Quentin Durward, 1955, Is Playing on TCM on January 14 (USA)

Quentin Durward, 1955, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Saturday, January 14 at 2:00 p.m. est.  Closed captioned.

RT1646Director: Richard Thorpe. Robert Taylor, Kay Kendall, Robert Morley, George Cole, Alec Clunes, Duncan Lamont, Marius Goring. Taylor plays Sir Walter Scott’s dashing Scots hero in this handsome but static costumer about Louis XI’s reign in 15th- century France. CinemaScope. TCM capsule review.

This is a film to be watched with a wide and affectionate grin. Outstanding are Robert Morley as Louis XI, the infamous and wily ‘Spider’ of France, and Robert Taylor as the eponymous Durward, a would-be chivalrous hero born out of his time who is none too sure of himself. The necessary, and highly satisfactory, heroics are spiced with a rich leavening of humor and some genuine moral questions – how much should a man sacrifice for his country’s sake? His love? His life? His honor?

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But above all it is a joyous and thrilling romp that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Durward wants to be a knight in shining armor, but circumstances tend to conspire against him, and his lady is definitely the stronger-willed of the two; though like the audience, she cannot resist his puppy dog charm. And ambiguous, cynical, cowardly Louis is often in danger of stealing the show outright, as he sits at the center of his web and pulls the strings that manipulate all the other characters – a far-from-two-dimensional villain after my own heart!

Definitely a superior swashbuckler, with a saving vein of humor. Review by lgenWordsmith on IMDB

These are a few behind the scenes photos:

RT4931RT2409Taylor's new leading lady. KK, one of Britain's most popular stars, is seen rehearsing with RT for her role with him in Sir WS's QD, being filmed by MGM in C-scope and color in England and France.
Left to right: with Stewart Granger, unknown fan or gypsy dancer, Kay Kendall

 

 

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The Crowd Roars, 1938, Is Playing on TCM on January 6, 2017 (USA)

The Crowd Roars, 1938, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on January 6, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. est. Not Closed captioned.

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.

Some behind the scenes photos:

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Left to right: unknown; Gene Reynolds, Robert Taylor; Frank Morgan, Mr. Taylor, Lionel Stander; Frank Morgan, Mr.Taylor, Edward Arnold

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Left to right: Robert Taylor, unknown; unknown, Margaret Sullavan, Mr. Taylor; Richard Thorpe, Mr. Taylor

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A break on the set.

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Robert Taylor Radio Interview about Ivanhoe etc., 1952 or 1953

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Transcribed Radio Interview with Robert Taylor for “Ivanhoe” Announcer: Hello again, folks, this is Dick Simmons, bringing you, direct from Hollywood, one of the screen’s top stars, whose films for the past few years, have kept him away from the … Continue reading

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When Ladies Meet, 1941, Is Playing on TCM on Friday December 30 (USA)

When Ladies Meet, 1914, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Friday December 30 at 11 a.m. est.  Closed captioned

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Joan Crawford, Robert Taylor and Greer Garson in “When Ladies Meet,” 1941.

It is the story of a married couple, a lady author and a charming single journalist. Joan Crawford, the author, considers herself a “modern woman” freed from tiresome conventions and moral imperatives. Despite the movie’s 1941 date, the author’s relativistic attitude toward marriage and fidelity would be right at home in today’s left-wing intellectual circles. Her gradual evolution towards a different attitude is the meat of the movie. Mirroring the situation in her book is the situation of the married couple, Greer Garson and Herbert Marshall. The fourth member of the group is Robert Taylor as a journalist whose surface gaiety hides a serious moral foundation.The four actors make the movie much better than the script. Garson and Crawford strike sparks off each other in every scene they share. Herbert Marshall is suitably smooth and sleazy. But it’s Robert Taylor in a role involving physical comedy whose work is the most impressive. As it turns out, he is the person most grounded in reality–and the hidden hand behind everything.

Everything has the expected MGM gloss–extravagant costumes, beautiful sets, excellent photography. Highly recommended.  Review by me.

Here’s a couple of behind the scenes photos:

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Left to right: wardrobe shot; Robert Taylor’s birthday party with Herbert Marshall, Mr. Taylor,  Joan Crawford and L.B. Mayer.

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Camille, 1936, Is Playing on TCM on December 29 (USA)

Camille, 1936, is playing on Turner Classic Movies is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Thursday December 29 at 6:45 a.m. est.  Not closed captioned.   This is the best romantic movie ever.

???? This film further proves that the assembly-line system of Hollywood studios back then should also be taken seriously in terms of artistry. Just because movies were produced run-of-the-mill doesn’t mean that they weren’t paid critical attention to by their makers. The usual impression on studio-era Hollywood is: take a formulaic narrative style, maybe adapt a stage play for the screen, blend in a handful of stars from the stable and the films rake in the profit at the box office. Not quite, that’s the easy perception. George Cukor, another of those versatile directors, made it apparent with Camille that filmmaking as an art may still flourish despite (and even within) certain parameters. Camille is beautiful, in so many respects. And it’s not just because of Greta Garbo.

