John M. Stahl’s movies - Magnificent Obsession (1935)
“She’s a girl with tremendous ideals and standards. She lives by that old bromide - the show must go on. Personally, I’ve always thought that’s baloney. If an actor is sick I think he should stay home and doctor himself. But not Stanwyck. She’d get to the studio, if she had to, on a stretcher. When she gets on that sound stage she knows every line by heart. Not me. Why should I learn lines in advance when they’re going to change half of them, anyway, before I can get in front of the camera? But not my Barbara.”
Robert Taylor ( Motion Picture Magazine, April 1949)
Favourite films: Magnificent Obsession (1935)Listen to me, my dear. You’re mine. It isn’t often that two people can say that to each other, but it’s true of us.
It happened that Larry [Kleno] was a trusted friend to Helen Ferguson, and after she suffered a series of strokes she moved from her office-apartment and asked Larry to clear out all her files, correspondence, etc. There he found years of letters to Helen from Robert Taylor written from different movie locations, describing various people and events (many of them self-deprecating). “They were beautifully written and extremely funny”, Larry said, “he could have been a writer.” Sometimes Bob would write candidly about problems he was having with a character and say, “I sure could use the Queen’s help.” And ALWAYS he would ask about how Barbara was doing.
Since Taylor had died, Larry couldn’t return them to their author, but he didn’t want to discard them either. He decided to deliver them to Barbara, but worried how she’d react to them. The next day she phoned him: “Well, young man, you really put me through it last night.” She said that she shed a lot of tears reading them, but was glad Larry had saved them. Her voice breaking, she said, “I thought he’d stopped loving me.”