Hollywood has always exploited beauty, be it feminine or masculine. The really good looking performer had a hard time being taken seriously. He or she couldn’t possibly be both beautiful and bright. Robert Taylor was no exception. It’s a shame that his extraordinary good looks hurt him in the esteem of studio executives and critics, but the public never had a problem. They could appreciate top-notch performances in such films as Johnny Eager, Waterloo Bridge, Bataan, High Wall, The Last Hunt and many, many more. At the same time moviegoers could enjoy the aesthetics and were encouraged to so.
The theme “man in bed” was used frequently in Robert Taylor movies, letting the individual fan indulge her fantasies.
Sometimes it’s just for sleep:
Left to right: The very first look we get at Captain Matt Holbrook in The Detectives, 1959; a less than restful night in Personal Property, 1937; sleeping it off in Lucky Night, 1939
Left to right: an early sequence in Tip on a Dead Jockey, 1957; Joyce Jameson isn’t sure how she ended up where she is.
Left to right: Johnny Eager doesn’t bother to get up for his guest, 1941; Veteran Steve Kenet has been committed to the county asylum, in High Wall, 1947.
Sometimes it’s for medical purposes:
Left to right: Bobby Merrick nearly drowns in Magnificent Obsession, 1935; Captain Brad Parker was wounded on D-Day in D-Day the Sixth of June, 1956.
Or medical purposes with a little romance thrown in:
Left to right: Marcus Vinicius was knocked unconscious. Here he recovers at Lygia’s home. The second photo is a behind the scenes look at preparing for the first one; Marcus sleeps in Quo Vadis, 1951.
Ivanhoe comes out second best in a tournament, but he is cared for and comforted by Elizabeth Taylor and Joan Fontaine in Ivanhoe, 1952.
Left to right: Kay Kendall tends Quentin Durward, after he is shot, 1955.
Left to right: Dr. Bob Dakin’s cold requires Janet Gaynor’s nursing and Willie Fung’s ministrations in Small Town Girl, 1936.
Or just plain Romance.
Left to right: It’s OK, they’re married. Robert Taylor and Eleanor Parker in Above and Beyond, 1952.
Left to right: Geraldine Brooks tries to thaw out teacher George Dean in Johnny Tiger, 1966. Anita Ekberg doesn’t seem to be doing much for archaeologist Robert Taylor in The Glass Sphinx, 1967.
And other things:
Left to right: Archaeologist Mark Brandon lies awake pining for Eleanor Parker’s Ann Mercedes in Valley of the Kings, 1954; Tina Louse is attached to Robert Taylor, literally in The Hangman, 1959; an Indian woman receives unwanted attention from crazed hunter Charlie Gilson in The Last Hunt, 1956.
Thank you very much for the great work. It does help those who don’t have access to a golden era of such talents as Mr. Taylor. I really admire him to the very depth of my heart. How can I get his movies? I mean those of HD quality. Thank you in advance.
Many of them are available from the Warner Archive but most are not in HD. I do wish it were better.
Loved this. I mean, it has gotten to the point where I adore every thing you post here, but I very much admired the way you put forth “in Praise of a Handsome Man” Parts 1 & 2. To quote:
“The theme “man in bed” was used frequently in Robert Taylor movies, letting the individual fan indulge her fantasies.” Man it’s SO TRUE. And frankly, I find it quite dangerous to watch many of Taylor’s films, because he may be in bed in a scene, or have a nude bathing scene, and I have a really hard time trying to control myself. Haha Gotta love that man, and appreciate his good looks.
I have to admit that my first reaction to Robert Taylor was lust. I have come to appreciate his skill as an actor since but,let’s face it –he was awfully good looking. Thanks for writing.
Oh, that is good to hear; haha:) I am glad I am not the only affected by his extreme sex appeal. But yes, I also think him to be a fine thespian.