A Forgotten Star Who Grew Up Close By
NC Boy Robert Williams Makes Good in Platinum Blonde (1931)
Went to college with the nephew of Robert Williams, who was male lead in Platinum Blonde, had a bright future in films, but died at 37 of a burst appendix. Williams was born in
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Revisionist opinion says Robert Williams is a best thing about Platinum Blonde. In fact, he's a revelation to many who should know (actor Christopher Plummer gave praise in an interview, putting Williams above Cary Grant as farceur). I watch Williams, who had a stellar career on Broadway before movies, and think, this is a long way from Morganton. He underplayed and was funny about it, being not like other actors who tried harder. Williams would certainly have had a long career in films. I enjoy him and have watched Platinum Blonde more than most Capras not only for the local connection, but also for this being last of old-style Capra before fame and name above the title made all his must-see events. Newspaper setting and knock-the-rich presumably reflect background of the several scribes involved. What percentage of early talkie writing began in urban dailies? I'll bet most, if truth were told, though I wish someone would research that for the yea or nay. Is there any precode that doesn't eventually have a newshound horning in?
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