Valley of the Kings, 1954, Is Playing on TCM on September 27 (USA)

Valley of the Kings, 1954, is playing on Turner Classic Movies on Friday, September 27 at 8 a.m. Not closed captioned.  This is another of my favorite Taylor pictures–he never looked sexier than he does here.  Mark Brandon, the ruggedly handsome archaeologist played by Robert Taylor is thought to be the inspiration for Indiana Jones.

RT5571This is one of my favorite Robert Taylor pictures. Eleanor Parker and he had wonderful chemistry and both of them looked their best in this exotic action-adventure film.  The following is my review for the IMDb.

This isn’t a serious or “meaningful” film. It is pure entertainment, beautifully photographed on location in Egypt. The stars, Robert Taylor and Eleanor Parker, had great chemistry both off-screen and on. Taylor manages to be glamorous even when trapped in a sandstorm. The plot is relatively thin with Parker seeking to validate part of the Old Testament by finding the tomb of the Pharaoh who reigned in the time of the Biblical Joseph. She bats her eyelashes at Taylor who comes along happily. Then she introduces her husband, Carlos Thompson. There are horse and carriage chases, murders, the aforementioned sandstorm, a spectacular fight at Abu Simbel, a scorpion attack–all in ninety minutes. Given the slower pace of movies in the 1950s, there is also time for Taylor and Parker to discover each other more thoroughly (over some fermented goat). Egyptian belly dancer Samia Gamal shakes her stuff at the demure Parker. Highly enjoyable.

RT2304One of the best screen kisses–ever!

Some behind the scenes photos:

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From left: Robert Taylor horsing around with a donkey; looking insecure on a camel.

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From left: Robert Taylor with belly dancer Samia Gamal; with Kurt Kazsnar and Carlos Thompson; at the sphinx.

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From left: Robert Taylor and Eleanor Parker at the Mena House Hotel; touring by carriage.

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From left: Mr. Taylor and Ms. Parker in Egypt.

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From left: Mr. Taylor and Ms. Parker, taking pictures; with director Robert Pirosh; saying hello to a camel.

Actress Eleanor Parker, on her kneels, helps Robert Taylor, dressed up as an archaeologist, to lace up a boot on the set of the movie 'Valley of the Kings'. Egypt, 1954. (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Actress Eleanor Parker, on her knees, helps Robert Taylor, dressed up as an archaeologist, to lace up a boot on the set of the movie ‘Valley of the Kings’. Egypt, 1954. (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Mr. Taylor injured his knee jumping off a camel and may have had difficulty lacing his boots.  They both look happy about it.

 

 

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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41 Responses to Valley of the Kings, 1954, Is Playing on TCM on September 27 (USA)

  1. Andrew Dock says:

    It’s amazing how the films of the 50d grew more opulent in their lush photography and exotic locations but still found it hard to compete with television. it’s hard to understand when films were at that time of much higher quality people overlooked them choosing TV Instead. Robert Taylor was always under appreciated by critics as a action hero as for Eleanor Parker what a beauty she certainly could hold her own in these types of films.

    Like

  2. June Alexander says:

    Ah Judith, it’s not as if I haven’t watched this film countless times, but every time you post a blog about it, I have to watch it again. Have just finished ( watching it) again with much enjoyment. I agree so much with all your comments, love your dedication to our favourite actor.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Andrew Dock says:

    Hollywood is a pale shadow of the film capital that it once was lasting from the 1920s to the 1950s.
    I think only Alfred Hitchcock survived in the post Studio world making his own films like The Birds in the 60s.
    The next lot of filmmakers were altogether different and had no lnterest in the films that went before them as we can see today.
    I will chase up Quo Vadis can you do a behind the scenes article on Party Girl l know that MGM was in chaos at the time and something happened to the studio orchestra so Cyd had to perform with a guy on tropical drums ; how that films turned out to be so good with studio chaos around them l cant lmagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. giraffe44 says:

    I’ll see what I can find on Party Girl, Andrew. I remember reading somethifng about the orchestra problem. Thanks for your comments.. You make a number of valid points. Judith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Andrew Dock says:

      Thank you yes that would be nice.

