Robert Taylor on the Radio – Saturday’s Children, 1936

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Saturday’s Children, starring Robert Taylor and Olivia de Havilland was broadcast on October 26, 1936 on the Lux Radio Theater.  The title comes from a Mother Goose Rhyme: Monday’s child is fair of face, Tuesday’s child is full of grace; … Continue reading

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Robert Taylor Trivia: Auto Registration

This gallery contains 2 photos.

This is Robert Taylor’s auto registration for 1962.  Mr. Taylor was not one for flashy new cars at this time in his life. He owned a 1954 Dodge.  The registration fee of $13 seems reasonable. This was recently for sale … Continue reading

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Three Comrades, 1938, Is Playing on TCM on August 26 (USA)

Three Comrades (1938) is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Thursday, August 27, 2015 09:15 AM est.  Closed captioned.

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Margaret Sullavan, Robert Taylor, Franchot Tone and Robert Young.

New York Times Review (summary):  Based on a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, Three Comrades represented one of the few successful screenwriting efforts of  F. Scott Fitzgerald. Set  in Germany in the years just following World War I, the film stars Robert Taylor, Franchot Tone and Robert Young as three battle-weary, thoroughly disillusioned returning soldiers. The three friends pool their savings and open an auto-repair shop, and it is this that brings them in contact with wealthy motorist Lionel Atwill–and with Atwill’s lovely travelling companion Margaret Sullavan.  Taylor begins a romance with Sullavan, who soon joins the three comrades, making the group a jovial, fun-seeking foursome Though Sullavan suffers from tuberculosis (her shady past is only alluded to), she is encouraged by her male companions to fully enjoy what is left of her life. This becomes increasingly difficult when one of the comrades, Young, is killed during a political riot (it’s a Nazi riot, though not so-labelled by ever-careful MGM). In the end, the four comrades are only two in number, with nothing but memories to see them through the cataclysmic years to come. Despite its Hollywoodized bowdlerization of the Remarque original, Three Comrades remains a poignant, haunting experience. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Some promotional material:

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Times Square Lady, 1935, Is Playing on August 25 (USA)

Times Square Lady, 1935 is playing on Turner Classic Movies on August 25 at 7:15 a.m. est.  This is a very rare T-Square-lady02showing of an early Robert Taylor movie.  Set your DVR.  Not closed captioned.

MGM studios released two films with Robert Taylor early in 1935. Society Doctor, starring Chester Morris, Virginia Bruce and Robert Taylor premiered in January. Times Square Lady followed in March, starring Robert Taylor. Virginia Bruce and Pinky Tomlin. Lady is a solid gangster film, with a strong cast backing Taylor and Bruce. Isabel Jewell is Bruce’s wise-cracking sidekick, Nat Pendleton is his valet, Helen Twelvetrees his girl. The rest of the cast consists mostly of a wonderfully slimy bunch of crooks played by Jack Kramer, Henry Kolker, Raymond Hatton, Russell Hopton, Fred Kohler and Robert Elliott.

The plot is fairly straightforward. A wealthy promoter dies and his shady underlings assume they will take over his considerable holdings. To their surprise, the deceased had a daughter (Bruce) who is his sole heir. With a paternalism bordering on contempt, they plan to report to her that there is no money for her to inherit but they will take his properties off her hands for a fraction of their worth.

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Robert Taylor and Helen Twelvetrees

To convince her to sell, the crooks stage some incidents to demonstrate how bad it all is. Gang member Robert Taylor is assigned to charm the lady out of her holdings. Taylor manages a nightclub and this introduces a subplot involving singer/songwriter Pinky Tomlin, creator of such songs as “The Object of My Affection” and “What’s the Reason (I’m Not Pleasin’ You?).

Taylor frequently played dubious characters who find redemption in such films as “Rogue Cop” and “Johnny Eager.” Here he is saved by his love for Miss Bruce’s character. As happened not infrequently they were also a couple off screen.

The last quarter of the film is filled with action, car chases, fights, shootings and a lot of double crossing. The film moves quickly and benefits from comic relief by Tomlin, Pendleton and a cow named either Daisy or Bossy.

Robert Taylor is very young and very thin. The physical differences between the Taylor of Times Square Lady (filmed late 1934) and His Brother’s Wife (filmed in 1936) are striking. Nonetheless he is effective here, combining toughness with energy and humor. Bruce and Taylor have good chemistry together. The film was generally well received in its day, with the New York Times calling it “a bit of light divertissement.” Review by me for the IMDB.

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Camille, 1937, Is Playing on TCM on August 26 (USA)

Camille (1937) is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Wed, August 26, 2015 01:45 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 in your reminder will be shown on the NEXT calendar day.

????Greta Garbo enjoyed one of her greatest triumphs in this glossy adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ oft-filmed romantic tragedy. Here, Garbo stars as Marguerite Gauthier, who is born into humble circumstances but in time becomes Dame aux Camille, one of the most glamorous courtesans in Paris. Camille is kept by the wealthy and powerful Baron de Varville (Henry Daniell), but after many years of earning a good living from her beauty without finding true love, Camille’s heart is stolen by Armand (Robert Taylor), a handsome but slightly naive young man who doesn’t know how she came by her fortune. Armand is just as attracted to Camille as she is to him, and she’s prepared to give up the Baron and his stipend to be with Armand. However, Armand’s father (Lionel Barrymore) begs Camille to turn away from his son, knowing her scandalous past could ruin his future. Realizing the painful wisdom of this, Camille rejects Armand, who continues to pursue her even as Camille contracts a potentially fatal case of tuberculosis.  This is one of the great romantic films of all time.

