Robert Montgomery


Actor
Robert Montgomery

About

Also Known As
Henry Montgomery Jr., Comdr. Robert Montgomery U.S.N.R.
Birth Place
Fishkill Landing, New York, USA
Born
May 21, 1904
Died
September 27, 1981
Cause of Death
Cancer

Biography

Dapper, talented MGM contract lead from 1929, primarily cast as amusing, boyish, upper-crust playboys opposite stars such as Greta Garbo ("Inspiration," 1931) and Joan Crawford ("The Last of Mrs. Cheyney," 1937). Besides Crawford, he was most often paired with glamorous Norma Shearer, opposite whom he co-starred in five films between 1929 and 1934; their best teamings were "The Divorcee"...

Photos & Videos

They Were Expendable - Behind-the-Scenes Photos - John Ford
Here Comes Mr. Jordan - Movie Poster
Forsaking All Others - Movie Poster

Family & Companions

Elizabeth Bryan Montgomery
Wife
Actor. Married in 1928; divorced from Montgomery in 1950.
Elizabeth Harness
Wife
Married c. 1950.

Bibliography

"An Open Letter From a Television Viewer"
Robert Montgomery (1968)

Biography

Dapper, talented MGM contract lead from 1929, primarily cast as amusing, boyish, upper-crust playboys opposite stars such as Greta Garbo ("Inspiration," 1931) and Joan Crawford ("The Last of Mrs. Cheyney," 1937). Besides Crawford, he was most often paired with glamorous Norma Shearer, opposite whom he co-starred in five films between 1929 and 1934; their best teamings were "The Divorcee" (1930) and the uproarious adaptation of Noel Coward's "Private Lives" (1931). As the decade wore on Montgomery fought for a wider range of roles, and achieved notable success as the deranged killer in "Night Must Fall" (1937). Another change-of-pace role came in an even more acclaimed and popular film, the comic fantasy, "Here Comes Mr. Jordan" (1941), with Montgomery as a pug who is "removed" to heaven by an angel before his appointed time and is allowed to continue his life on earth in another body.

Montgomery's image toughened even more after WWII, during which he had distinguished himself in naval action in Europe. Montgomery made his directorial debut when an ailing John Ford was unable to complete "They Were Expendable" (1945), and he attracted considerable attention with his screen adaptation of Raymond Chandler's "Lady in the Lake" (1946). The film was related entirely from a "subjective" camera perspective, and is considered one of the more interesting failed experiments in cinematic narrative. Montgomery kept making films until the early 1950s, and while never entirely eschewing the light entertainments with which he was long associated (e.g., "June Bride," 1948, opposite Bette Davis), he did make the occasional worthy offbeat item (e.g., the noir "Ride the Pink Horse," 1947, which he also directed).

Montgomery subsequently trained his sights on TV, hosting the well-received "Robert Montgomery Presents" anthology series for eight years. He also ventured onto the stage, winning a Tony for directing "The Desperate Hours" in 1955. At times Montgomery also became active in politics: he was, unfortunately, a friendly witness at the infamous HUAC hearings which led to the Hollywood blacklist; later, Montgomery served as a communications consultant to President Eisenhower following the 1952 campaign.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

The Gallant Hours (1960)
Director
Eye Witness (1950)
Director
Once More, My Darling (1949)
Director
Lady in the Lake (1947)
Director
Ride the Pink Horse (1947)
Director
They Were Expendable (1945)
Fill-In Director

Cast (Feature Film)

