Another birthday for most handsome George, Happy 107, Georgie

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Well, before I start singing Tantalizing George’s praises I want to provide a link to a delightful youtube tribute to most Virile George. The photos are great and the song so wonderfully expresses one’s feelings for Glamorous George through all the years. As years go by Seductive George continues to fascinate.

This is a difficult post to write because I don’t think it can be as good as his last birthday post. How can one top Elegant George’s description of his arrival on this lucky Earth! I guess I will just ramble on in a sort of a “free association”.

I don’t have any information about what Charming George did on his birthdays, or if he even paid any attention to them. If anybody out there has some information I would love to hear it. I suspect if Delightful George were here to celebrate his birthday with us he would love to be out on his boat. I know you saw the very happy look on his face in the slideshow photos of a most captivating “Captain George”. I know I would love to be out on the water with him! That brings to mind the scene in “Appointment In Berlin” in which Handsome George looks so very happy as he steers the speedboat and Lucky Marguerite has the opportunity to fall against his side–what a thrill that must have been for her!

I saw on television the other night that the oldest man in the world had died at 116 years of age. The guy was nine years old when our George was born! Well, we know that Darling George was very unhappy the last years of his life so he never would have wanted to make it to 116.

Although Hunky George was born a tad earlier than I , we do have some similarities in our birthdays: George was born on a Tuesday at 6 am and I was born on a Tuesday at 5:30 am. As you know “Tuesday’s child is full of grace” and Suave George was definitely that.

As I have said MANY times before: there is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be a man as handsome, sexy, desirable, brilliant, witty, and talented as the inimitable, irreplaceable George Henry Sanders. The song “Unforgettable” as sung by Nat “King” Cole could have been written to describe Bewitching George. The lyrics are perfect for him. I would love to hear George sing “Unforgettable” with his beautiful voice. I probably would faint!

Well, one last bit of my musings. I have an article that George wrote for the April 1961 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. The article is “There’s a Lot To Like About Women” and it is written in George’s usual witty, eloquent style. What struck me most about the article was the last sentence where George writes “After all, we live in a hard, cruel world, and the softest and most endearing thing to be found in it still remains a woman”. This should put to rest any thought that George was a woman hater. It is also revealing that he should refer to the world as “a hard, cruel world”.

I will end this post as I did George’s birthday post last year: I hope all of you will join me in toasting George with a dry vodka martini on his 107 Birthday on Wednesday, July 3rd! Cheers, George, and the “best of British luck” to you!
We love you and we miss you!

George’s career as a screen detective, part 5, “The Saint In Palm Springs”

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At long last here is the promised post to complete the discussion of Glamorous George as The Saint.

RKO released “The Saint in Palm Springs” in early 1941. Comely George had just begun to  have his hair cut shorter and with a part on the right.  It is SO short you can barely see his pretty curls! 😦  I believe this is the first movie Lovely George filmed after he introduced the “new look” of his hair because in the other films released in 1941 his hair was slightly longer. Check out  Rage in Heaven,   Man Hunt,   Sundown,  and  The Gay Falcon  and you will see.  In Palm Springs if you look closely at Dazzling George (and who wouldn’t 😀 ) in some scenes you can see his cute little cowlick.

I was curious to see if Palm Springs really was the first Handsome George film released in 1941 so I checked the release dates  for all the 1941 films and I AM correct.  Palm Springs , which was filmed from 1 October 1940 to 11 November  1940, was released on 24 January  1941,  Rage on 7  March 1941, Man Hunt on 13 June 1941, Gay Falcon on 24 October 1941, and Sundown on 31 October 1941.

In addition to the plot synopsis on the IMDb, to which I referred you  in the link above,  there is a very nice overview presented on the Turner Classic Movies database.  Also, TCM has an article about Saint George and Palm Springs, presumably because the movie will be airing on TCM in December.  Charteris described The Saint as being  “imperturbable, debonair [and] preposterously handsome”. Certainly Stunningly Handsome George was made for the part because this description fits him perfectly–particularly the preposterously handsome part!

