Thursday, May 23, 2013

High Tone

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 Toneleading 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.


  1. Jon certainly is in a swoon... Jx

    1. Sadly, he aged pretty badly - I suppose marriage to Joan Crawford is a fairly maturing experience! And then there was that awful Barbara Payton scandal...

  2. Always thought he was the sexiest of Joan's men. Love that they remained good friends to the end.

    1. I agree, Bill. Franchot was sexy without being sexy, if that makes any sense.