Thank you so much for posting those great screen caps, Mary-Kate. It is always fun to see such pros at work, even when the script is less than perfect. I do like those parts that offer Roland a chance to create a nuanced character who changes during the course of a film, rather than just giving 'em the ol' razzle-dazzle.
moirafinnie wrote:Thank you so much for posting those great screen caps, Mary-Kate.
Always happy to oblige. Here are a few more, with just Gilbert:
moirafinnie wrote:It is always fun to see such pros at work, even when the script is less than perfect.
Exactly, that's the chief reason why such films are still enjoyable to watch.
moirafinnie wrote:I do like those parts that offer Roland a chance to create a nuanced character who changes during the course of a film, rather than just giving 'em the ol' razzle-dazzle.
The Torch, The Big Circus, and The Bullfighter and the Lady were the three films that first made me aware that Roland had a much wider range of acting than I had previously given him credit for. He played "Gilbert Roland" so well, he often didn't get a chance to play anybody else.
I just thought I'd bump this thread to remind those who might be interested that After Tonight (1933), which was showing at the Earle Theater in Philly back in '33, as seen below, is coming up on TCM on Thursday, May 10th @ 12:45 PM (ET).
I've also recently unearthed an episode of the tv series Kung Fu entitled "The Chalice" from 1973 with GR playing a Franciscan priest, "Padre Braganza," who shares an ecumenical moment with series star David Carradine. The humble Zen wanderer takes up the cause of restitution and justice after a chalice is stolen. The hulking William Smith plays one of those seeking to wrest the golden cup from the nogoodniks. The tale is further enhanced by the affecting presence of character actor Victor Millan as "an unworthy priest" whose scene is quite striking. Kind of hokey, yes--and the series non-linear editing style intercutting Carradine's memories of his past with his present sometimes seems to have been done with a meat cleaver--but Gilbert Roland as the philosophically-minded Padre brings considerable gravitas to the show, and the allusions to The Holy Grail, notions of heaven and hell, and the pervasive prejudice against Asians in the Old West contribute to this story's interest. The epi begins below (it is in 4 parts in total) and GR shows up around 5:50 into the story.
I couldn't find any images of GR in this role, though here's a great image of a soulful looking priest he played in an American-Mexican production, The Torch (1950), a public domain film that can be seen here.
Here are a few pics I recently found featuring GR with man's best friend, one of his former nieces, and an image of his youngest daughter Gyl Roland as she embarked on her own relatively brief acting career:
This looks like a '30s image of GR and a rather distant looking dog who might be one of Rin-Tin-Tin's successors...or maybe he belonged to the actor?
Below is GR and his former niece, Melinda Markey in 1959 when she was 25 and appearing in an uncredited bit next to her uncle in the Alan Ladd movie, Guns of the Timberland (1960). Roland was married to Ms. Markey's aunt Constance Bennett from 1941-1946. Below is the original caption from The Chicago Sun-Times. The caption's author is clearly confusing Joan Bennett with her sis, Connie. The only time that GR and Joan appeared together in anything was an intriguing-sounding television production for the series Climax in 1956 called "The Louella Parsons Story." Poor Teresa Wright appeared as the Hollywood dragon lady and gossip monger, and scads of real movie actors popped up as themselves in this early John Frankenheimer-directed production.
From The Chicago Sun-Times in 1959: "In Hollywood---Gilbert Roland, a long time Hollywood star, talked with young Melinda Markey between scenes for 'Guns of the Timberland.' Melinda is the daughter of Gene Markey, producer, and Joan Bennett, actress. She has a featured part in the new film. Roland, a co-star, played starring roles with Melinda's mother in the past." Markey, long interested and active in the equestrian world, appeared in many popular television roles in the '50s and in several uncredited roles in movies. She has been married three times, most recently in 1998 to the present to businessman Thierry Van Dyck, reportedly has 2 sons, 1 daughter, and 6 grandchildren.
Finally, here is Gyl Roland, the youngest of GR's children, with future star Mia Farrow in a publicity photo from 1963 promoting the tv series Peyton Place. Gyl was cast in the crucial role of Selena Cross, but nervous television execs felt that the whole sordid (but realistic) Cross family drama as depicted in the book and modified for the big screen in the '50s movie version was just too controversial for television at the time. Gyl Roland appeared in the pilot episode of Peyton Place, but she and all of Selena's fictional family were dropped from the program before it ever aired on the ABC network. Gyl Roland went on to appear in small parts on tv and in movies until 1990. She was married to fellow actor Dan Barton from 2005 until his death in 2009.
"Kung Fu", my goodness, I just remembered that was one of my mother's favorite TV shows and I used to hate it. I may watch just for Gilbertito. I saw last night they aired part one of the "Extradition" episodes of Gunsmoke. Part 2 is on tonight. Definitely one of the best of the series. I like that Roland got billing as "Special Guest Star".
MissGoddess wrote:"Kung Fu", my goodness, I just remembered that was one of my mother's favorite TV shows and I used to hate it. I may watch just for Gilbertito. I saw last night they aired part one of the "Extradition" episodes of Gunsmoke. Part 2 is on tonight. Definitely one of the best of the series. I like that Roland got billing as "Special Guest Star".
I wasn't big on Kung Fu either. The solemn Carradine always creeped me out even as a naive kid. I caught the first part of the Gunsmoke epi last night, which I'd never seen, though I have seen Part 2 before and enjoyed it thoroughly. GR is also given the "Special Guest Star" billing in the above Kung Fu program...deservedly so!
Isn't that great about Bette musing "this is not so bad..." once GR was her screen test partner. We have touched on this much earlier in this thread, but isn't it lovely to recall it? Thanks for reminding us of this fond memory by Bette.
Oh, don't worry about repeating stuff from 3 years ago in this thread, CM. I think I've posted images twice. It is pretty hard to remember all the stuff in here.
I am all atwitter waiting for your comments about Anton "the rubies, the rubies" Walbrook from Gaslight (1940). He was really good at playing nuts, wasn't he? And I don't think I've ever seen Robert Newton looking so young, so neat and so tidy before. It must have been before John BarleyCorn completely took over his life.