Wendy Barrie appears again as Alluring George’s love interest  in this her third Saint movie.  Lucky girl!!  However, poor Wendy does not get a kiss in this movie but  watch for the scene in which Seductive George, after he and Wendy  have dinner, woos her on the patio.  It is a yummy scene.  See if you don’t agree with me.

We only see Inspector Fernack  (Jonathan Hale)  briefly at the beginning of the film when he explains to George how he needs The Saint’s help.(note that Fernack seems to have grown some new hair–no wait, he is wearing a hairpiece 🙂 )  It seems that Fernack’s old war buddy, Chris Johnson, from WWI, who had saved Fernack’s life, now needs Fernack’s assistance.   Chris had used his personal fortune to purchase three very rare Guiana penny stamps and had his brother, Peter, smuggle them out of the country to bring to the United States and deliver to Chris’ daughter, Elna (played by Wendy),  in California.  Two attempts had been made on Peter’s life since his arrival in the US and Fernack wants The Saint to escort the Peter and the stamps to California to give to  Elna.  Saint George is reluctant until Fernack tells him about the murder attempts.  Intrigued by the adventurous aspects of the situation, and smelling a whiff of danger, Intrepid George agrees to undertake the mission.

Good-Looking George arrives at Peter’s hotel room.  After some discussion Peter goes to the bedroom safe to retrieve the stamps, leaving Pulchritudinous George sitting on the sofa in the living room.  While getting the stamps Peter is shot to death and the villian enters through the window to be met by Corageous George. They engage in fisticuffs but the villian escapes.  Fernack is called in and Fearless George leaves to deliver the  stamps to Elna in Palm Springs.

In the scenes setting up the plot we get to see Dapper George in his new, white trench coat, in which he looks darling.  I know it is new because  I take careful note of coats that Fashionable George wears and this is the earliest movie in which he wears this particular coat.  You also can tell that it is new because in the scene with Peter at the hotel George has a little difficulty removing the coat because it is somewhat tight, as new coats tend to be.   We see this coat again in later movies such as Rage In Heaven Appointment In Berlin ,  and Lured.

Paul Guilfoyle   makes his second appearance as Pearly Gates.  This time Pearly is the house detective at the Palm Springs hotel where George and Margaret Forbes, whose acquaintance Charming George cultivated on the train trip to Palm Springs– well,  you know George’s fondness for lovely women– are staying.  Margaret Forbes ( Linda Hayes) is actually an agent from the country from which the stamps were smuggled and is intent on getting them from Gorgeous George.  The murderer of Peter is  staying at the hotel with his gang and is also seeking the stamps.   I won’t go into further details about the plot but will simply say that the stamps are stolen from George but, of course, he recovers them and delivers them to Elna, whose heart has been stolen by Enticing George.   Naturally, she is left watching sadly as Sexy George rides out of her life.

Palm Springs is a fun movie to watch.  It is such a pleasure to see George having a good time, riding a bike, riding a horse, and playing tennis.  George  soundly trounces  Wendy on the tennis court, and SHE is a tennis teacher.  Well, she was probably so mesmerized by Sinfully Handsome George that she was unable to watch the correct ball.  🙂  I sure would have been!  George is gorgeous in his tennis outfit with that nice white t-shirt that shows clearly what glorious shoulders George has!  And Statuesque George’s  legs are so long that he just steps over the tennis net. What a Man!

Well, enough about The Saint.  I wll be writing some posts about The Falcon series soon, but first I have some thoughts for two other, possibly shorter, posts.  The restored version of  Journey to Italy  will be shown at the National Gallery of Art Theatre  here in Washington on Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14.  Naturally I will be going to both showings.  The movie was restored by  L’Immagine ritrovata, Bologna  , in collaboration with CSC—Cineteca Nazionale, Rome .  I am hoping the restored version will be released on dvd in the near future.  I have sent an email to a press officer at CSC—Cineteca Nazionale, Rome  asking if they plan to do so.

