March 1954 Article

All I know about this article is the date. The captions are original.

ROBERT TAYLOR is one star who’ll never have an ulcer . . He’s been plagued by a pretty boy tag (which he simply lived down in no uncertain style) Manhandled by mobs of women (who’ve torn his clothes and once gave him a beaut of a shiner) … Attacked by Moscow for his courageous testimony on his role in Song of Russia (which gives this strong anti-Communist great satisfaction.)

Through these, and all other clashes, even-tempered Mr. Taylor is always calm. Like his idol, Clark Gable, he’s very much a man’s man, is more at home in a duck blind than a drawing room . . . Hunting trips are his delight, with fishing ranking a close second . . . And no plushy visits to luxurious resorts are these, but rugged treks into the wilderness Pals on these occasions are sports-loving non-professionals.

Bob loves horses and dogs. Raised prize pointers until too many location trips abroad interfered . . . Flying is almost as important as acting in his life. He thinks nothing of piloting his twin-engine Beechcraft from distant location points to Hollywood for a dinner date, and back again. He’s made the cross-country flight in eleven hours. Flies as time-saver on business trips to New York, sometimes taking his close friend, Ralph Couser, a former Navy buddy, along as copilot.

In the food line, his tastes are strictly man-style, too. Thick, juicy steaks are tops, and you can keep the fancy casseroles. He’s a coffee fiend, always has a pot perking in his dressing
room . , . On location trip to England, he took a portable electric burner for the purpose, blew the fuses of an entire floor of his hotel when he plugged it in! Clothes he’s not fussy about, long as they’re comfortable.

He’s neither terribly impressed, nor indifferent, to his amazingly indestructible position as a top star . . Keenly interested in the technical aspects of his work, as any successful man would be,
he masters each new role with the easy efficiency of long experience. And that’s that.

Those close to him feel there’s a certain emptiness, a lack of zest for living, in Bob since the breakup of his 11-year marriage to Barbara Stanwyck . . . Of many lovelies he’s been linked
with, none has a real hold on Mr. Taylor’s heart . Smitten with Ursula Thiess, he probably recognized the attachment as only the result of mutual loneliness. [wrrong] Dates with Barbara afterward led to speculation that they might remarry, and those who thought his departure for Egypt to make Valley of the Kings finished the renewed flame could be wrong . .. Barbara’s corresponding with Bob.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder … And one of his greatest talents is the ability to write charming, interesting—and persuasive—letters!

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Here’s a very short and odd article–with two very nice photos.


MOVIE LIFE 31 (early Fifties)

“You’ve got any more like Taylor in Hollywood, send them on, we’ll take take them.”

“Mistah Taylor? Yas suh, he’s plenty okay in mah books.

“The way we figure, he’s just another guy.”

There you have a lieutenant, a janitor and a student speaking—and still Bob Taylor’s
scared. Scared that now he’s got his wings it’ll be the same story all over again. The old friends thinking he’s too big shot to stay on the old footing and never believing he’s aching to
stay there. Bob’s always had to be twice as terrific to get away with half the stuff the rest of us pull. Like having to put on the growl act after he’d made a splash in flickers to make the
old college gang understand that Tony’s Joint was still okay for a midnight beer. And displaying a chip big like a boulder out Hollywood way to wipe off the “pretty boy” tag that had the town smirking. And now, practically disowning the bright lights in the hope that the pals he’s made in the service won’t disown him as soon as the “Lieut. j. g.” handle dissolves into plain “actor.” In the beginning he was sore, resented the jabber about strength of his fame, sorer still that no one had troubled to check that he’d enlisted and had been accepted (and minus pre-flight, too) because he was a college grad with enough civilian flying hours. Well, he’s still in there punching for you and me.

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His Brother’s Wife, 1936, Is Playing on TCM on July 16

His Brother’s Wife, 1936, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Friday, July 16 at 7:15 a.m.  Mr. Taylor was actually a fan of roller coasters and often dragged Ms. Stanwyck off to ride them with him.

Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck

Folks, this one is from 1936 so we have to take it for what it is. During the early years of talkies, Hollywood came up with some very interesting tales to tell. His Brother’s Wife is one of them. Robert Taylor plays the younger brother to the brother that Barbara Stanwyck marries in retaliation for Taylor’s going into the depths of the Jungle to find a cure for some god-awful plague. Confusing? It is? Confusing and almost silly. Yet, there is a touch of that old classic film magic that makes it a delight to watch.

There is something about the on-screen chemistry between Taylor and Stanwyck, (most likely springing from their real life romance), that makes you keep watching. The scenes between the two stars make the whole twisted tale worth sitting through.

Now, don’t be fooled, there are many more films that have plots that are more contrived than His Brother’s Wife, but there is something about the jump from New York, to the Jungle, and then back to New York, then to the Jungle again, that makes this film a little more silly than most. But, lets face it, if you choose to watch this film you are doing so all for the man with the perfect profile’s smile (Robert Taylor) and The Ball of Fire’s spunk (Barbara Stanwyck).

All and all this is a fun film to watch. It by no means is predictable–most likely due to the fact that the plot is out of this world.