The Gallant Hours (1960)
Narrator
Eye Witness (1950)
Once More, My Darling (1949)
Collier Laing
The Saxon Charm (1948)
Matt Saxon
June Bride (1948)
Carey Jackson
The Secret Land (1948)
Narration
Ride the Pink Horse (1947)
Lucky Gagin
Lady in the Lake (1947)
Philip Marlowe
They Were Expendable (1945)
Lt. John Brickley
Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)
Joe Pendleton [Bruce Farnsworth/K.O. Murdock]
Rage in Heaven (1941)
Philip Monrell
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)
David [Smith]
Unfinished Business (1941)
Tommy Duncan
Haunted Honeymoon (1940)
Lord Peter Wimsey
The Earl of Chicago (1940)
[Robert] "Silky" Kilmount
Fast and Loose (1939)
Joel Sloane
The First Hundred Years (1938)
David Conway
Yellow Jack (1938)
[Sgt.] John O'Hara
Three Loves Has Nancy (1938)
Malcolm Niles
Live, Love and Learn (1937)
Bob Graham
Ever Since Eve (1937)
Freddy Matthews
Night Must Fall (1937)
Danny
The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937)
Arthur [Lord Dilling]
Petticoat Fever (1936)
Dascom Dinsmore
Piccadilly Jim (1936)
Jim Crocker [also known as Jim Bayliss]
Trouble for Two (1936)
Florizel [also known as Mr. Theopholus Godall]
Biography of a Bachelor Girl (1935)
[Richard] Kurt
No More Ladies (1935)
Sherry [Warren]
Vanessa: Her Love Story (1935)
Benjie [Benjamin Herries]
The Mystery of Mr. X (1934)
[Nick] Revel
Forsaking All Others (1934)
Dillon Todd
Fugitive Lovers (1934)
[Paul] Porter, [also known as Stephen Blaine]
Hide-Out (1934)
Lucky Wilson
Riptide (1934)
Tommie [Trent]
Another Language (1933)
Victor ["Vicky" Hallam]
When Ladies Meet (1933)
Jimmy [Lee]
Night Flight (1933)
Auguste Pellerin
Going Hollywood (1933)
Himself
Hell Below (1933)
Lieut. Thomas Knowlton, U.S.N.
Made on Broadway (1933)
Jeff [Bidwell]
But the Flesh Is Weak (1932)
Max [Clement]
Lovers Courageous (1932)
Willie [Smith]
Letty Lynton (1932)
Jerry Darrow
Faithless (1932)
Bill Wade
Blondie of the Follies (1932)
Larry [Belmont]
Shipmates (1931)
Jonesy [John Paul Jones]
The Man in Possession (1931)
Raymond Dabney
Private Lives (1931)
Elyot [Chase]
Strangers May Kiss (1931)
Steve
Inspiration (1931)
André [Montell]
The Easiest Way (1931)
Jack Madison
Love in the Rough (1930)
Kelly
Sins of the Children (1930)
Nick Higginson
War Nurse (1930)
Wally O'Brien
Our Blushing Brides (1930)
Tony
The Divorcee (1930)
Don
Free and Easy (1930)
Larry
The Big House (1930)
Kent [Marlowe]
Untamed (1929)
Andy
So This Is College (1929)
Biff
Three Live Ghosts (1929)
William Foster
Their Own Desire (1929)
Jack

Cinematography (Feature Film)

Batman Returns (1992)
Camera
Alien 3 (1992)
Camera
Double Impact (1991)
Camera

Producer (Feature Film)

GRATEFUL DEAD - A Photofilm (1996)
Producer
The Gallant Hours (1960)
Producer

Visual Effects (Feature Film)

Evolver (1996)
Visual Effects

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Other
Dudes (1987)
Other

Cast (Special)

Palm Beach: Money, Power and Privilege (2000)
Interviewee
You're the Top: The Cole Porter Story (1990)

Cast (Short)

Hollywood Handicap (1938)
Himself
Hollywood Goes to Town (1938)
Himself
Starlit Days at the Lido (1935)
Himself

Life Events

1929

Film debut, "So This Is College"

1929

Made first of five films opposite Norma Shearer, "Their Own Desire" and the first of six opposite Joan Crawford, "Untamed"

1937

Worked to escape from his playboy star persona by lobbying to be cast as the murderer protagonist of "Night Must Fall"

1941

Last film for four years, "Unfinished Business"

1945

Directed some scenes of "They Were Expendable" when John Ford fell ill; uncredited

1946

Directed first film, "The Lady in the Lake", in which he also starred

1950

Last film (as actor), "Your Witness"

1950

Hosted, produced, and occasionally acted in the TV anthology series, "Robert Montgomery Presents Your Lucky Strike Theater"

1960

One-shot return to feature film directing (after 11 years), "The Gallant Hours"