Also I have found out that Journey  was shown at the Cannes Film Festival   last May.

Anyway, all this has inspired me to write a post discussing this movie and the first movie George made with Ingrid, Rage In Heaven , in 1941.  The second post will be one about the movies featuring European George with the buzz cut.

 

HAPPY 106th BIRTHDAY, GEORGE!!

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It is difficult to believe that a whole year has gone by since I published a post to celebrate George’s 105th birthday.   Ah well, time does fly when one is having  fun and it is fun for me to have this blog to George.  My goal is to try to present the real George to  people instead of the caddish facade he presented to the public. George was a very private and a very vulnerable man and he sought shelter from the public eye within his cad facade. George was so very private and averse to publicity that he was married to his first wife for TWO years before the marriage was discovered.

George arrived in this world early on the morning of Tuesday, July 3, 1906 in St. Petersburg, Russia.  This will be somewhat lengthy, but I want to give George’s account  of his birth as, using rather British tongue in cheek humor,  he describes it on the first page of  his wonderful, well-written, and witty memoir,  Memoirs of a Professional Cad (New York: Putnam, 1960).

“On July 3, 1906, the world was at peace.  Nothing of any consequence seemed to be happening in the capital cities of any of its countries.  Nothing disturbed the summer lethargy of its population.  Everywhere people dozed contentedly, unaware that an event of major importance was taking place in St. Petersburg, Russia.  At number 6 Petroffski Ostroff, to Margaret and Henry Sanders, a son of dazzling beauty and infinite charm was being born.  It was I.

I emerged somewhat reluctantly from my mother’s womb at 6 o’clock in the morning.  My father, who had been warned of the impending event only a short time prior to its occurrence, had rushed off to get the midwife who lived across the Neva on the Vassilsky Ostroff.  He drove in a droshky to the Toochkoff Bridge, a wooden bascule, or drawbridge, which was opened sometimes in the summer to let the river traffic through.  It was opening when he reached it.  Alighting from the carriage and disregarding the warning cries of the boatmen, he leapt across the widening gap and ran the rest of the way to the midwife’s house.  He brought her back across the river in a rowboat, and in a state of exhaustion, pushed her into my mother’s room, where she accomplished a successful delivery.”

I know we fans are all very thankful for the successful delivery!  I hope all of you will join me in toasting George with a dry vodka martini  on his 106 Birthday next Tuesday, July 3rd!  Cheers, George, and the “best of British luck” to you!

The slide show is called “Some Happy George Photos, Plus a Few More” (Did your recognize Gene Tierney in the photo where she is dancing with George? She is 5’7″ and you know she must be wearing heels and George still dwarfs her! He is just so tall and magnificient!)

George’s “bad boy” antics behind the scenes.

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The other day I was reading a very entertaining book by Mark A. Vieira entitled Hollywood Horror:From Gothic To Cosmic  (New York : Harry N. Abrams, 2003) when I came across some anecdotes about George which I want to share. The first incident  recounted happened when George was hired in 1942 for the lead in a movie titled The Undying Monster. George went on suspension rather than “report for work…dressed as a gorilla”  That certainly sounds like George.  The second incident occurred during the filming of the 1945 film Hangover Square. The filming had been rocky because of the behavior of the other lead actor, Laird Cregar who was on a severe diet and taking medications which led to erratic behavior on his part. Then George decided to put in his oar and show his temperament.  One of the producers, Robert Bassler, wanted George to say the line “He’s better off this way”. George, however, did not wish to say that line believing it to be inappropriate. This was causing a delay in filming a very expensive scene. According to Vieira, when Bassler found George sitting in a canvasback chair at the edge of the seat he confronted George and when George didn’t respond Bassler said “How dare you , you arrogant s** of a b****!”  As Vieira puts it “Sanders blithely reached forward and punched Bassler, knocking him out”.  How like George to do that!  As far as I am concerned George had every right since the guy called him a nasty name. I’ll bet George used his famous right jab.(remember George was inter-scholastic heavyweight boxing champion in college)

I remember reading in some book about an occasion where George showed his temper in a passive-aggressive way.  After his tremendous success in Lloyd’s of London and Lancer Spy  George was extremely peeved when he was casted in a small part inMr. Moto’s Last Warning. He showed his ire by appearing for one of his scenes drunk.  Naughty, naughty George!  Another amusing anecdote concerns the following incident.  George had asked  the studio to paint and spruce up his dressing room.  One of the studio head men came to George’s dressing room and said they would be glad to make the repairs if George would stop making disparaging remarks about the studio managers. George thought for a minute and then said “No, it isn’t worth it”.  Typical George!