Some Camille behind-the-scenes photos:

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circa 1936: Seamstresses working on a dress to be worn by Greta Garbo in the MGM film 'Camicirca 1936: Seamstresses at work cutting and sewing a dress to be worn by actress Greta Garbo in the film 'Camille'. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)RT73861936: 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)

Greta Garbo Pointing at George Cukor19361936 taking pills (Vitamin?)

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and my favorite:

He also plays baseball-in costume on the set.

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A Yank at Oxford (1938) Is Playing on TCM on August 18 (USA)

A Yank at Oxford (1938) is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Tue, August 18, 2015 01:30 PM est. Closed captioned.

RT6528A Yank at Oxford is one of several films intended to “toughen up” Robert Taylor’s image after his success in a number of boudoir romances. Taylor plays Lee Sheridan, a college boy who has been spoiled rotten by his newspaper owner father, played by Lionel Barrymore. Father Sheridan’s habit of holding the presses for Lee’s latest athletic triumph has only contributed to the boy’s swollen head.

Despite his lack of academic focus, Taylor is offered a place at Oxford. Upon his arrival, he immediately encounters a group of his fellow students, who begin a campaign to humiliate him. He also meets the leading lady, Maureen O’Sullivan.

The rest of the delightful and humorous picture focuses on the relationships among three people: Taylor and O’Sullivan, boyfriend and girlfriend; Taylor and Griffith Jones, his leading tormentor; O’Sullivan and Jones, brother and sister. A nymphomaniac Vivien Leigh adds spice to the mix.

A Yank at Oxford allows Robert Taylor to show that he is not only a fine actor but also a fine athlete. Granted that the script specified that he would always win, Taylor is believable as a runner and as a rower. He can also swim.

O’Sullivan is a charming coed torn between her boyfriend and her loyalty to her brother. Jones and Taylor cover up for one other for different peccadilloes. They evolve from antagonists to teammates to friends. A remarkable scene that deserves special mention concerns the venerable English tradition of “debagging.”

The cast is uniformly good. Taylor looks and acts younger than his twenty-seven years. Jones is one of a fine contingent of British actors including Edmund Gwenn, Robert Coote and Edward Rigby. Lionel Barrymore shines as the older Sheridan. A pre-Scarlett Vivien Leigh is lovely and engaging.

A Yank at Oxford was MGM’s first British-made film. Jack Conway, the American director keeps things moving at a brisk pace. Harold Rosson’s photography has a newsreel-like immediacy. And Oxford, of course, looks wonderful. Review by me for the IMDB.

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Waterloo Bridge, 1940, Is Playing on TCM on August 18 (USA)

Waterloo Bridge (1940) is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Tue, August 18, 2015 10:00 AM est. Closed captioned. This was both Robert Taylor’s and Vivien Leigh’s favorite movie.

????Robert Taylor was an inspired choice for the role… Not only does he have an imposing screen presence, but he brings the perfect mix of enlightenment, humor, compassion and emotion to the part…

Opposite him, Oscar Winner Vivien Leigh, perfect in her innocent lovely look, radiantly beautiful, specially that evening in a trailing white chiffon gown… Leigh floods her role with personal emotion giving her character a charismatic life of its own… As a great star, she delivers a heartfelt performance turning her character into a woman who undergoes an emotional awakening…

In this sensitive motion picture, Mervyn LeRoy captures all the tenderness and moving qualities… He makes every small thing eloquent, concentrating the highly skilled efforts of many technicians on the telling of a very simple bittersweet love story… Vivien Leigh paints a picture that few men will be able to resist… Her performance captures the audience to the point of complete absorption… Robert Taylor (carrying sympathy all the way) quietly throws all his vitality as an ambitious actor into the task… Their film, a credit to both, is a heavily sentimental tale about the vagaries of wartime…

Love is the only thing this movie is about… The story is simple: Myra Lester (Leigh) is a frail creature, an innocent young ballet dancer and Roy Cronin (Taylor) is an aristocratic British army officer… When their eyes met it took no time at all for their hearts to feel the loving call… They meet on London’s Waterloo Bridge during an air raid, and fall deeply in love… Their romance is sublime, and they soon agree to marry…

The lover’s marriage has to be postponed when the handsome officer is suddenly called to the front… Sadly, the sweet ballerina misses her performance to see her captain off at Waterloo Station… Fired from the troupe, she is joined by her loyal friend, Virginia Field (Kitty Meredith), and the two vainly try to find work, finally sinking into poverty and the threatening fear that goes with it…

The film is replete with beautiful and poignant scenes, specially the ‘Auld Lang Syne’ waltz scene in the Candlelight Club, before Taylor leaves for France…

Seen today, Waterloo Bridge has retained all its charm and power, all its rich sentiment, and tragic evocations…  Review by Righty-Sock (robertfrangie@hotmail.com) from Mexico for the IMDB.

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