High Wall, 1947, Is Playing on TCM on July 3 (USA)

High Wall (1947) is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Fri, July 03, 2015 12:45 AM est.  Closed captioned.  *NOTE*:A TCM programming day begins at 6:00am EST on the calendar day listed and runs to 5:59am EST in the morning on the next day. Hours listed at 12:00am to 5:59am EST will be shown on the NEXT calendar day.

This one of my two favorite Robert Taylor .films. The part of a brain injured veteran is just so different for him and he plays vulnerability so convincingly.  The same actor who could play Ivanhoe, Marcus Vinicius, Johnny Eager, Lancelot and many more dominant roles can also play the underdog with great skill.

Steven Kenet has been committed to the County Asylum.

High Wall is a departure for Robert Taylor. In the 30’s he portrayed mostly handsome society boys. In 1941 he toughened up his image with Johnny Eager. This is an entirely different path. The lead character, Steven Kenet, has returned from a job flying freight in Asia after his service in WW II. He’s eager to see his wife and displeased to find out she has a job. Kenet is even more displeased when he discovers she is having an affair with her boss. To complicate matters, he has a brain injury and is suffering blackouts and other symptoms. Seeing his wife in her lover’s apartment triggers rage and violence. The wife is dead and Kenet is the only suspect. He confesses and is committed to a mental institution for psychiatric evaluation. The unique thing about the film to me is Taylor’s ability to play vulnerability. Kenet is neither a pretty boy nor a villain. He is a man in torment.

Taylor uses his shoulders beautifully to portray hopelessness. They droop in the scenes where the character is locked in solitary confinement. After his operation they are straight. The confusion on his face when he’s offered an opportunity to see his son at the hospital is masterful as he passes through a range of emotions moving from delight to doubt to anger to confusion. There is a remarkable sequence in which Kenet is dragged off after attacking a visitor. Taylor’s body positions change constantly–this is hardly the “wooden” acting for which he is so often condemned. Another great sequence is his walk up the stairs at the end to see his son. Kenet’s face radiates joy. The camera work is stylish and the chiaroscuro is masterful. This movie was apparently not well received in its time probably because it isn’t the “Robert Taylor” people expected and it is largely forgotten now. It deserves to be remembered. Review by me for the IMDb.

 

Posted in Films | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Bribe” (1949) Is Playing on TCM on July 3 (USA)

The Bribe (1949) is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Fri, July 03, 2015 11:30 AM est. Closed Captioned.

????“The Bribe” is one of the forties film noir entries, and I love it! Top stars of the era include Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, Charles Laughton, and Vincent Price. It is a story of an honest cop, Rigby played with remarkable insight, by Robert Taylor, who falls in love with a suspect (Ava Gardner), and can’t make up his mind on if she is guilty or innocent. John Hodiak is the husband, who is a former fly boy turned crook. Charles Laughton is at his sinister best as the “pie shaped man” who is hired by Vincent Price to pay off Rigby. Laughton dogs Rigby, knowing that he is in love with Gardner, till he caves in and decides to take a bribe to save his love. As in many film noir, only Taylor’s last name is used, we never know Rigby’s first name, interesting. Taylor is very convincing as a man torn between love and honor. He is so conflicted, that you feel sorry for him, wishing that Ava would just run away with him before he turns crook himself. She drugs him and makes sure he can’t stop the crooks, but he recovers, and confronts her, not realizing the trouble she is in herself. In the end, love and honor conquer all. There is a spectacular fireworks ending, that is reminiscent of “Ride the Pink Horse.” All in all the love scenes are sincere, probably because Taylor and Gardner were having an affair at the time of filming, despite the fact that Taylor was very married to Barbara Stanwyck. Quintessential film noir. Review by mamalv for IMDB.

Posted in Films | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Robert Taylor Slept Here

This gallery contains 4 photos.

The Milwaukee Sentinel-April 1, 1951 ‘Robert Taylor Slept Here,’ But Babs Puts Bed Up for Sale Hollywood, March 31–INS–The leather-upholstered, king-sized bed of film star Robert Taylor goes on the auction block next Monday and auctioneers reported Saturday interest in … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Analyzing Robert Taylor’s Signature

This gallery contains 5 photos.

I have no information about the analysis below. If anyone knows where it came from, please let me know and I will include the information. It’s pretty accurate although most of the substance could have come from written sources.   … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Last Hunt, 1956, Is Playing on TCM on June 15 (USA)

The Last Hunt (1956) is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Mon, June 15, 2015 08:00 AM est.  Close captioned.

ARCHIVES : RICHARD BROOKSHave no illusions, this IS a morality story. Granger is the troubled ex-buffalo hunter, tempted back to the plains one more time by kill-crazed Taylor. Granger can see the end is near, and feels deeply for the cost of the hunt-on the herds, the Indians and the land itself. Taylor, on the other hand admittedly equates killing buffalo, or Indians to ‘being with a woman.’ While Granger’s role of the tortured hunter is superb, it’s Taylor who steals the show, as the demented, immoral ‘everyman’ out for the fast buck and the good times. There’s not a lot of bang-bang here, but the story moves along quickly, and we are treated to a fine character performance by Nolan. The theme of this story is just as poignant today, as in the 1800s-man’s relationship to the land and what’s on it, and racism. Considering when this was made, the Censors must have been wringing their hankies during the scenes in the ‘bawdy house’, Taylor’s relationship with the squaw, and much of the dialogue. Although downbeat, this is truly a great western picture. Review by bux for the IMDB.

Posted in Films | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

No Pretense About Bob

This gallery contains 13 photos.

      On the 46th anniversary of Robert Taylor’s death, here is an article that nicely sums up  the kind of man he was. NO PRETENSE ABOUT BOB Robert Taylor is the best answer to what’s fine about Hollywood. … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Johnny Eager, 1941, Is Playing on TCM on June 5 (USA)

Johnny Eager (1942)  is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Friday June 5 at 5:45 pm est.  Closed captioned.

????

Robert Taylor and Lana Turner in “Johnny Eager.”

Directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Cast: Robert Taylor, Lana Turner, Edward Arnold, Van Heflin, Robert Sterling, Patricia Dane, Glenda Farrell, Barry Nelson. Slick MGM melodrama with convoluted plot about sociology student (and daughter of D.A. Arnold) Turner falling in love with unscrupulous racketeer Taylor. Heflin won Best Supporting Actor Oscar as Taylor’s alcoholic friend.(TCM)

Having only been familiar with Robert Taylor’s body of forgettable (humpf) work from the thirties (The Broadway Melodies, Camille, etc), seeing him in the title role of Johnny Eager 1972425_924571320890637_3709082624071824968_nwas stunning. Tom Hanks’s 180 degree turn from silly comedies to Philadelphia might be a modern day equivalent. Taylor steps into a role that would seem tailor made for Bogart, Cagney or Robinson, and does an arguably better job than any of them could have. Yes, Lana Turner is present, and yes, Van Heflin won a supporting Oscar, but Taylor owns this film.

Johnny Eager is one of the best films of the 40s, as well as one of the all time greats.
(Taken from a review by Justin Behnke on the IMDB).

 

Posted in Films | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment