Monday, April 17, 2017

Gatineau Treasure

Last year, I wrote about Franchot's ties to the Gatineau region of Quebec. Franchot always spoke fondly of his time outdoors fishing on the Thirty-One Mile lakes, hunting in the woods, and relaxing in his cabin there. Franchot escaped his hectic life in Hollywood by returning to this region and shared its beauty with all four wives, spending several of his honeymoons here. It's easily one of my favorite aspects of Franchot's life to research, because it's so in contrast to the gentleman role in which he was often typecast and because it seems like such a joyous place for him. My original detailed post on the Tone family cabin and Franchot's visits can be found here. Franchot's fourth wife Dolores Dorn described her honeymoon there and I wrote about that here.

Recently, multiple 16 mm film of home movies belonging to Franchot's brother, Jerry, were up for auction on eBay. Most of the film was dedicated to Jerry's family with glimpses of Franchot's parents here and there. I didn't see any indication that Franchot would appear in most of the reels. Then, I saw one small preview picture of a 1938 reel from Gatineau and there he was with a huge grin on his face fishing from a boat. There was also a separate film of Gatineau from 1935, but I doubted Franchot would pop up there because '35 was a busy year for him. I bid on both despite the fact that I have no means to play or transfer 16 mm film. My plan was to find a way to transfer the film to digital, so that I could share the videos here. I bid as high as I felt I could, but a more competitive bidder took it home instead. eBay can be quite an emotional roller coaster! Ever since the auction ended, I've gone back and forth between devastation that I didn't bid just a little bit higher and relief that I didn't bid above my means.

Sadly, I didn't win but my hope is that the person who did win was either 1. Franchot's family (and if so, I apologize for the bidding war!) 2. a library or archive or  3. a fan like me who plans to transfer the film for others to enjoy.

I did, however, save the preview shots that were posted on eBay and they give a wonderful view of life at Franchot's family cabin in Canada!

From the 1938 color reel:
Franchot fishing. I love this candid shot!

Franchot with his father Frank J. Tone

Franchot's father Frank J. Tone and brother Jerry
I did not see any indication that Franchot appears in the '35 film, but it still gives a wonderful view of what vacation life was like for the Tones there. From the 1935 black and white reel:

Franchot's father Frank J. Tone with other family members

Don't forget that my Franchot Tone Blogathon happens later this week! Check back this weekend for great entries on Mr. Tone from multiple bloggers.

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