Sunday, October 30, 2016


Halloween is tomorrow so, here are some of my favorite actresses who're in the "spirit"!

Audrey Totter.   

Nan Grey.

Myrna Loy.

Jeanne Crain.

Anita Page.

Paulette Goddard.

Another one of Nan Grey. 

Elizabeth Montgomery. Robert Montgomery's beautiful daughter.

Noirvember 2016

November is just around the corner and so is Noirvember! Below are a list of films that I plan on watching in honor of Noirvember.

1. Laura
2. Double Indemnity
3. Out of the Past
4. Lady in the Lake
5. This Gun for Hire
6. Mildred Pierce
7. I Wake Up Screaming
8. Leave Her to Heaven
9. The Third Man
10. Tension
11. Ride the Pink Horse
12. The Woman in the Window
13. Gilda
14. The Set-Up
15. Scarlet Street
16. Nightmare Alley
17. The Lady from Shanghai
18. Murder, My Sweet
19. Christmas Holiday
20. Moontide

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Photo of the Day

Robert Montgomery photographed in the early 1930's.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Robert Montgomery: Forgotten Leading Man

Robert Montgomery photographed in 1929.
I was looking through some of my books on Old Hollywood recently and was surprised by the omission of one actor: Robert Montgomery. But, I cannot be too surprised because not until recently did I start trekking through Mr. Montgomery's filmography. He's become one of my favorite actors! Now that I have been watching a lot of his films and have seen his acting, I am disappointed to see that Robert Montgomery is not a more well-known leading man of Hollywood's Golden Era. Or even just a more well-known actor in general. Robert Montgomery truly had the whole "package" as an actor. Good looks, a nice speaking voice, a great sense of style, humor, and above all loads of talent. Why is it that he is not more well known today? I wish that he was and that is why I am writing this, but first I will discuss how I ended up discovering him.

This past August was when Summer Under the Stars was on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Where everyday during the month of August for 24 hours they show the films of one actor or actress. August 22nd was a Monday and Robert Montgomery was the actor that TCM was showing films for that day. I had seen a film or two of his prior to this day, The Divorcee (1930) and Private Lives (1931), which both also starred one of my favorites, Norma Shearer. I always thought that he was attractive and funny, but for some reason never really watched a lot of his movies. I saw people that I follow on Twitter talking about him and posting pictures of him that day and I was like, "Oh yeah, I remember him". But, once again I realized that he was one actor who I had not seen much of. So, the next day, I looked at On Demand (I have Comcast) for some movies with him to watch. I ended watching the 1931 film, The Man in Possession. And I'm glad I did. I was sold on him by the end of the film. He made me swoon and laugh at the same time. He was a dream! So, soon after that I wanted to watch all of his movies and I have been thanks to Warner Archive DVDS, TCM, and my local library! So, enough about me, lets talk about Mr. Montgomery.

Robert Montgomery was a talented actor and more than just a pretty face. He had a captivating onscreen presence, but in a subtle way. He had the gift to be able to do both comedy and drama. With him, it's the little things that made his acting so great. His facial expressions are a joy to behold, especially in his comedies. He had some great ones over the years! Robert was fantastic with most of his leading ladies onscreen. I loved how sometimes he would stroke his leading ladies hands (I can think of Untamed (1929) with Joan Crawford and The Man in Possession (1931) with Irene Purcell).  He could be romantic, or hilarious, or a flirt, or sometimes a complete jerk. Most of the characters that he played were upper crust playboys. But sometimes, he played just your average character or even some nastier ones as well. He played a fabulous drunk onscreen. In my opinion, I think that he had a great sense of humor. And that shows through in his acting.

