More Colman in colour & another treasure

OK, just one more Ronald Colman post (it’s been sitting in my drafts for a few weeks) and then I’ll shut up (for now). In an earlier post I was wishing for more Ronald Colman in colour as he seems to mostly be immortalized in black and white. I’ve been collecting images over the past few weeks and found some interesting things.

The most exciting bit is a very short promotional film in two-tone technicolour from 1929(!!) where he introduces the then-governor of California. They promote talking pictures, which was still a new phenomenon at the time. Alas only the governor gets a close-up, a pity they didn’t give Ronnie the same treatment! I would have loved to see his expessions better and his brown eyes properly.

There’s also a 1952 colour clip of Ronald Colman presenting the Best Actress Oscar with a funny little intro with Danny Kaye as well. I love how unfazed he is by Danny Kaye and plays along. And I just love Danny Kaye too, he was a great comic. In this clip Greer Garson accepts the Oscar on Vivien Leigh’s behalf and even gives Ronnie a little kiss, which gives me lovely Random Harvest vibes.

Apart from those two clips, I also found a few late in life pictures of Ronnie in colour. The first picture includes his wife, Benita; the last one includes Zsa Zsa Gabor.

I found a few colour images for a TV show called The Halls of Ivy that he did with Benita (after their radio show of the same name had been a success). However, these do look like they could originally have been black and white as well.

The radio shows are available on YouTube but I wish I could somehow get my hands on the TV show. So far, except for one episode, no such luck.

I also found a cool all-star picture that seems to have been coloured in from an original black and white image (I’ve seen mostly black and white versions of this). This is apparently a radio broadcast at NBC in 1939 by the ‘English colony’ of actors in Hollywood on occasion of the visit of the English King and Queen to the US.

From left to right: Greer Garson, Leslie Howard, smoking in the background is George Sanders (tidbit: he married Benita after Ronnie died), Vivien Leigh, Brian Aherne, Ronald Colman and Basil Rathbone.

Except for a large amount of coloured in movie posters and stills (there are more than I share here, but this is to give an idea) there really isn’t that much Colman in colour that I can find…

And last but not least, as I was searching for the Colman in colour pictures, I also came across this one about a month ago…

Yes, another book. It’s from Ronald’s Oscar winning performance and I just couldn’t resist. I almost paid more in shipping and customs fees than I paid for the book but still it was quite affordable. Worth it too, as I also imagine it’s quite a rare one. The book arrived today to my great joy! It tells the story of the film in prose form and inside there are also black and white images from the movie. I’m not including all images here as some of them are real story spoilers. I know these aren’t in colour but I couldn’t resist sharing my new little treasure here as well.

And while I’m off the original topic anyhow: I also made another Ronald Colman video that I put up on YouTube a few days ago. It’s all about the love in his and his leading ladies’ eyes…

For the coming weeks there will be very little Ronnie to focus on: I’m going on a holiday! It only came up a few weeks ago and we very impulsively just went ahead and booked. Mr Esther, Junior and I will be flying to Israel this Saturday, along with my younger brother and a distant cousin. We’re heading to the wedding of another cousin’s son and then adding on some extra time before and after. Last time I was in Israel was 9 years ago, I’m so excited to be going back to my childhood home again.

Anyway, anything more Ronnie related will have to wait until I get back. I still need to find that ultimate Ronald Colman colour picture because I so want to see what his eyes really looked like and how deeply brown they actually were. His role in Kismet gives me a little bit of an idea…

… but the images are not clear enough.

Ronnie research

You thought I’d be done by now with Ronald Colman? Ha! No chance… Although I admit there isn’t that much left for me to watch. There is more to read, however!

The nice thing about working in a library again is that I have access to all sorts of online databases at my free disposal. As a member of staff at my applied sciences university I did have access to them before but somehow never thought of really using them for my own personal research. Now, while familiarizing myself with a few of these databases, I figured I could type in Ronald Colman and see what happens. I got a whole interesting list! I downloaded it all, for further personal perusal at home.

