Robert Montgomery

May 06, 2009

1. Ronald Colman
2. Charles Boyer
3. Robert Montgomery

These three are my top three favorite actors -- after them it just skips to #4... no #2, no #3. Just three people tied for #1. In fact, they aren't even in the order I just listed above. If there was a javascript tool for me to have them automatically shuffled every five minutes on this blog, I'd use it, because it is seriously a three way tie.

You might be thinking that these men are incredibly different -- a Frenchman, a Brit and a New Yorker. But they all have a very suave debonair quality, matched with a truckload of talent that makes them top all others, in my book at least.

My favorite Robert Montgomery films are from his early days at MGM in the 1930's, when he was often teamed with Norma Shearer (LOVE Private Lives!) Joan Crawford or Madge Evans. (Although my two favorite of his films are actually from 1936 and 1941)

You're going to kill me, but my favorite Robert Montgomery film that I'm about to gush about is NOT on DVD, and it is NOT coming up on TCM in the next few months! Ah! Why would I do such a thing? Well, I'm sorry, but I love the film so darn much that I just can't help it! Just keep your eyes peeled for it coming out on DVD or playing on TCM because you do not want to miss it!

Piccadilly Jim is a fantastic comedy about a cartoonist who becomes famous by mocking his father's potential in-laws, American hillbillies who made it rich selling rags. The film stars Montgomery, Madge Evans (highly underrated actress, and one of Montgomery's best co-stars, by the way) Frank Morgan, Grant Mitchell, and the oh-so-wonderful Eric Blore. Blore utters one of my all time favorite lines in any movie EVER in this film...

"That leaves me in a state of indifference bordering on the supernatural"

Isn't that stupendous?! Gosh, I love this movie. It has the perfect combination of verbal and slapstick humor, and an impeccable cast that knows how to deliver a zinger or partake in a pratfall like they were born to do it. And hey, it's about an artist! That's always a plus :)

Just so I don't leave you hanging with an insatiable appetite for a Montgomery comedy, my other favorite is Here Comes Mr. Jordan, a hilarious fantasy/comedy from 1941. It IS available on DVD, and has one of my other favorite lines, but this one, alas, is only funny in the context of the film. If you watch it, pay special attention for the line "stay out of my bathroom" and you will know why I find it so funny! This film also has a spectacular cast -- Evelyn Keyes, Claude Rains, Edward Everett Horton, Halliwell Hobbes, John Emery & Rita Johnson, all favorites of mine, each one of them.

If you have TCM, do yourself a favor and record every single Robert Montgomery movie that comes on, whether you want to see it or not. Just record it and save it for later if you have to... they don't show his films very often (except for "They Were Expendable", which they seem to show almost every day) and not many are on DVD. Trust me, it will come in handy if ever a very nice blogger kindly suggests you watch a fantastic Montgomery movie that isn't on DVD or scheduled to be on TCM... I'm just saying...

To keep up to date on Robert Montgomery tv listings, and find out much more about the man than I could ever tell you, please visit Classic Montgomery, one of my favorite blogs. It is devoted entirely to the Earl of Hollywood himself, Robert Montgomery.

One more thing... I love the way he dances, with one arm kind of bent in mid-air. You have to see this...

The YouTube video was created by Jonas at


DKoren said...

Do you know, I'm not sure I've seen anything staring any of them? (how's that for a stupendously brilliantly constructed sentence? LOL! Long day at work...) You could also put 10 pictures up there, and I'm not sure I could even pick the three out correctly.

Such rampant delinquency!!!

Lost Horizon has been languishing in my netflix queue for ages. My dad loves that movie, and I really need to bump it up the list.

Anonymous said...

rampant delinquency indeed!!
Though I don't really blame YOU I blame the powers-that-be in DVD world for not making these three actors have more available films.. but come on, Deb-- no Lost Horizon yet? Move it to the top of your queue PRONTO! :)

Raquel Stecher said...

You do know that you posted a clip that Jonas' created and put up on his YouTube account? Jonas of All Talking! All Singing! All Dancing fame... :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh, no I had no idea! I actually don't use youtube very often, I only search on there when I'm looking for a specific clip.. I'll go credit him now, though.

Laura said...

I enjoyed your post! I haven't seen PICCADILLY JIM but I sure want to now. :) It sounds delightful.

It's hard to choose but I think my favorite Montgomery film is HIDE-OUT with Maureen O'Sullivan. It's an absolutely wonderful performance, especially his last 2 or 3 scenes with O'Sullivan.

Best wishes,

Raquel Stecher said...

Thanks Kate! You should join his YouTube channel as a subscriber, he's got some great clips on there!

Terence Towles Canote said...

I always liked Robert Montgomery, although I think my favourite film of his would be "Here Comes Mr. Jordan." He was brilliant at comedy. It's easy to see where Elizabeth got her talent.

Mr Pendlebury said...

I know it's not typical of his work but I love Night Must Fall.

The Cocoanut Grove said...

Gosh, I love Robert Montgomery. He and Norma were so sexy together. "Private Lives" is fantastic.

Also love seeing his slightly less debonair side in "They Were Expendable".