Remember?, 1939, Is Playing on TCM on August 23

Remember?, 1939 is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Wednesday August 23 at 4:30 a.m. (actually August 24) est.  Closed captioned.

RT5521Greer Garson was a rising star in 1939 and this film was her follow up to “Goodbye Mr. Chips.” She had proved unexpectedly popular and the studio hurried this into production. Robert Taylor was in a slump after Lady of the Tropics and before Waterloo Bridge. Robert Osborne, on Turner Classic Movies, commented that the screenwriters were either extremely clever or drunk. I tend to the latter interpretation.

The plot involves a love triangle consisting of Taylor, Garson and Lew Ayres. Taylor steals Garson from his old friend Ayres and the two marry. Subsequently Taylor neglects Garson by concentrating on his career. When he misses the boat for their honeymoon, she leaves him and they begin a divorce. Ayres, either to get Garson back or to help the couple, slips each of them an amnesia drug, so that they forget the last six months. It works and, in a manner reminiscent of Groundhog Day, they repeat their initial meeting and fall in love again, marry again and leave poor Ayres in the dust.

The entire cast is very smooth and professional, with Taylor and Ayres both outshining the still new Garson. Supporting actors include Billie Burke and Reginald Owen, both of them doing their signature type of character. Sara Haden is excellent as Taylor’s secretary.

There is a lot of good dialog, some genuinely funny situations and the usual MGM high gloss. Remember? is like a good dessert: rich, tasty but not substantial. Review by me for IMDB.

Some behind-the scenes photos:

RT4039RT39721939
Left to right: Director Norman Z. McLeod, Robert Taylor, Lew Ayres; Ayres and Taylor; Taylor, McLeod, Greer Garson, Lew Ayres.

Promotional materials:

RT4466RT7191RT3014

1939RT5042RT5303

RT4327RT7136RT3370

1939vgtRT6969

Scenes that didn’t make it into the film:

 

 

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

Happy Birthday, Robert Taylor!

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Happy Birthday, Robert Taylor On August 5, 1911 a movie star was born.  His name was Spangler Arlington Brugh.  MGM changed it to Robert Taylor.  For 3 decades Robert Taylor brought quality entertainment to the public.  He changed from gorgeous … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Robert Taylor and Eleanor Parker: 2 Films Are Playing on TCM on August 7

Two films are playing on Turner Classic Movies on August 7.  The first is Many Rivers To Cross at 6:00 p.m. est and the second is Valley of the Kings at 12:15 a.m. est. (Actually August 8) Both are closed captioned.

Many Rivers To Cross.This outrageous farce is one of my favorites–tremendous performances from both of the leads.

This wonderful rollicking comedy set in the early days of the republic, roughly sometime in the Federalist era had to take its inspiration from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers from the year before. In fact two of the brothers, Jeff Richards and Russ Tamblyn are featured in Many Rivers to Cross.

The surprise to me in this film is Robert Taylor. At the time he did this film Taylor had been doing dramatic parts for many years. He did some comedy roles in his early days at MGM, but they were the modern sophisticated sort of stuff.

Robert Taylor is Bushrod Gentry, a frontier trapper who’s a pretty fancy free and footloose sort of character very much like Adam Pontipee in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. But while it was Howard Keel who was looking for a wife in that film, here it’s the woman who does the chasing and it’s the woman who comes from a pretty frisky frontier family herself. Eleanor Parker is Federalist era Calamity Jane who takes a real shine to Taylor.

Of course she pursues Taylor through out the film, try as he may to get back to his trapping. Their last escape from some pursuing Shawnee Indians is an absolute comic riot.

Good as Taylor and Parker are, Many Rivers to Cross almost cries for a song or two other than the theme about the Berry Tree. In a musical I could have seen Howard Keel and Doris Day doing it easily.

In any event I’m sure that when Taylor and Parker settle down and commence to having children that they were the ancestors a hundred years later of that Pontipee clan in the Pacific Northwest.  Review by bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York for the IMDb.

Some behind-the-scenes photos:


Left to right: Newlyweds Ursula and Robert Taylor; getting bullwhip instruction from Abel Fernandez(?); with co-star Eleanor Parker.


Left to right: with Katie the dog and the picture’s original caption; with director Roy Rowland.

Valley of the Kings.  Mark Brandon, the ruggedly handsome archaeologist played by Robert Taylor is thought to be the inspiration for Indiana Jones.
RT5571This is one of my favorite Robert Taylor pictures. Eleanor Parker and he had wonderful chemistry and both of them looked their best in this exotic action-adventure film.  The following is my review for the IMDb.