Besides comedies, he excelled in dramas too. He was wonderful in John Ford's They Were Expendable (1945), which was filmed right after he came back from the Navy as a Lieutenant during World War II. He gave a touching, honest, and nuanced performance. Maybe because of his direct involvement with the War, he was able to bring a lot of personal experiences to that role. My favorite role that he did, which garnered him an Oscar nomination was 1937's Night Must Fall. Robert plays a charming psychopath named Danny who has murdered a local woman and ends up taking care of a local older woman who trusts him and she has a niece who is curious about him, but also questions him and his motivations.  He was brilliant in that film. Terrifying and charming at the same time, what a combination! This really proved to me how great of an actor he was. It's truly a shame that MGM did not always give him the best roles/films where he could show off all of his talent. The studio would hold him back and I'm happy that he fought MGM to get the role in Night Must Fall (1937). He also after World War II, started directing films. He directed Lady in the Lake (1947) and Ride the Pink Horse (1947), which are both Film Noirs (he directed 2-3 other films as well such as Once More My Darling a 1949 comedy co-starring Ann Blyth). It would have been interesting to see what career he could have had as a director because he had a lot of potential. He also ventured into Television with Robert Montgomery Presents in the 1950's.

I could talk all day about Mr. Montgomery, but I think now is a good time to stop. So, I hope that maybe this has inspired you to watch one of his films or read about him because he was a very interesting man who was involved in a plethora of things in and out of Hollywood. He was charming, handsome, but human like the rest of us. He's dead now, but will always be alive in his films and that is one of the things that make films so great. He acted in a film long ago and people watched him then in lets say 1930 and flash forward to 2016 and I'm watching him in the same film. How amazing is that? I'm a big advocate for preserving and remembering the past and films are a big gateway to the past. Robert Montgomery was just a man who ended up acting in films as his job, but I'm glad he did. I just adore him, I truly do.

If you want a brief biography on Robert Montgomery, here is a link:

He sadly does not have a book written about him, but I hope that will change!

Robert Montgomery photographed by George Hurrell in 1931.
Robert Montgomery photographed in 1929.
Robert Montgomery with Norma Shearer in The Divorcee (1930).
Robert Montgomery and Buster the dog in 1931.
Robert Montgomery photographed in 1931 for Vanity Fair Magazine.
Robert Montgomery in a publicity photo for 1937's Night Must Fall.
Robert Montgomery in a publicity photo for 1945's They Were Expendable.
Robert Montgomery directing Audrey Totter in Lady in the Lake (1947).  

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Happy Birthday Carole Lombard and Janet Gaynor!

Carole Lombard photographed in the 1930's.
Carole Lombard is one of my favorite actresses. A true comedian with beauty and talent. She died so young and so tragically in 1942. Happy Birthday Carole!

Janet Gaynor won the first Best Actress Oscar ever awarded for her incredible performance in Sunrise (1927) and starred in many films made during the 1920's and 1930's. She was a wonderful actress with great screen presence. Happy Birthday Janet!
Janet Gaynor photographed in the 1930's.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Photo of the Day

Madge Evans photographed in the 1930's.
Such a beauty. And we share the same last name! Halloween is just around the corner!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Audrey Totter and her magnificent eyebrows

Audrey Totter: Femme Fatale extraordinaire.
Today,  I watched the Film Noir titled Lady in the Lake, which was released in 1947. This was based on the book by Raymond Chandler with the same title. I mainly watched it for actor (and also director in this case) Robert Montgomery. I adore Robert Montgomery (and I mean ADORE him) and will talk about him in another post, but I'm here to talk about leading lady Audrey Totter. I had never seen a performance by her before this film. She was intriguing, beautiful, and a total Femme Fatale as Adrienne Fromsett. She plays the editor of a publishing company who hires Montgomery's Phillip Marlowe to find the wife of her boss, who is apparently missing. I won't spoil the film, but definitely watch it!

Lets talk about her magnificent eyebrows! She had many priceless facial reactions in the film (which included the raising of her eyebrows). And of course, her perfectly shaped eyebrows.  I should mention that this film was shot from the viewpoint of the main character (which was Marlowe). So, Miss Totter had to look directly at the camera. She was great and I want to watch more films with her in them. 

Cool fact: She was born on December 20th, 1917 in Joliet Illinois, which is not far from were I live! How cool to have an actress such as her from around where I reside! She passed away recently in 2013 and lived to be 95 years old. What an awesome lady!
Audrey Totter and Robert Montgomery in Lady in the Lake (1947).
Look at those eyebrows! Audrey Totter in Lady in the Lake (1947).
Audrey Totter and Robert Montgomery in Lady in the Lake (1947).