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carole lombard 06

Carole, and Cortez

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.29 at 10:06
Current mood: confusedconfused

I pulled this pic of Carole Lombard and Ricardo Cortez from the May 1933 issue of Movie Classic at the Media History Digital Library two Augusts ago, but I'm not sure if I ever did anything with it. I wrote an entry about items in that issue (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/624350.html), and yet for some reason this didn't make the cut. It's from Paramount's Irving Lippman, and it raises some questions.

Lombard and Cortez (real name Jacob Krantz, as we noted back in 2008 at http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/162206.html) made but one film together, "No One Man," which was released early in 1932. However, this is said to be from more than a year later, and apparently is not a production still.

The caption features references to Lombard's upcoming "Supernatural" as well as to a Cortez release, "Dead on Arrival." (IMDb lists no film from the '30s by that name.) Anyway, the photo is charming, and certainly explains why Cortez was among the more appealing actors of his time -- even if the characters he portrayed didn't always possess similar qualities.

This 8" x 10" original vintage pic now is available, albeit not in sepia:

You can purchase it for $16.99 or make an offer. Find out more by going to http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-Ricardo-Cortez-No-One-Man-vintage-publicity-photo-8-x10-1932-/151776651464?hash=item235697e8c8.

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Four from Cinelandia, and Vin is in for his 67th

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.28 at 21:31
Current mood: relievedrelieved

Whomever ran the Spanish-language film magazine Cinelandia was a fan of Carole Lombard. In the span of just under a decade (November 1929 to August 1939), Carole appeared on the monthly publication's cover six times -- either by herself or with a co-star. That's a pretty impressive ratio.

Above is the last of these six, a cover with Cary Grant from the upcoming "Memory of Love," a title subsequently changed to "In Name Only." Four months earlier, Lombard teamed with James Stewart to promote another film directed by John Cromwell, "Made For Each Other":

Say you're more interested in Lombard as a solo act? We have two examples of that, too. Check out this cover from July 1936...

...or this, from August 1937:

All are exquisite -- and each of them can be bought for $19.99. You can find all four, plus some of the seller's other Lombard goodies -- including one of her multiple appearances on Cinelandia's newsstand rival, Cine-Mundial -- by visiting http://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?_odkw=&_ssn=rayorojo&hash=item43e1b1d7e9&item=291549337577&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2046732.m570.l1313.TR5.TRC0.A0.H0.Xcarole+lombard.TRS1&_nkw=carole+lombard&_sacat=0.

As I write this, the Dodgers have a 4-1 lead over the Chicago Cubs in the top of the ninth inning -- and while that makes a lot of Angelenos happy, the big news tonight is that Vin Scully, who's called the team's games since 1950 (when the franchise was in Brooklyn), will return to the booth for the 2016 season...his 67th behind the mike.

The news was "announced" in the middle of the second inning -- and we put that word in quotation marks because ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who's listened to Scully call ballgames since his childhood in Las Vegas, dropped a group of cue cards telling the news without saying a word. Scully's been at his job since before Kimmel was born (and that fact applies to me, too).

As I've noted before, Vin was doing Dodgers games at the start of the '50s, when my parents and older sister Helen resided in Brooklyn and, like nearly every resident of the borough, followed the Dodgers passionately. (I didn't arrive until 1955, by which time the family was upstate in Syracuse.) All three are gone now, but thanks to Scully, I get to share in something they enjoyed...and mark my words, Vin still is very good at what he does.

Scully's in his 80s now and rarely if ever travels with the team -- but he unquestionably is the most beloved figure in the organization, more so that Tom Lasorda, Sandy Koufax or anyone else. It'll be good to have him back for essentially two-thirds of a century of baseball.

For more on the news and Vin's remarkable career, go to http://m.mlb.com/news/article/146013656/vin-scully-to-return-to-dodgers-booth-in-2016.

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Next year's TCM Classic Film Festival promises to be 'Moving'

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.27 at 23:10
Current mood: ecstaticecstatic

At March's TCM Classic Film Festival, Carole Lombard's "My Man Godfrey" was among a group of films shown on a semi-opening night (actual festivities began the following morning). We don't know if any Lombard films will crack the 2016 festival schedule, but there's one thing we do know:

Next year's event won't take place in March. In fact, the festival will close up shop in May.