This isn’t a serious or “meaningful” film. It is pure entertainment, beautifully photographed on location in Egypt. The stars, Robert Taylor and Eleanor Parker, had great chemistry both off-screen and on. Taylor manages to be glamorous even when trapped in a sandstorm. The plot is relatively thin with Parker seeking to validate part of the Old Testament by finding the tomb of the Pharaoh who reigned in the time of the Biblical Joseph. She bats her eyelashes at Taylor who comes along happily. Then she introduces her husband, Carlos Thompson. There are horse and carriage chases, murders, the aforementioned sandstorm, a spectacular fight at Abu Simbel, a scorpion attack–all in ninety minutes. Given the slower pace of movies in the 1950s, there is also time for Taylor and Parker to discover each other more thoroughly (over some fermented goat). Egyptian belly dancer Samia Gamal shakes her stuff at the demure Parker. Highly enjoyable.

RT2304One of the best screen kisses–ever!

Some behind the scenes photos:

RT307 (2)195419541954

From left: Robert Taylor horsing around with a donkey; looking insecure on a camel.

19541954RT2164RT5590

From left: Robert Taylor with belly dancer; with Kurt Kazsnar and Carlos Thompson; at the sphinx.

RT7830 (3)RT7830 (2)RT7830

From left: Robert Taylor and Eleanor Parker at the Mena House Hotel; touring by carriage.

RT7965Valley01Valley (4)

From left: Mr. Taylor and Ms. Parker in Egypt.

RT7466RT5589RT7565

From left: Mr. Taylor and Ms. Parker, taking pictures; with director Robert Pirosh; saying hello to a camel.

Actress Eleanor Parker, on her kneels, helps Robert Taylor, dressed up as an archaeologist, to lace up a boot on the set of the movie 'Valley of the Kings'. Egypt, 1954. (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Actress Eleanor Parker, on her knees, helps Robert Taylor, dressed up as an archaeologist, to lace up a boot on the set of the movie ‘Valley of the Kings’. Egypt, 1954. (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Mr. Taylor injured his knee jumping off a camel and may have had difficulty lacing his boots.  They both look happy about it.

 

 

Posted in Films | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Scooperoo! Movie Life Magazine, ca. 1944

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Been wondering what goes with Lt. Robert Taylor since he swapped his civvies for a naval uniform? Well, here he is, snapped eclusively for Movie Life when he turned up in New York recently do do a pitch for the … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Saddle the Wind, 1958, Is Playing on TCM on July 27 (USA)

Saddle the Wind, 1958, is  playing on Turner Classic Movies on Thursday July 27 at 6:30 p.m. est.  Closed captioned.

Saddle the Wind is the result of a creative conflict between golden era Hollywood and the cool method acting world of New York in the late 1950’s. Both the writer, Rod Serling (of Twilight Zone fame) and John Cassavetes represented the new, “cool” world of New York. Robert Taylor, holder of the record for the longest employment by one studio) represented Hollywood with a capital “H.” The director, Robert Parrish, was more on the New York wavelength.

From what I’ve read, Cassavetes tried to antagonize Taylor with his difficult behavior and, when he failed, got even more outrageous. The New York crew regarded Taylor as incredibly “square.”

The result of all this is a fascinating conflict of styles. Taylor prided himself on not “mugging” and here his reserved style worked well as Cassavetes’ older brother, a retired gunman. The pain of a man watching someone he brought up as son, not a younger brother, turn into an unstable, erratic killer is evident on Taylor’s craggy face. The younger brother is in constant motion–he seems to mistake activity for accomplishment.

Through a number of plot twists including disputed land ownership, romance (with Julie London) and brother-to-brother conflict, the film moves quickly and stylishly towards its inevitable end. The photography is excellent, making the best of the glorious scenery. Julie London is underused but does what she can.

In the end, New York and Hollywood work well together to make a highly watchable film.  Review by me for the IMDB.

Behind-the scenes photos:

1957
Left to right: Robert Taylor eating with stepson Michael Thiess; Mr. Taylor with wife Ursula Thiess.

1957/81957/8
Left to right: Rod Serling, Robert Parrish, Armand Deutsch, John Cassavetes, Julie London, Robert Taylor; Mr. Parrish, Mr. Cassavetes, Mr. Taylor; Mr. Cassavetes, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Parrish.