Sure, the acting is amazing, the casting is perfect. Garbo is luminous, mysterious, cruel, and weak at the same time. Robert Taylor surrenders himself to be the heartbreakingly young and vulnerable Armand. Henry Daniell’s coldness and sadism is utterly human and familiar. The others are just plain wonderful. The writing contains so much wit and humor, devotion and pain – but it never overstates anything. The rapport and tensions between lovers, friends, and enemies are palpable and consistent. The actions flow so naturally, just like every scene, that checking for historical inconsistencies seem far beside the point.

There is so much that I love about Camille that it’s hard to enumerate them all, but with every little discovery comes the realization that this is “but” a studio production, so it makes the experience more exquisite. Camille is a gentle, poignant romantic movie that, like Garbo, takes its place delicately and self-effacingly in the history of American cinema, but makes itself indelible in the heart and mind of the lovelorn individual viewer. Review by tsarevna for the IMDb.

Some behind-the scenes-from Camille.

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RT649019361936He also plays baseball-in costume on the set.

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RT3881RT7407Greta Garbo Pointing at George Cukor

Making Marguerite’s Dresses:

RT7386936: A dressmaker working on one of Greta Garbo's dresses for the MGM film 'Camille' which were designed by Adrian. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)circa 1936: Seamstresses working on a dress to


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Lucky Night, 1939, Is Playing on TCM on December 16 (USA)

Lucky Night, 1939, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Friday, December 16 at 2:45 a.m., which means that will actually be showing in the wee hours on Saturday, December 17. Closed Captioned. This is not one of my favorite Taylor films.  He didn’t have much chemistry with Myrna Loy.  The first part is very entertaining but the film goes pretty flat after that. Both actors did their best and the film looks terrific.  It’s worth it  for Taylor or Loy fans.

swirlI fell in love with Bill Overton before they left the park; Cora’s inability to commit to a man before she had a sense of herself was decades ahead of its time…Bill’s “Peter Pan” tendencies are really a profound commitment to joy and surprise, and Henry O’Neill as Cora’s father is the great remediator and earns every bit of Cora’s loyalty, “high, wide and handsome”. Modern, full of stylish characters and character it’s a jaunty little Jane Austen-like morality tale of the delicate balance between taking life seriously and the honorable pursuit of never-ending impulse, of maintaining your backbone and honesty in the face of losing face, and of the rewards facing up all wrapped into one romantic comedy. Review by misshambone-581-998467 for the IMD

swirlThe second half of the movie is all about applying the frolic of the first half to the reality of day to day life…and well worth looking forward to, much less sitting through. Bill’s “idea” is to seize every opportunity, much less day, and Cora’s “practicality” is the deadening effect being reasonable at all costs can have. Henry O’Neill was a great find, and you’ll notice him more often than you’d think once you’ve identified him: as Bill’s worst enemy at the beginning of the movie, it is he, as Cora’s dad, who brings not only the couple but the theme together by the end of the movie. Deeper than it appears, it is charming through and through. Review by bonefork from the US for the IMDb.

Here are some promotional materials for the film:

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Flight Command, 1940, Is Playing on TCM on December 14 (USA)

Flight Command, 1940, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on December 14 at 4:30 p.m. est.  Closed Captioned.  This is the film that got Robert Taylor hooked on flying.  Mr. Taylor started taking flying lessons right away.  His devotion to flying was so intense that Barbara Stanwyck, his wife, felt neglected.

 RT1455Lots of fun. Wells Root and Commander Harvey Haislip penned this screenplay from an original story Haislip also co-authored about an eager Naval Flight School cadet (Robert Taylor) in Pensacola flying solo out to Southern California to join Hellcat Fighters who have just lost one of their beloved teammates; he makes a colorful entrance (having to ditch his plane and parachute into the ocean because of fog!) and finds an early friend in a somewhat-emotional woman…the Skipper’s wife! Camaraderie between the pilots on the ground is enjoyably written and played, with Taylor’s charming self-assurance an interesting dynamic within the group (he isn’t cocky, he’s careful–though anxious to fit in). Subplot with Ruth Hussey’s lonesome wife is soapy yet surprisingly skillful, while the aerial maneuvers are nicely photographed. An extra bonus: Red Skelton as a joshing lieutenant…and Walter Pidgeon looking younger than I have ever seen him.  Review by monspinner55 on IMDB

Some more photos.  Ruth Hussey and Walter Pigeon appear in some of them:

photo by Clarence BullActor Robert Taylor Posing by Airplane from Movie Scenert4546Clarence Sinclair Bull

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