See that banner from the festival's second year, in 2011? Take out the second "1," put a "6" in its place and you have the dates for next year's celebration of classic film.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, TCM maven Robert Osborne, who had to sit out this year's event due to health concerns, will return to the helm in 2016, assisted by Ben Mankiewicz (and other champions of the channel, no doubt). The publication also reported that next year's theme will be "Moving Pictures."

But before you go "duh," note the play on words. It refers to "movies that bring us to tears, rouse us to action and inspire us," according to the festival's managing director, Genevieve McGillicuddy. (With a name like that, you'd think she was a character in a Preston Sturges movie.) She added, "This year's theme gets to the heart of why we spend the time that we do watching movies and why we share movies with other people."

Held in Hollywood, as it has since the event's inception in 2010, the principal venues again will be the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres and the Egyptian Theatre, and action centered around the famed Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. (As any Lombard fan worth his or her salt knows, that's where Carole saw Russ Columbo perform at the Cinegrill, and where she and Clark Gable secretly cavorted in the penthouse suite before he finally could marry her.) However, McGillicuddy said a new site or two could be added to the mix.

I already know people who have announced online that they have made their hotel packages for the 2016 festival. If you want to do likewise, don't waste time.

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Carole and the canines

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.26 at 12:19
Current mood: lovedloved
Since today is National Dog Day, here is Carole Lombard with but a few of her canine pals:

If you've got a dog in your life, give it an extra dog biscuit today. Woof!

Carole dons a sombrero -- and looks seductive while doing so -- in Paramount p1202-724, our latest Lombard LiveJournal header.

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Doing some horsing around

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.25 at 13:24
Current mood: enviousenvious

It's Carole Lombard and her inseperable equine pal Pico in this original 1937 photo from Paramount photographer William Walling. Want to learn more about it? Here's the back of the pic, along with an enlarged version of the snipe:

"Beauty and the beast"? More like two beauties.

According to the seller, the photo is "Printed on an oversize [10" x 13"] glossy stock, this vintage original photograph is in very fine+ condition with a 0.25-in. diagonal crease on the top right corner and a 1/8-in. diagonal crease on the bottom right corner."

It's being sold -- not auctioned -- on eBay for $150, or $25 monthly for six months. If you're a fan of Lombard, horses or both, you can make this your own by visiting http://www.ebay.com/itm/TRUE-CONFESSION-1937-Carole-Lombard-Oversize-Photo-by-William-Walling-/371420776275?hash=item567a674753.

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For Christmas, the Brits go Hollywood

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.23 at 21:41
Current mood: cheerfulcheerful

It's late 1936, and Carole Lombard -- who had conquered comedy in America by starring in "My Man Godfrey" that fall -- now was doing likewise in Great Britain. So it's no wonder she was included in Picture Show magazine's Christmas Special issue. The cover featured Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers...

...as well as a photo feature on their latest film, "Swing Time":

Britons curious over how Hollywood celebrated Christmas received a pictorial answer:

That accompanied full-page photos of Shirley Temple...

...Bette Davis...

...and Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer as MGM's drastically overaged "Romeo and Juliet":

William Powell and Myrna Loy are profiled in a stars' birthday section, opposite a feature on gemstones...

...and there's an article on "unique cinemas":

And see what's in the entire magazine in the table of contents, beneath a still of Margaret Sullavan and ex-husband Henry Fonda cavorting in "The Moon's Our Home" (note the British spelling did away with the contraction). Lombard and Fonda's good friend James Stewart pinch-hit for them in a 1940 Lux Radio Theater adaptation of "Moon."

This 78-page magazine, measuring 8 1/2" x 12", is said to be in good condition, with minimal ageing.

Bidding opens at $14.99, with the auction scheduled to close at 7:24 p.m. (Eastern) next Sunday. If you're interested, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/GINGER-ROGERS-FRED-ASTAIRE-SHIRLEY-TEMPLE-LESLIE-HOWARD-CAROLE-LOMBARD/321841834630?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D29979%26meid%3Db76efe67ac154ab6afb8d889232d3e50%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D151789474276.

