He was one of the most handsome and reliable leading men of the 1930s and 40s. He was initially underrated, consigned to play farmers, doctors and the partner of heroic canine Rin Tin Tin.
Then George Brent hit his stride, taking on a series of leading man roles counterbalancing some of classic Hollywood’s most difficult and hard-to-handle female stars. He would up romancing some and marrying two.
The guy was a slickster, and presented a striking presence onscreen. He was a supreme smoothie who excelled at dapper, sophisticated gentlemanly parts. He also conveyed a subtle sense of humor, something he very much needed when taming his costars.
So how much do you know about George Brent? Whatever you might initially think, the guy is worth knowing a lot about. He deserves to be remembered for his first class work. As usual, questions today, answers tomorrow. Here we go:
1) Question: Brent obviously was from abroad judging by his accent and onscreen manner. Can you name the country of his birth? a) England; b) Canada; c) Scotland; or d) Ireland.
2) Question: Brent’s most successful leading lady and most frequent partner was a) Greta Garbo; b) Bette Davis; c) Hedy Lamarr; or d) Myrna Loy?
3) Question: Brent married five times, twice to actresses of note. Which of the following were hitched to him at one point or another? a) Ruth Chatterton; b) Joan Fontaine; c) Ann Sheridan; or d) Bette Davis.
4) Question: What facial characteristic of Brent’s stands out to this day? His a) big ears; b) aquiline nose; c) flashy teeth; or d) pencil-thin mustache.
5) Question: Brent played the dapper gentleman to perfection because he really did come from a wealthy, aristocratic family. a) True; or b) False?
6) Question: Brent was renowned in Hollywood for his romance with Greta Garbo. In which one of the following movies did they costar? a) 1934’s The Painted Veil; b) 1933’s Queen Christina; c) 1937’s Conquest; or d) 1936’s Camille.
7) Question: Late in his career, Brent took a notable star turn as a deranged serial killer in a tough thriller directed by Robert Siodmak. Can you identify the film’s title?
8) Question: What do these George Brent movies have in common? a) 1935’s Front Page Woman; b) 1939’s Dark Victory; c) 1942’s In This Our Life; and d) 1936’s The Golden Arrow.
9) Question: Brent had a colorful youth. What did he do to distinguish himself? a) Ran guns for a rebel organization; b) Was a big time gambler at an early age; c) Performed acrobatic feats on tall buildings; or d) Took off on a shoestring for Hollywood.
10) Question: Brent is not often remembered today for the breath and scope of his work. How many movies did he actually make during his career, which spanned two decades? a) 50; b) more than 100; c) 27; or 19.