George occasionally acted up and he could give studio management and producers a hard time, but he was always generous with other actors.  Although George always knew his lines perfectly and his delivery and timing were perfect, he was always patient with other actors who muffed lines or messed up their timing. He was never resentful when other actors caused retakes of a scene and he never tried to upstage other actors.  If you watch George in movies when the other actors are peforming ( which I do, at NO time do I take my eyes off  George) he never does anything to distract the audience from the other actor’s performance.

By the way, I don’t have any photos of George pulling “bad boy” antics behind the scenes, so for the slideshow I used photos of George being, haughty, supercillious, and just plain bad on the screen.

Hopefully, in my next blog I will get around to discussing George’s last Saint movie, The Saint In Palm Springs.

“April is the cruellest month…”

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“The Burial of the Dead

April is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain…”

The Waste Land

T.S. Eliot

 

This post is in memoriam to the most handsome, marvelous, intelligent, and talented man who ever lived, George Henry Sanders.  George was what all men should be and so few are.

Next week April 24/25 will mark the 40th anniversity  of George’s death.  To those of us who love him so devotedly  he is still very much alive in our minds, our hearts, and our souls.  Please pray for his soul, as I do every night.

“Remember, O Lord, this your servant, George,  who has gone before us with the sight of faith, and now rests in the sleep of peace.” ( paraphrase from the Book of Common Prayer) 

I refer you to the beautiful YouTube tribute to George posted last year by wobble 108. Thank you for that wonderful biography of George’s life.

This slideshow is entitled “George Through the Years”

A Paean To George Sanders, A True Renaissance Man

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I am reposting this from my first two posts to George, because many new viewers may not have seen them and don’t realize how truly talented, brillant, and accomplished he was.

It is difficult to find enough superlatives to describe George Sanders. He was tall (6′ 3 1/2″), handsome, sexy, brilliant, talented, artistic and blessed with the most marvelous deep seductive voice and a gorgeous English accent.  He was incredibly gifted–able to speak five languages, played at least four musical instruments, composed music for the piano as well as at least two beautiful love songs. One of these “Such Is My Love” was included on the album of love songs he released in 1958.   George could build anything and drew up the blue prints for his first house as well as building the furniture. His friends were amazed at his mechanical abilities and he held several patents at the US Patent Office.   He loved to invent things and was a genius with anything involving electricity.  He was even good at rewiring houses.  When George bought a car he would often take the engine apart to arrange the steering to suit his needs.  He was a noted amateur astronomer and built several telescopes, including the large 9″ one that Universal Pictures bought from him and used in the 1945 movie “The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry” in which Sanders starred.

Although presenting himself as a non-physical man George was actually a natural athlete. When in college he was an inter-scholastic heavyweight boxing champion. He was so physically fit he was made a PT (Physical Trainer) in the Officers Training Corps in college.  George was also very good in the water, winning many diving and swimming competitions. This was a gift which he put to good use when he dove into the Thames and saved a man’s life. For this he was given a medal by the British Humane Society.
In addition to being blessed with all of these physical gifts,  he was a natural actor and an amazingly versatile one. He was equally effective as a sweet cad (“The Ghost and Mrs. Muir”, 1947) or an unscrupulous one (“Rebecca”, 1940), as a hero (“Appointment In Berlin”, 1943, and “They Came to Blow Up America”, 1943), as a “nice chap” (“Rage In Heaven”, 1941, and “Foreign Correspondent”, 1940) and, my favorite, as a “hen-pecked” brother and lover in “The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry”, 1945. Although he finally received some of  the recognition he deserved for his role as Addison DeWitt in “All About Eve” (1950), receiving an Academy Award for “Best Supporting Actor”, he was equally as good in all his movies–for example “The Moon and Sixpence”(1942).  It is a pity that he was not featured as the leading man in more pictures for he was a splendid one. After seeing George in “Rage In Heaven” (1941) and “Her Cardboard Lover”, (1942).  Louie B. Mayer wanted to make him into a romantic leading man, a role for which he was incredibly fitted.  This was of no interest to George who claimed he didn’t want to worry about eternally maintaining his looks.

