14.96  (2 DVDs or 1 Blu-Ray)
with Deborah Kerr, Norman Wooland, Peter Ustinov, Leo Genn

Remember? 1939  $16.46
with Lew Ayres, Greer Garson

Saddle the Wind  1958  $8.42
with Julie London, John Cassavetes

Song of  Russia  1944  $16.46
with Susan Peters, Robert Benchley

Times Square Lady  1935  $16.46
with Virginia Bruce, Nat Pendleton

Valley of the Kings  1954  $16.46
with Eleanor Parker, Carlos Thompson, Samia Gamal

Waterloo Bridge  1940  $12.97
with Vivien Leigh

A Yank at Oxford  1938  $16.46
with Maureen O’Sullivan, Vivien Leigh, Griffith Jones

The Youngest Profession  1943  $13.46
with Virginia Weidler, Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon

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The Youngest Profession, 1943, Is Playing on TCM on May 9 (USA)

The Youngest Profession, 1943, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Monday May 9 at 11:45 p.m. est.  Closed captioned.  Strictly speaking, this isn’t a Robert Taylor movie but it’s fun and he does appear in it.

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Jean Porter discovers Robert Taylor at her door.

Virginia Weidler and Jean Porter are part of a young girls’ fan club of the stars who collect their autographs. In fact, Virginia is the president of the club, who outlines the rules and lengths one must go through to get the most famous and desired John Hancocks. They must live in a big city like New York, because how else could they come across celebrities like Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, and Robert Taylor! All these make brief appearances, plus another of whom Virginia has a crush on, but, while we get to see him, she never does, in a clever way of closing the film. But, we begin the film in Hollywood, as Lana Turner is dictating a response to a fan’s letter, one that they call a very gracious letter. And, Lana calls the young stargazers “the youngest profession.” The plot revolves around the escapades they go on to get their target and the appeal of the film is just how star-crazy they really are. Jean Porter is a hoot as she goes all agog over Walter Pidgeon and Robert Taylor. I’m surprised to see the low rating of this film, because it was a very funny film and I had a blast. Maybe it seemed rather trivial to everyone else, but sometimes the simpleness of a film is what makes it so enjoyable and laid-back. I do admit though that the humor was not very subtle as most of the characters here get really loud and outrageous, including child actor Scotty Beckett as Virginia’s brother. Another plus is the presence and performance of Edward Arnold as Virginia’s father, who through no fault of his own, is thought to be straying with his secretary. But that is encouraged by character actress Agnes Moorehead. If you want an old-fashioned and very funny film, then hang out with those of The Youngest Profession. Review by allaboutlana for the IMDb.

On the set with Virginia Weidler:

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More on Newly Released Robert Taylor DVD’s

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The following is from the WB Shop. Now, please, Rogue Cop! ROBERT TAYLOR IN LOVE AND WAR A YANK AT OXFORD (1938) Robert Taylor begins to tough up his onscreen persona with this overseas MGM film – the Tiffany studio’s … Continue reading

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