Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Looking Again at Robert Young's Darker Side

Jacqueline's analysis of They Won't Believe Me (1947) on the finely written Another Old Movie Blog made me think about the under-rated Robert Young last week, which caused me to take "A Second Look at Robert Young" and two of his less well-known films, Joe Smith, American (1943) and The Second Woman (1951) on the TCM website's Movie Morlocks Blog. You can see a hyperbolic trailer for the interesting, and surprisingly intelligent wartime propaganda film of Joe Smith, American, co-starring the intelligent Marsha Hunt below. The entire movie of The Second Woman can be accessed below that. The latter is a fascinating, if rather budget conscious thriller that highlights Young's capacity for showing psychological ambiguity opposite Betsy Drake in one of her few film roles. Here's the start of the TCM blog:

Sometimes, the man seems to have been dismissed during his film career as having "had a face like a duck". He was regarded as a pretty nervous sort who might be a second lead at best, but could fake a certain hearty good fellowship whenever a part called for it and exemplified a sort of unadventurous husband and father. What most of us may not have been prepared for was the discovery that the man had talent too. Thanks to TCM, in the last few years, I've had a chance to see that he was more than the lightweight, improbable romantic lead of comedies cranked out in the studio era.

My fellow blogger, Jacqueline, of Another Old Movie Blog reminded me of this actor recently when she turned her nuanced eye on They Won't Believe Me (1947) starring Robert Young and Susan Hayward as very star-crossed lovers in a small scale film noir about greed, desire and fate...the rest of the blog entry

Joe Smith, American Trailer:

The Second Woman (1951):


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