Taylor and Stanwyck at the Venice Film Festival, 1950

This gallery contains 42 photos.

Recognized as the oldest film festival in the world, the Venice Film Festival began in 1932 in Venice, Italy. Founded by Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata, the Festival was originally held at the Hotel Excelsior in Venice. Only a handful … Continue reading

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Robert Taylor Friendship Club, 1939

This gallery contains 7 photos.

This is one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen on ebay.  I wasn’t the winning bidder but I can pass it on in this form.  It’s probably the worst written English I’ve ever seen.  But it’s fun–and somebody really … Continue reading

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Johnny Eager, 1941, Is Playing on TCM on April 30 (USA)

Johnny Eager (1942)  is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Thu, April 30, 2015 08:15 AM est.  Closed captioned.

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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).

 

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The Crowd Roars, 1938, Is Playing on TCM on April 28 (USA)

The Crowd Roars (1938) is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Tue, April 28, 2015 05:00 AM est.  *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 in your reminder will be shown on the NEXT calendar day.

crowd3Boxing doesn’t appeal to me, either for real or on screen so I approached “The Crowd Roars” with some trepidation. However, boxing is only the excuse for a film on the Depression, on corruption, on poverty and crime. Robert Taylor is superb as Tommy “Killer” McCoy, a young man who enters the ring strictly for the money. He has had the wolf at the door and doesn’t want to see it again. His distaste for being a “pug” and his longing for respectability come into play as he meets Maureen O’Sullivan and gets a glimpse of how “the other half” live. The fight scenes are exciting and vivid but not glamorized. A scene in the gym introduces a cast of brain-damaged pugs as Taylor prepares for his first big fight. The cinematography is excellent as is the lighting. There are no bad performances. Frank Morgan is the drunken father, Maureen O’Sullivan is the love interest, Edward Arnold the gangster, Lionel Stander the trainer. Jane Wyman has a small but pivotal role as a southern airhead. Highly recommended.  Review by me for the Imdb.

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Robert Taylor Enjoying a Most Enviable Position

This gallery contains 24 photos.

Robert Taylor Enjoying Most Enviable Position The Evening Independent August 23, 1947 by Bob Thomas Hollywood-AP-Having reached he third and most important area of film-stardom–the plateau–Robert Taylor is a thoroughly happy man. Bob, an honest and likeable guy, was relaxing … Continue reading

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Above and Beyond, 1952 Is Playing on TCM on April 21 (USA)

Above and Beyond,1952, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Tuesday April 21 at 12.15 p.m.  Closed captioned.

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Larry Keating and Robert Taylor

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Robert Taylor and Eleanor Parker

Considering that  Above and Beyond was made during the height of the hysteria now known as McCarthyism, one would have expected a jingoistic flag-waver out of Hollywood. Instead, surprisingly, the screenplay as written allows the Paul Tibbets character (Robert Taylor) the opportunity to register a variety of emotions, in a most realistic and compelling performance.

This is ironic, seeing as the real Tibbets, decades after the event (the bombing of Hiroshima), is to this day unrepentant. Not to criticize his position in any way, because that was a different time and place, and it’s Tibbets’ view that he had a job to do, and the morality of it all, he has stated, is best debated by others.

But the film is all the more compelling because of the ambivalence written into the Tibbets character, and Taylor’s especially fine work. There are uniformly strong performances throughout the cast, notably those of Eleanor Parker (Lucy Tibbets), James Whitmore (the security officer) and Larry Keating (General Brent).

Another surprise: the team of Melvin Frank and Norman Panama (screenplay, direction) had been best known for their Bob Hope comedies, when under contract at Paramount. Their first dramatic effort was “Above and Beyond,” and they acquitted themselves admirably.

Final note: the musical score by Hugo Friedhofer is immensely satisfying: stirring in an emotional sense, with just a touch of, but not too much of, militaristic flavor.

Dore Schary, a Democrat, had succeeded fervent Republican Louis B. Mayer at MGM in 1951, and had encouraged the production of Above and Beyond. One wonders if (a) the film would have been made at all on Mayer’s watch, and (b) if it had, would it have been more of a cornball, John Wayne-type flag-waver. Thankfully, those questions are moot. “Above and Beyond” is a stirring, finely-crafted film. I would stress again the unusual nature of the protagonist’s ambivalence as portrayed in a film made during a very sensitive time in America’s history.  Review by Alan Rosenberg, Toronto, Canada for the imdb.

Note: I don’t agree with some of this reviewer’s comments but I thought the review is worth reading.  Judith


 

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Ride Vaquero Is Playing on TCM on April 22 (USA)

Ride, Vaquero! (1953) is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Wed, April 22, 2015 01:45 AM est.  *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 in your reminder will be shown on the NEXT calendar day.

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Ava Gardner and Robert Taylor

By keeping quiet, speaking only when necessary Robert Taylor as Rio gives one of his best performances. All through the film you try to guess what he is thinking. He was adopted by the mother of Esqueda (Anthony Quinn) and Quinn loves and respects him. The real surprise is Howard Keel, who only used to do musicals, coming out so well as King Cameron, a man who is obstinate about building a cattle empire. Cameron is married to Cordelia (Ava Gardner) and as soon as she arrives in a river boat, and they go to their ranch, trouble starts because it has been burnt by Esqueda. Why did Esqueda do it? Because he knows that if he allows anybody to do well in business in that area, others will come and eventually he, who is a bandit will have to run away or be hanged. Quinn is great as Esqueda, just that makes the film worth seeing. Taylor, who was the second man to Quinn in the gang, eventually leaves him to help Keel, because deep down he knows his brother is becoming a crazy monster and unconsciously he is in love with Ava. But when she kisses him, he slaps her because he knows it is wrong. He is a torn man, with all those feelings and not knowing exactly what to do about it. Excellent film, not to be missed. IMDB review by tmwest from Sao Paolo, Brazil.

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