Photo Collections

They Were Expendable - Behind-the-Scenes Photos - John Ford
Here are several behind-the-scenes photos of John Ford directing the wartime drama They Were Expendable (1945), starring John Wayne, Robert Montgomery, and Donna Reed.
Here Comes Mr. Jordan - Movie Poster
Here is an original release movie poster from Columbia Pictures' Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), starring Robert Montgomery. This is an Insert poster, measuring 14 x 36 inches.
Forsaking All Others - Movie Poster
Forsaking All Others - Movie Poster
Hide-Out - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Hide-Out (1934), starring Robert Montgomery and Maureen O'Sullivan. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Night Must Fall - Lobby Card
Here is a lobby card from Night Must Fall (1937), starring Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Blondie of the Follies - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for MGM's Blondie of the Follies (1932), starring Marion Davies and Robert Montgomery. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Live, Love and Learn - Publicity Still
Here is a publicity still from MGM's Live, Love and Learn (1937), starring Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Fast and Loose - Movie Poster
Here is a window card movie poster from MGM's Fast and Loose (1939), starring Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell. Window Cards were mini posters designed to be placed in store windows around town during a film's engagement. A blank space at the top of the poster featured theater and playdate infromation.
Private Lives - Scene Stills
Here are a few scene stills from MGM's Private Lives (1931), starring Norma Shearer and Robert Montgomery.
This is a small British trading card for actor Robert Montgomery. These cards were included in Mars candy bars in the 30's and and were collectible items. Customers could even purchase books to organize and collect these cards. Mars Confections in England created a wide range of cards featuring famous people of which film stars were an often popular draw.

Videos

Movie Clip

When Ladies Meet (1933) - One Of My Horses First scene, golfing, for Ann Harding (as "Claire"), being schmoozed by Jimmy (Robert Young), unhappy that his not-girlfriend, novelist Mary (Myrna Loy) is staying with her amorous publisher, Claire's husband (Frank Morgan), at the home of Bridget (Alice Brady), in When Ladies Meet, 1933.
When Ladies Meet (1933) - There Are Cousins And Cousins Jimmy (Robert Montgomery) has contrived to arrive with Claire (Ann Harding), posing as his "cousin" and date, annoying his hoped-for girlfriend, novelist Mary (Myrna Loy), who doesn't know she's the wife of her lusty publisher, Alice Brady their hostess, in When Ladies Meet, 1933.
June Bride (1948) - When I Didn't Hear From You For Three Years... Their personal history roughly sketched in, legit journalist Carey (Robert Montgomery) informs ex-flame Linda (Bette Davis) that he’s just been reassigned by their magazine-group editor to the profitable bridal publication she now runs, her first scene, in June Bride, 1948.
Rage In Heaven (1941) - Nobody Is Afraid Of Me First architect Ward (George Sanders) swoons over European war refugee Stella (Ingrid Bergman) on the English estate belonging to his friend and her employer, son Philip (Robert Montgomery) and mother (Lucile Watson), who confer about them, though he’s a bit weird, early in MGM’s Rage In Heaven 1941.
Rage In Heaven (1941) - The Moon Made Me Sentimental Idle rich Englishman Philip (Robert Montgomery), who can’t be bothered to run the family steel-works, exhibits more odd yet romantic behavior toward Stella (Ingrid Bergman), his mother’s war refugee assistant, obsessing about his friend Ward, and confirming he’s sometimes impersonated him, in Rage In Heaven 1941.
Rage In Heaven (1941) - She's A Refugee Director W.S. Van Dyke II, from a script by Christopher Isherwood and Robert Thoeren, introduces his three top-billed stars, after an opening in which a patient named Andrews, whom we never saw, escaped from an asylum in wartime England, we meet Robert Montgomery, George Sanders, then Ingrid Bergman, in Rage In Heaven 1941.
Haunted Honeymoon (1940) - Rather Like Getting Off Dope Opening the feature made at MGM-British studios, Americans Robert Montgomery and Constance Cummings as about-to-be-wed Lord Peter Wimsey and novelist Harriet Vane, who played the same roles on Broadway (in the only play by the novelist Dorothy L. Sayers), swearing off amateur sleuthing, in Haunted Honeymoon, 1940.
Haunted Honeymoon (1940) - We're Not Quite Joyous Enough At choir practice in the town where the leads (Robert Montgomery and Constance Cummings) will soon arrive, organist Aggie (Joan Kemp-Welch) rages as her fiancé Frank (Robert Newton) kanoodles with Polly (Googie Withers), as the reverend (Aubrey Mallalieu) conducts Puffett (Frank Pettingell) et al, in the Lord Peter Wimsey yarn Haunted Honeymoon, 1940.
Haunted Honeymoon (1940) - A Trifle Uncharitable Headed back to London to escape the brewing murder mystery in the village where they’re honeymooning, Lord Peter and Harriet (Robert Montgomery, Constance Cummings), trying to break their amateur crime-solving habit, get entangled with London friend Inspector Kirk (Leslie Banks) and loyal butler Bunter (Sir Seymour Hicks), in Haunted Honeymoon, 1940.
Lady In The Lake (1947) - Imagine You Needing Ice Cubes! Audrey Totter (as editor "Adrienne Fromset") is the subject of director-star Robert Montgomery's camera, who, as Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, appears in a mirror, in this early scene from Lady In The Lake, 1947.
Lady In The Lake (1947) - My Name Is Marlowe Director and star Robert Montgomery in his introduction of himself, as Raymond Chandler's detective, and "you," as the first-hand viewer, beginning the subjective-camera feature Lady In The Lake, 1947.
Lady In The Lake (1947) - You Like Our Jail? Director-star Robert Montgomery, in his subjective-camera experiment, playing Raymond Chandler's "Philip Marlowe," sees Lloyd Nolan ("Lt. DeGarmot") and Capt. Kane (Tom Tully) in The Lady In The Lake, 1947.