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Multiple ways to go 'Gay (Bride,' that is)

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.22 at 20:15
Current mood: amusedamused

That's Carole Lombard with Chester Morris in a scene from Carole's lone movie for MGM, 1934's "The Gay Bride." Lombard never was particularly fond of the film, and it isn't top-tier Carole, but it's nevertheless enjoyable and she looks lovely on the Culver City lot. Here's the back of the above photo...

...now, with the snipe enlarged and isolated:

(Note it lists the movie's initial title, "Repeal," which was the title of the story the film was adapted from. But with repeal having been enacted in December 1933, the original title lost some of its punch.)

This is one of five vintage stills from the film up for auction at eBay. Here are the others, none with snipes:

The seller says these photos "are in good condition with minor wear on corners."

Bidding for this quintet of pics begins at $20, but the auction isn't slated to end until 6:32 p.m. (Eastern) next Saturday. If you want to get in on this action, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-movie-photos-Carol-Lombard-in-The-Gay-Bride-circa-1934-lot-of-4-photos-/141753668544?hash=item21012d53c0.

A few weeks ago, when Kristin Chenoweth received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/806205.html), some of her "greatest hits" were piped over the public address system; this was one of them, although it was from a TV movie that wouldn't air for another few days, "Descendants," a second-generation glance at Disney heroes and villains. The normally good-girl Kristin got a chance to display her "Wicked" -- oops, I mean wicked -- side as she played Maleificent, and sung this ditty, "Evil Like Me," to her daughter (played by Dove Cameron). It's received nearly seven million YouTube hits, deservedly so because it's plenty of fun, and I'm happy to share it with you. Enjoy!

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That 'Sacred' flyer is back, and happy birthday, Jackie

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.21 at 18:15
Current mood: ecstaticecstatic

It was six months ago tomorrow that we announced a sale on a handsome 6" x 10" flyer for Carole Lombard's Technicolor comedy "Nothing Sacred", placed into the program for the Southern Cal-UCLA football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Dec. 4, 1937 (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/767135.html). Oh, and that day SC outlasted the upstart Bruins, 19-13.

We see the film had premiered three days earlier, both at Grauman's Chinese on Hollywood Boulevard and Loew's State downtown.

The flyer, which may or may not be the same one that someone tried to sell in February, has resurfaced. But whereas the item had an earlier sale price of $135.95, this one's available for nearly half that -- $75.95. (The game program is not included.) The seller says it's "in beautiful, unused condition with light toning due to its age and is single weight paper," and suggests it would be good for framing. We agree.

Does the lower price make you more interested this time around? If so, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nothing-Sacred-Movie-Flyer-Poster-Carole-Lombard-Chinese-Theater-1930s-Hollywood-/252063871138?hash=item3ab02d70a2#viTabs_0.

And we wish a happy 74th birthday today to one of my favorite singer-songwriters of the '60s, the wonderful Jackie DeShannon. It just so happens that tonight also marks the 50th anniversary of the premiere of this video on the syndicated "Hollywood a Go Go" show, as Jackie performs -- OK, lipsynchs -- her composition "When You Walk in the Room." In August 1965, this song probably was better known for the Searchers' recent hit version, which is fine in its own right, than the original by DeShannon herself. (She had the misfortune of having this initially released the day after John F. Kennedy's assassination, so it reached no higher than #99 on the Billboard Hot 100. Until the Beatles' arrival in early 1964, American pop music essentially was in a holding pattern.)

I've long loved this performance (and ran it here before); note how Jackie slips up mouthing the words at the start, but effortlessly makes up for it with boundless charm. Then near the end, watch her dip her head seductively -- it gets me every time. Two more things to note about this video: Facebook friend Randy Nauert and his band the Challengers, who backed Jackie many times on southern California stages in the mid-sixties (performances where she actually sang!), instrument-sync here, for lack of a better term. And the shirt DeShannon is wearing? It was a gift from John Lennon when she toured with the Beatles in 1964. Happy birthday, Jackie -- and if I have anything to do with it, you'll get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017.

Carole poses in a white robe in front of a fireplace at her new Hollywood Boulevard home in Paramount p1202-717, our latest Lombard LiveJournal header.

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Eating out, classic Hollywood style

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.20 at 22:26
Current mood: hungryhungry

Whether Carole Lombard was squired by William Powell, Russ Columbo or Clark Gable, they all knew the best way to this woman's heart was to wine and dine her -- and in the Hollywood and environs of cinema's classic age, there were all sorts of wonderful places around town to take Lombard or someone else in their hearts.