George’s career as a screen detective, part 4 “The Saint Takes Over”

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The Saint Takes Over  is the second Saint movie Most Handsome George filmed in 1940.  In this movie Simon Templar, played of course by Gorgeous George Sanders , known to the police of two continents as The Saint , is returning to New York from London when he discovers that his old friend and sometimes foe, Inspector Fernack ( Jonathan Hale ), a detective on the New York police force, is in trouble.  Fernack is unable to explain the presence of fifty thousand dollars in his safe. He had just arrested a character known as Rocky Weldon on charges of race fixing, but the case had blown up when the chief witness  for the state, Johnnie Summers, had been killed.  It now appears that someone had bribed Fernack to try to convict Rocky.  Astute Saint George (no dummy he) realizes at once that Fernack is being framed.  The Saint had become interested in a pretty girl (naturally) named Ruth ( Wendy Barrie ) on the ship from London.  When the ship docks, two thugs try to kidnap her.   Able-bodied Saint George prevents this, but Ruth disappears during the scuffle.

Fernack has been framed by a combination of crooks headed by Big Ben Egan ( Pierre Watkin). Others in the gang are Rocky Weldon (Roland Drew ), Max Bremer ( Cyrus W. Kendall), Sam Reese (Morgan Conway),  and Leo Sloan ( Robert Emmett Keane).  Egan collects ninty thousand dollars from the gang members to cover the cost of framing Fernack and protecting Weldon, which he then places in his safe.

That night, Rocky sends his stooge, Pearly Gates ( Paul Guilfoyle (who also is with George in “The Saint In Palm Springs)), to rob Egan’s safe. Pearly is surprised by Egan who sends him back to Rocky with instructions for Rocky to come to Egan’s. When stealthy Saint George breaks into the house a little later he finds Egan killed. Fernack comes in a second later.  Observant Saint George finds a hidden camera rigged up near the safe and when he and Fernack develop the exposed film it shows Pearly in the act of opening the safe.  With this evidence they force Pearly to help them in their efforts to clear Fernack.

Rocky is killed before Good-Looking Saint George can question him.  With Pearly’s  assistance, Saint George and Fernack then kidnap Sloan, but the unknown assailant kills Sloan while he is being held in Fernack’s  basement.  Suave Saint George meets with Ruth and from her takes the gun with which she has killed Egan, Sloan, and Rocky.  Savvy Saint George finds, as he expected (not being born yesterday), that Ruth’s name is Summers, and that she is avenging the murder of her brother, Johnnie Summers, by Egan’s gang.  She agrees to let Saint George try to convict the rest of the gang.

However, the police arrest Fernack who had been left with Sloan’s corpse.  Agile Saint George  wrests a gun from one of the officers and escapes. Pearly and Crafty Saint George then fool Reese and Bremer into confessing that they killed Johnnie Summers and framed Fernack.  A radio tuned to the police wave-length and hidden by Shrewd Saint George picks up their speech and the police locate the source.  When the police close in on the gang, Bremer escapes but is killed by Ruth. In the process Bremer shoots Ruth who then dies in Saint George’sarms. He is devastated.  Fernack is cleared and, as he is wont to do, Eye-Candy Saint George quietly disappears again.

In my next post I will be talking about  classy George’s last Saint movie “The Saint in Palm Springs” (1941)

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