In Praise of a Handsome Man, Part 2

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:

RT7230RT6323 (2)Lucky Night
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

RT4937Tip on a Dead Jockey, 1957Tip on a Dead Jockey, 1957RT4141
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.

Johnny Eager, 1941High Wall 1947High Wall, 1947
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:

Magnificent Obsession, 1935Magnificent Obsession, 1935RT6324
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:

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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.

Small Town GirlRT4456
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.




About giraffe44

I became a Robert Taylor fan at the age of 15 when his TV show, "The Detectives" premiered. My mother wanted to watch it because she remembered Mr. Taylor from the thirties. I took one look and that was it. I spent the rest of my high school career watching Robert Taylor movies on late night TV, buying photos of him, making scrapbooks and being a typical teenager. College, marriage and career intervened. I remember being sad when Mr. Taylor died. I mailed two huge scrapbooks to Ursula Thiess. I hope she got them. Time passed, retirement, moving to Florida. Then in 2012 my husband Fred pointed that there were two Robert Taylor movies that evening on Turner Classic Movies--"Ivanhoe" and "Quentin Durward." I watched both and it happened all over again. I started this blog both for fans and for people who didn't know about Robert Taylor. As the blog passes 200,000 views I'm delighted that so many people have come by and hope it will help preserve the legacy of this fine actor and equally good man.
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5 Responses to In Praise of a Handsome Man, Part 2

  1. Ngoc Lan says:

    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.


  2. 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.


    • giraffe44 says:

      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.


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