 

Posted in Films | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Broadway Melody of 1936, 1935, Is Playing on TCM on July 16

Broadway Melody of 1935, 1936, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Sunday July 16 at 6:15 a.m. est.  Closed captioned.

RT3609

Robert Taylor, Eleanor Powell, Jack Benny, Una Merkel, June Knight, Buddy Ebsen, Vilma Ebsen

Broadway Melody of 1936 is a confection of a movie, meant to sweeten the lives of Depression weary Americans. It stars the unlikely triumvirate of Jack Benny, Eleanor Powell and Robert Taylor. The plot is flimsy, involving the parallel efforts of a columnist (Benny) trying to save his career, a Broadway producer (Taylor) trying to find a star for his new show and a dancer (Powell) trying to get her big break on Broadway.

All this is secondary to the wonderful songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed: “I’ve Got a Feelin’ You’re Foolin'”; “Broadway Rhythm”; “You Are My Lucky Star”; “On a Sunday Afternoon”;” Sing Before Breakfast.” The production numbers for each song range from clever to spectacular. “I’ve Got a Feelin’ You’re Foolin” is sung by Taylor and New York actress June Knight. The special effects are a delight, especially as they are done so long before CGI.

Powell proves, as always, that she is unmatched as a dancer—her energy, grace and strength are a marvel. She dances solo, with Buddy and Vilma Ebsen, with Nick Long, Jr. and with huge choruses.

Nor can the acting be faulted. Jack Benny is excellent as the gossip-obsessed wise-cracking and scheming columnist. Robert Taylor is remarkably poised and mature for his years (24) and even has a nice singing voice. The second banana roles are filled admirably by Sid Silvers and Una Merkel. If Powell and Knight are less impressive when their feet are still, it doesn’t matter—their dancing more than redeems them.

“Broadway Melody of 1936” was a high budget, high gloss, pull out all the stops, MGM production. No expense was spared for the costumes, sets, choreography or photography. The direction by Roy del Ruth is crisp and effective. We could use more films like this in our own economically challenged times. Review by me for the IMDB.

swirlRobert Taylor and June Knight filmed a dance sequence for Broadway Melody of 1936 that did not appear in the final film.  These pictures are all that is left.

19351935RT1638 (5)1935  19351935RT1638RT1638 (11)

RT1638 (3)RT1638 (8)RT1638 (10)

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

All the Brothers Were Valiant, 1953, Is Playing on TCM on July 15 (USA)

All the Brothers Were Valiant, 1953 is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Saturday July 15 at 6:30 A.M. est.  Closed captioned.  This film was very successful, bringing in $4,628,000.00 or $41,258,706.67 in today’s money.

RT672

Robert Taylor and Ann Blyth.


This film has quite a good story by Ben Ames Williams, which was competently brought to the screen. Robert Taylor is the “good” brother and Stewart Granger the “bad” one. Ann Blyth is the woman who marries Taylor thinking Granger is dead. Three years later Granger and Taylor would star in The Last Hunt with a reversal of roles: Granger as the “good” guy and Taylor the “bad”. There are two aspects of this film which create a strong impression:1)the destructive relationship between the brothers, which started in childhood with Granger always taking for himself Taylor’s toys. Now Granger wants to take away Taylor’s ship and also his wife. 2)How Granger is able to seduce Ann Blyth by making her think her husband is a coward. Blyth is a bit too “angelical” for her role, when you see the ship you have the feeling you are seeing a miniature on MGM’s tank, but both Granger and Taylor are excellent. Great entertainment. Review for the IMDB by tmwest from S Paolo, Brazil.

Here are some behind the scenes photos:

RT3856RT4761RT4760
Left to right:  Robert Taylor and Stewart Granger; Mr. Granger and Mr. Taylor; Mr. Taylor, Lewis Stone, Director Richard Thorpe.

RT4762RT3855jean-simmons
Left to right:  Dore Schary and Robert Taylor; Mr. Taylor, Ann Blyth and a guest; Messrs. Granger and Taylor with Jean Simmons.

RT3615All the Brothers Were Valiant
Left to right: Joan Crawford and Robert Taylor; Richard Thorpe, Ms. Crawford, Ann Blyth, Mr. Taylor.  The original caption for the first photo: Joan Crawford, returning to MGM for the first time in a number of years to star in Torch Song, visited an old friend, Robert Taylor, on his set.

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