Trailer

Live, Love and Learn - (Original Trailer) A bohemian artist (Robert Montgomery) and a society girl (Rosalind Russell) try to adjust to marriage. Co-starring Robert Benchley and Mickey Rooney.
First Hundred Years, The - (Original Trailer) A working woman (Virginia Bruce) doesn't want to give up her career when she marries. Co-starring Robert Montgomery and Warren William.
Another Language - (Original Trailer) When Helen Hayes marries Robert Montgomery, she inherits a monster mother-in-law in Another Language (1933).
Trouble For Two - (Original Trailer) Before he can marry, a European prince (Robert Montgomery) gets mixed up with a suicide club. Based on short stories by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Secret Land, The - (Original Trailer) The Secret Land (1948) is an Oscar-winning documentary about Admiral Richard Byrd and his explorations of the Antarctic, narrated by Van Johnson, Robert Montgomery, and Robert Taylor.
Three Loves Has Nancy - (Original Trailer) A country girl (Janet Gaynor) follows the man who jilted her to the big city, where she finds two new suitors.
June Bride - (Original Trailer) Two bickering reporters turn a small-town wedding into a battleground in Warner Bros.' June Bride (1948), starring Bette Davis and Robert Montgomery.
Vanessa: Her Love Story - (Original Trailer) A Victorian wife (Helen Hayes) contemplates leaving her insane husband for a romantic gypsy (Robert Montgomery) in Vanessa: Her Love Story (1935).
Haunted Honeymoon - (Original Trailer) The wedding celebration of British sleuth Sir Peter Wimsey (Robert Montgomery) is cut short by the discovery of a murdered man in his honeymoon cottage.
Rage in Heaven - (Re-issue Trailer) A jealous man plots to fake his death and incriminate his wife's suspected lover in Rage In Heaven (1941) starring Ingrid Bergman.
Fast and Loose -- (Original Trailer) Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell turn from bookstore owners to detectives after a book collector is murdered in Fast and Loose (1939).
Earl Of Chicago, The - (Original Trailer) A gangster, Silky Kilmont (Robert Montgomery), inherits a British title and becomes The Earl of Chicago (1939).

Family

Henry Montgomery Sr
Father
Business executive. Was vice president of New Yok Rubber Company; died in 1920.
Elizabeth Montgomery
Daughter
Actor. Best known for playing the witch-wife on the long-running sitcom, "Bewitched" (1964-71); later acted in many TV-movies; died of cancer in 1995.
Robert Montgomery Jr
Son
Stockbroker.

Companions

Elizabeth Bryan Montgomery
Wife
Actor. Married in 1928; divorced from Montgomery in 1950.
Elizabeth Harness
Wife
Married c. 1950.

Bibliography

"An Open Letter From a Television Viewer"
Robert Montgomery (1968)