Enjoy. I did. Review by movieblue from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the imdb.

Lovers on screen and off.

My take: His Brother’s Wife is the first film in which Mr. Taylor and Ms. Stanwyck co-starred.  Their real life relationship was in its early stages and the love scenes are quite convincing.  Although this film can’t decide whether it wants to be a light hearted love story or a serious medical drama, the uncritical viewer can enjoy it a lot.

Jean Hersholt and Robert Taylor
Eager Moviegoers
Signing Autographs at preview
Beefcake by Hurrell

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Small Town Girl, 1936, Is Playing on TCM on July 15 (USA)

Small Town Girl, 1936, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Thursday, July 15 at 3:00 a.m.

Robert Taylor and Janet Gaynor

For most of her career Janet Gaynor did nothing but play small town girls, the best known being Esther Blodgett. But I’ve seen her in films like State Fair and Three Loves Has Nancy and it’s the same part, the girl from the tiny hamlet who conquers the big city and the men in it. With a title like this, there was only one casting possibility.

Janet’s a girl who’s thoroughly stuck in a rut in her New England hamlet and yearns for a little adventure. She finds it in the person of Robert Taylor, a young doctor who comes from a wealthy Boston family. After a night’s carousing Gaynor and Taylor are married, to the chagrin of his fiancée, Binnie Barnes and her boyfriend James Stewart.

Remember this is Boston so Taylor’s father Lewis Stone prevails on Taylor to give the marriage a few months trial. Of course this is where the balance of the story comes in. In many ways this plot seems like a harbinger of The Way We Were.

Taylor’s career was now in full swing as Small Town Girl was the next film after his breakout performance in Magnificent Obsession. Remember in that film he was a playboy who became a doctor. Here’s he’s a doctor who doubles as a playboy. Never mind though, feminine hearts all over the English speaking world were fluttering over MGM’s latest heartthrob. My mother who was a juvenile at this time told me that Taylor’s appeal back in these days was just about the same as Elvis’s.

James Stewart was at the beginning of his career as well as MGM had him in about seven features in 1936, mostly in support. Interesting though with worse career management, he could have gone on playing hick roles like Elmer the boyfriend. But it was also obvious there was a spark of stardom with him as well.

Gaynor would leave the screen a few years later, Taylor was at the beginning of his career. He’d have better acting roles in his future, but for now Small Town Girl is a great example of the screen heartthrob he was at the beginning of his stardom. Fans of both stars will like what they see in Small Town Girl. Review by bkoganbing from Buffalo, NewYork

Taylor has Gaynor upside-down.

Some behind-the-scenes photos:

Singer Frances Langford, Robert Taylor, Janet Gaynor
Robert Taylor and Janet Gaynor
Robert Taylor and Janet Gaynor
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The Bribe, 1949, Is Playing on TCM on July 11 (USA)

The Bribe, 1949, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Sunday, July 11 at 10 a.m.  The Bribe has a minimal story but great actors including Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, Charles Laughton and Vincent Price.  The chemistry between Mr. Taylor and Ms. Gardner  is sizzling.  They became lovers during the production and had to go to his mother’s house to make love because they would have been recognized anywhere else.


“The Bribe” is one of the forties film noir entries, and I love it! Top stars of the era include Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, Charles Laughton, and Vincent Price. It is a story of an honest cop, Rigby, played with remarkable insight, by Robert Taylor, who falls in love with a suspect (Ava Gardner), and can’t make up his mind on if she is guilty or innocent. John Hodiak is the husband, who is a former fly boy turned crook. Charles Laughton is at his sinister best as the “pie shaped man” who is hired by Vincent Price to pay off Rigby. Laughton dogs Rigby, knowing that he is in love with Gardner, till he caves in and decides to take a bribe to save his love. As in many film noir, only Taylor’s last name is used, we never know Rigby’s first name, interesting. Taylor is very convincing as a man torn between love and honor. He is so conflicted, that you feel sorry for him, wishing that Ava would just run away with him before he turns crook himself. She drugs him and makes sure he can’t stop the crooks, but he recovers, and confronts her, not realizing the trouble she is in herself. In the end, love and honor conquer all. There is a spectacular fireworks ending, that is reminiscent of “Ride the Pink Horse.” All in all the love scenes are sincere, probably because Taylor and Gardner were having an affair at the time of filming, despite the fact that Taylor was very married to Barbara Stanwyck. Quintessential film noir. Review by mamalv for IMDB.

Some behind the scenes photos:

Getting ready for a beach scene.
Charles Laughton and Robert Taylor
1949. A little chat. Robert Taylor & Vincent Price chat together during a rest between scenes in MGM’s “The Bribe.” The dramatic story of tropical adventure stars Taylor & Ava Gardner and was directed by RZ Leonard and produced by PS Berman.
Between takes…Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner snapped in an informal offstage moment between the scenes in MGM’s “The Bribe,” in which they are co-starred. The gripping romance of tropical adventure is directed by RZ Leonard & produced by PS Berman.
Getting warm after the beach scene.
Ava Gardner, Robert Taylor
Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner
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