      Like

      • Andrew Dock says:

        One of the things l find lnteresting is that today we live in a world where everything celebrated in those films would now be denounced by the Snowflake generation on college campuses!?
        Horrible and sad are they that think that way no wonder the past seems like are only future.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. giraffe44 says:

    Hi, Andrew, I agree, It is very disheartening. Judith

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Judith: I really enjoyed Robert Taylor in Valley of the Kings. I will never forget that kiss he gave Eleanor, Parker, one of the greatest kissing scenes in movie history! I think the story could have been stronger but his acting was perfect and he was looking very handsome and fit. I believe it was while he was making this movie that he wrote to his friend and assistant Ivy Mooring that he wanted to marry Ursula Thiess. He confided a great deal to Ivy and she told him, “If you don’t marry her someone else will.” I think the reason why he looked so good in this movie besides having a tan, was he had made peace with his decision to ask Ursula to marry him. When he came back from Egypt he presented her with a diamond ring and popped the question. Regards, Linda Doty

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    • giraffe44 says:

      Right, Linda. It must have been a bit awkward, though since he and Eleanor Parker were lovers. Have you seen the pictures of her and two other women in belly dancing costumes surrounding Mr. Taylor in bed? He seems to be enjoying it. I’m pretty sure it’s on the blog somewhere. But Ursula was definitely the right choice. Ms.Parker was like Ms. Stanwyck in her devotion to her career.

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      • So true Judith, I did see that picture of them surrounding him in bed. I think Eleanor Parker loved him very much. I have enjoyed looking at all the photos you have posted. This is some fantastic blog! I have spent much time reading all you have written about him. I think you should get an award! He is no doubt my most favorite actor of all time. Regards, Linda Doty

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  7. giraffe44 says:

    Thanks so much, Linda. It’s a labor of love. I’ve also met people from all different parts of the world including one man who worked for the Taylors. Judith

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    • Yes, Judith- the man that worked for Robert Taylor on his ranch. He had some very interesting stories. One thing that he wrote I always wonder about was after Robert Taylor died and he was helping Ursula at the ranch. He wrote there was a paper bag in the garage filled with photos that Robert Taylor had taken over the years. She told this man I forget his name, that he could have the photos. I know Robert Taylor always took his camera on location and loved taking photos. I was surprised that she didn’t want to keep the photos and put them in an album. I remember this gentleman said he gave the photos to Robert Taylor’s daughter. How I wish his daughter would write a book and share those photos with all his fans, or just share some of them with your blog. I would love to see his photography. Regards, Linda Doty

      Liked by 1 person

  8. giraffe44 says:

    I’ve often thought, Linda, what a great book his photos on the set and quotes from his voluminous letters about the films would be. It’s such a darn shame he never did an autobiography but he was such a private man that he probably never would have, even if he had lived longer. Judith

    Liked by 1 person

  9. giraffe44 says:

    Andrew, I think his daughter, Tessa, has most of them. Judith.

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  10. giraffe44 says:

    Sad, Andrew, but at least there are film preservation groups working to save what they can. I do think Robert Taylor’s photographs should be preserved where people can see them, but that is up to Tessa. Thanks again for writing. Judith

    Like

  11. giraffe44 says:

    Andrew, I visited your site and it looks very promising. Have you read “When Hollywood Was Right” by Donald T. Critchlow. It’s a good overview of Hollywood before the liberal shift in the 60s and 70s. I had difficulty leaving the site–maybe something you could look into. Congratulations on what I know has been a lot of work. (But I’m not interested in porn.)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. giraffe44 says:

    Right, Andrew. It’s all part of the juvenile culture we live in. Judith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andrew Dock says:

      Yes the trouble with the Pornification of actors it is so obviously not true the moral clauses in their contract would have caused them to be sacked and public hostility would have destroyed them.
      The Darwin Porters of this world and his self published books never take into account how many were conservative actors how many were religious and how many who were obsessed with status Norma Shearer for example. It’s highly unlikely and so gross ; its good that traditional respectful biographers are writing film books once more.

      Like

      • Andrew Dock says:

        Kendra Bean in Vivien Leigh and Ava Gardner a friend is writing one on Gene Tierney who has the Gene Tierney online Facebook site.
        I noticed several have been written about rarely know today’s actors like Helen twelvetress (30s) and Barbara Lamarr the silent actress not Hedy who was named after her and so on good news in correcting the lies.

        Liked by 2 people

      • giraffe44 says:

        There are a couple of good Robert Taylor bios out there, Andrew. My favorite is Linda Alexander’s “Reluctant Witness,” which emphasizes the 1947 HUAC hearings. Charles Tranberg wrote one called “Robert Taylor: a Biography,” which is also worth reading. I’ve never heard of Darwin Porter. Judith

        Liked by 1 person

      • Andrew Dock says:

        Darwin Porter is gross sex mad every actor is or was a homosexual.
        See his trashy books on amazon best avoided like the plague.

        Like

      • Andrew Dock says:

        Will check the books out thank you

        Like

  13. giraffe44 says:

    Andrew, Porter sounds like someone I will definitely avoid. Judith

    Liked by 1 person

  14. giraffe44 says:

    Good idea. Judith

    Liked by 1 person

  15. giraffe44 says:

    No, Andrew, the Film Facebook site isn’t mine. Judith

    Liked by 1 person

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