I found some poetry written about Ronald Colman. There is this one about him/his character in A Tale of Two Cities (click to enlarge if you can’t read it here properly)…

Source: Poetry, Vol. 141, No. 3 (Dec. 1982) pp. 145-146, published by Poetry Foundation

Modified to add some screenshots of the scenes described in the poem above:

And a second poem about Ronald Colman in the First World War…

Source: Prairie Schooner, Winter 2013, Vol. 87, No. 4 (Winter 2013), p. 64, Univ. of Nebraska Press

I found an article on moustaches, mentioning the Ronald Colman moustache; I found a letter the writer Anthony Burgess had written with this whole section about him having watched Random Harvest while sailing on a ship; an article on ‘the role that got away’ (Colman turned down Cary Grant’s part in Bringing Up Baby, for instance); an article on ‘The Woman Film Critic’ which starts out about a female journalist interviewing Ronald Colman in 1929; an article on when the talkies came to Hollywood (and mention of Ronald Colman transitioning successfully from silent pictures to talking movies, I have yet to read the whole piece, which is interesting in itself); and a mention of Ronald Colman being the 10th highest paid actor in Hollywood in the early 1930s…

… and in the mid 1930s he was the 20th ranked star in Hollywood…

Source: The Film Business of the United States and Britain during the 1930s by John Sedgwick and Michael Pokorny, in ‘The Economic History Review’, Feb. 2005, New Series, Vol. 58, No. 1 (Feb. 2005), pp. 79-112

There are some scholarly articles that I have yet to read:

  • The 1947 movie A Double Life (for which he won an Oscar) has some articles dedicated to it. In that film he portrays an actor playing the lead in Shakespeare’s Othello and becoming obsessed with the role. I have yet to read articles called: ‘A Double Life: Othello as Film Noir Thriller‘ and ‘Ronald Colman: Figuring jewishness in A Double Life‘ and ‘Shakespeare, Performance, and the Psychology of Adaptation in A Double Life‘.
  • There is also an article on A Tale of Two Cities called ‘Insurrection and Depression-Era Politics in Selznick’s A Tale of Two Cities (1935)‘.
  • And there are some articles on The Talk of the Town (where Colman plays a judge, also with Cary Grant) like a section from a publication called ‘Embodying the State‘ dedicated to the movie, an article on the wartime comedies of George Stevens (who was the director) and an article called ‘On the Popular Image of the Lawyer
  • Random Harvest also gets some analytical treatment in articles such as ‘Lost Time: Blunt Head Trauma and Accident-Driven Cinema‘ and ‘Re-shaped For The Screen: Random Harvest’

So, you see? There’s more Ronald Colman and his work to be discovered in print as well!

And to top it all off, I just finished a video today of Ronald Colman being in love with his leading ladies in many of his film roles. I once made a similar video for Jimmy Stewart, so couldn’t resist giving Ronnie the same treatment:

Ah, such fun to be able to fangirl like this in my downtime!

One more…

I seem to be on a posting spree this past week (this is the 10th post in 8 days!) and even I am getting a little tired of hearing myself talk. Just this one more thing before I head to bed that I need to get off my chest: I made a second video for Bobby (Peter Krause) and Athena (Angela Bassett) from 9-1-1. This one’s a joyful one, it certainly cheered me up while I was making it…

Two videos for one show means that this warrants 9-1-1 having its own fan video page in my fan video corner on this blog. 🙂

Speaking of 9-1-1: seeing Peter Krause in action so much recently has also brought me back to his real life partner Lauren Graham again, whom I loved as Lorelai Gilmore on Gilmore Girls.

It reminded me that I have been meaning to read her book of biographical essays that she published a few years ago called Talking As Fast As I Can (which is what she did on Gilmore Girls – that show had really fast paced dialogue). I figured I’d put it on my Christmas wish list but then when I saw the e-book for only €2,-, I couldn’t resist and went ahead and bought it…

I haven’t touched my e-reader in eons, so needed to charge it first but I’m all set now. It’s just after midnight as I hit publish, I never really sleep before one am, so just enough time to jump into bed and get started! It feels good to find the motivation to read something again, I hope I like it enough to stick with it.

Cat movies

Last week I shared a post about cat music, this week it’s cat movies.

I recently came across these short little videos where a black cat named OwlKitty stars in some well known movie blockbusters. They are quite cleverly done, very amusing and well in cat-character too. I haven’t seen all the videos yet, but, as a cat and movie lover, I just needed to share a few of my current (purrent?) faves here. They are only about a minute long and the last few I share here are even shorter, so well worth a quick gander, I think. 🙂

Not sure my own black cat would be interested in such a lively, movie star career…

But she does look a little bit like OwlKitty, so if I squint, I can imagine I have an actual movie star living and lazing away in my house!

Like I’m going to lose you

Almost lunch break and time for a quick post. Bobby Nash (Peter Krause) and Athena Grant (Angela Bassett) from the TV show 9-1-1

…have inspired a fan video that I finished making last night.

This song feels tailor-made for them, I couldn’t rest till I had sourced clips and made this video. Not that many good Bobby and Athena (#Bathena) videos out there, so I may just have to make a few more in the future to satisfy my hunger for #Bathena content.