Quentin Durward, 1955, Is Playing on TCM on February 28 (USA)

Quentin Durward, 1955, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Sunday, February 28 at 4:15 a.m.  This film is visually beautiful and also a lot of fun.  Highly recommended.

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Director: 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:

Taylor’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.
With Stewart Granger.
With a happy fan.
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Camille, 1936, Is Playing on TCM on February 26 (USA)

Camille, 1936, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Friday, February 26 at 4:30 a.m. This is the love story of all love stories and shouldn’t be missed.

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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 photos from Camille.

On the set.

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Water break.
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Mr. Taylor loved dogs.

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Looking in the mirror.

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Closer.
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With a friend.

He also plays baseball-in costume on the set.
19th century baseball player.
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Checking out the camera.

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Hanging around.

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Director George Cukor.
11936 taking pills (Vitamin?)
Coffee break.
Camille-behind-the-scenes
With Garbo.

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Rehearsing.

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With Garbo and Cukor.
1936; original caption--time out for movie idols
With Gabo and Cukor.
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Carrying Garbo.
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Chatting.
Greta Garbo Pointing at George Cukor
Balcony.

Making Marguerite’s Dresses:

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936: 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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Knights of the Round Table, 1953, Is Playing on TCM on February 26

Knights of the Round Table, 1953, is playing on Friday February 26 at 2:15 a.m..

The film was highly successful costing $2,616,000.00 and making a profit of $1,641,000.00 or $14,536,985.95 in today’s money.

1953 — American actors Ava Gardner and Robert Taylor on the set of Knights of the Round Table, directed by Richard Thorpe. — Image by © Kobal/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis

This is a fine example of ’50’s style epics. Big name cast, colorful costumes,flashy swordplay, beautiful damsels and wild inaccuracies. The great Robert Taylor, who starred in several historical movies, is the honorable Sir Lancelot, a far more noble and pure portrayal than was recorded in all the legends, Ava Gardner is the stunningly beautiful Queen Guinevere, the ever dependable Felix Aylmer is the mysterious Merlin, Mel Ferer is a somewhat subdued and less than charismatic King Arthur. See it for the spectacle, costumes, word-play filled dialog and over the top Stanley Baker as Sir Mordred. Lancelot’s joust with Niall Mac Ginnis is very well done. 8 stars for pure eye filling entertainment value. Review by Wayner50 (United States) for the IMDB.

Some behind-the-scenes photos:

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Coffee with Ava Gardner
Phoning.
Big Horse
Robert Taylor hated armor.
Waiting
Mel Ferrer
And Waiting.
And Waiting.
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Her Cardboard Lover, 1942, Is Playing on TCM on February 15 (USA)

Her Cardboard Lover, 1942, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Monday, February 15 at 6:15 a.m. est. 

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Robert Taylor and Norma Shearer in “Her Cardboard Lover,” 1942

What a delight! Robert Taylor is hired by Norma Shearer to be her Cardboard Lover to make her real love, George Sanders jealous. Taylor has been in love with Shearer but has never even spoken to her, too afraid to be rejected. When he finally speaks, he says “I love you” which makes Shearer think he is crazy. Later in the casino he loses $3000 dollars of which he has none, and he is employed by her to work off the debt. George Sanders is a cad but she is in love, and tells Taylor he is never to leave her alone, so that she can rid her mind of Sanders. Every time she tries to get to Sanders, he is there, in the hall, in the bedroom, on the balcony, eating a banana outside the door, totally insane. In one scene when Sanders comes to her bedroom to tell her they can be together if she accepts him as is, Taylor comes out of the bathroom in her pajamas with fluffy slippers and all, and hops into her bed, sending Sanders into a rage. Very, very funny indeed. They argue, he has a fist fight with Sanders, they wind up in jail, but in the end she realizes that it was Taylor all along that she loves, and all ends well. This film comes on the heels of “Johnny Eager” in which Taylor had the best of all roles as the sociopath gangster. Talk about versatility, they should never have sold this great actor short. He could play comedy or drama just as well. The teaming of Shearer and Taylor was their second, coming after “Escape” a pre-war drama about Nazi Germany. They are great together, and it is a shame that this film was Shearers last film. Review by mamalv for the IMDb.

Behind the scenes photos:

1942 Mr. Taylor and Ms. Shesrer
Director George Cukor and Mr. Taylor
1942 Chill Wills, Mr. Taylor, Ms.Shearer
1942 Mr. Cukor and Mr. Taylor
Mr. Taylor and Ms. Shearer


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A Chronology of the Taylor-Stanwyck Marriage

This is a single page article from a movie magazine, ca. 1950-51.

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