Hello, everybody. Joe Morella and Frank Segers, your classic movie guys here today to continue our regular Monday exercise during the summer silly season of challenging you to identify who is who in our weekly series of candid photos.
Today’s photo is of two of the biggest “stars” of the 1920s and 30s. They certainly make for an odd-looking couple. Do you recognize them?
Before we provide a few helpful hints, we should explain who was who in last Monday’s candid shot.
Yes, it was taken in Texas, the location of the movie being made, director George Steven’s screen version of the Edna Ferber novel, Giant. It was released in 1956, and Texas was hot (as usual) during production the year before. So, between setups, our two mystery subjects opted for a bit of r&r.
Giant’s cast included Rock Hudson (his finest performance) along with character-actor stalwarts as Jane Withers, Chill Wills, Earl Holliman, Mercedes McCambridge, a 25-year-old Carroll Baker, a fresh, 20-year-old by the name of Dennis Hopper and an even fresher 17-year-old from the Bronx, Sal Mineo.
The picture’s other two principal costars — and the mystery couple shown in our candid shot — are, of course, James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor. Both were in their early twenties at the time. Giant was Dean’s final movie.
Small gatherings of fans still congregate each year at the exact spot of his death along Route 46 at Chalome, California, where on Sept. 30, 1955, the actor’s Porche 550 Spyder slammed head-on into another vehicle. The accident occurred before Giant was released, just as Dean’s movie career was skyrocketing.
Taylor went on to a life-long reign as Hollywood royalty (she died just last year), marrying seven husbands (Richard Burton twice) and bring at least one Hollywood studio (Fox) to its knees.
Ok, now to this Monday’s photo quiz — who are these guys (above)? Some hints:
— Today’s photo, not strictly a candid, does reinforce the idea that relationships between film celebrities and political figures have always interested the public.
— Although one of the subjects was NOT a movie star, he was the subject of a lavishly-produced 1982 screen biography.
— Although impeccably turned out in this shot, the guy to the left cut far less affluent characters in his many movie roles. He also was known offscreen for being tightfisted with a buck and verrry wealthy.
— Judging by their expressions, the guy to the right seems slightly more pleased than the guy on the left to share this photo.
Who are these two?