The fabulous Dolores Delargo Towers recently celebrated the birthday of the waspishly suave Robert Montgomery, an actor we've never been able to warm up to, although he was a perfectly serviceable foil for nearly every major female star on the Metro lot: Garbo, Shearer, Crawford, Loy, et al. We always suspected that, for a long while, MGM considered Montgomery interchangable with two other contract players, Robert Young and Franchot Tone: leading men who could be depended upon to not let the spotlight stray too far from their top-billed leading ladies.
|Robert Young and Joan Crawford in The Shining Hour (MGM, 1938)|
|Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell in Live, Love and Learn (MGM, 1937)|
|Franchot Tone and Jean Harlow in Suzy (MGM, 1936)|
Rule #1 at Metro: Keep your face in profile and/or shadow when posing with one of the MGM goddesses!
Tone is the most fascinating to us, and although not conventionally handsome, he has a magnetic, charismatic pull -- certainly, it was catnip to Miss Crawford, who made him Mr. Crawford in short order. And, because this is a high class blog, we share this, our favorite anecdote about the elegant, cultured Franchot Tone: "He jerked off the consonants," one Hollywood wag quipped of Tone's rich, mellifluous voice, "and sucked off the vowels."
Joan certainly seemed to be in a swoon.