Franchot Tone

February 27, 1905 ~ September 18, 1968
Midnight Mary, Three Comrades, Bombshell
Knowing full well that we should be assigning Bombshell to Jean Harlow’s b-day, given it being her signature piece, we chose instead to highlight Franchot’s debonair and dashing man for hire instead. Why? Well, he had the tendency, sometimes to come across a little strong as he got older, and thinner, and almost looked a little mean. In the early films like Bombshell he is still fresh, and playing the savior to our “trapped in Hollywood” Jean Harlow, even if she doesn’t know its all an act. Finally, she feels she has met the man who could father her children. In fact, with just a few hours of acquaintance behind them, she’s already meeting his parents. We like it when the men move fast around here. In Reckless, also opposite Jean, he plays the perfect rich playboy winning our fair Miss Harlow even though William Powell is madly in love with her. A finely crafted plot though does get our real life lovebirds ( Powell and Harlow) into each other’s arms eventually due to a singular bad choice by Franchot’s character. Another film that probably had no buzz about it at all, but that we of course both love is Because of Him. In this Deanna Durbin film Franchot plays the Playwright who doesn’t want Deanna cast in his lead role. Lucky for Deanna she has Charles Laughton on her side, and lucky for Franchot Tone, he can play the piano really well. Franchot also made an impression in Loretta Young’s Midnight Mary.
Happy Birthday Franchot!

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