Film historian Mary Mallory is set to discuss where the film elite would meet to eat this Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Will and Ariel Durant Library on 7140 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, about a mile or so from Ciro's, where Clark and Carole are shown above from 1941.

Mallory will give a lecture on the famed restaurants of that bygone age (although a few, such as Musso & Frank, aren't bygone at all). Adding to the nostalgic tone will be Will Ryan of the Cactus County Cowboys and the Saguaro Sisters with some vintage harmony.

As proof Mallory knows her stuff, read these entries of hers at the LA Daily Mirror local history blog, where she discusses Clara Bow's "It" Cafe... (http://ladailymirror.com/2015/08/03/mary-mallory-hollywood-heights-the-it-cafe-hollywoods-swankiest-night-spot/)

...or the Pig 'n' Whistle on Hollywood Boulevard near the Egyptian Theater; it's on the original site, but it's not the original restaurant.

Mallory explains its history at http://ladailymirror.com/2015/04/27/mary-mallory-hollywood-heights-hollywoods-pign-whistle-draws-film-fans/.

It should be plenty of fun -- even if your idea of dining after the presentation is walking a few blocks west to In-N-Out Burger for a double-double.

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A scrapbook, at the big 6-0

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.19 at 17:47
Current mood: accomplishedaccomplished

Not to sound presumptuous, but I like to think that somewhere today, Carole Lombard is celestially celebrating my birthday with Clark Gable and many other of her friends -- just as I honor the anniversary of her birth every Oct. 6. It's a milestone for me today, as I've reached age 60 (and have the gray hair to prove it). It's still difficult to fathom; at this stage of your life, many begin to sum up life's ledger, but I believe I have many things yet to accomplish...and pray I'll have enough time on this earth to accomplish them. But to borrow an old Johnny Mathis song title, it's not for me to say.

Meanwhile, I have this site among my hobbies -- and today came across the handiwork of some hobbyist somewhere, a Lombard scrapbook. It's a huge endeavor in multiple ways; for one thing, it measures 16" x 12". For another, it consists of more than 50 pages and 100 pictires. Better yet, the seller has provided several pages from the volume for us to see, and I'm delighted to share them with you.

Lots of fascinating pics...but wait, there's more!

All of these look to be from 1941 or earlier. Might that be where it ended? The answer is no, as there are at least two posthumous clippings:

The seller notes, "Spiral notebook is old and tethered and coming apart."

"But all pages are in good condition with wear only on edges and corner."

My mother once told me that when she was a teen in the mid-1930s, she compiled a scrapbook of Ruby Keeler clippings and mailed them to her -- but I don't believe she ever got them back. I wonder if I would have done likewise for Lombard had I been a teen in the late '30s?

Anyway, this is a one-of-a-kind item from someone who had as much affection for Carole then as I do now. The opening bid is a mere 99 cents, but the auction isn't slated to end until 3:09 p.m. (Eastern) a week from Saturday, so who knows what the winning bid will be? If you'd like to take your chances and bid on this rarity, learn more about it at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Huge-Scrapbook-Collection-Of-Clark-And-Carole-Lombard-Gable-Over-100-Pics-16-/281777697633?hash=item419b427361.

Finally, my condolences to the family and friends of Yvonne Craig, the 1960s actress probably best known for portraying Batgirl on the 1966-68 "Batman" series; she died of breast cancer Monday at age 78. A reliable character actress and popular pinup, Craig received plenty of film and TV work from the late '50s into the '70s. I met her at a memorabilia show in New Jersey in the mid-1990s, and she was plenty of fun to talk with.

A similar recollection of Craig comes from blogger, comic book artist, cartoon director and pop culture maven Mark Evanier, and it's worth a read -- particularly for his anecdote's punchline, something Carole might have said: http://www.newsfromme.com/2015/08/19/yvonne-craig-r-i-p/

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Lombard with a page-boy

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.18 at 04:11
Current mood: flirtyflirty

No, as far as is known Carole Lombard never attempted wearing that iconic 1920s hairstyle; she's at right in this photo, wearing "a diaphanous bra top and short pants," revealing lots of leg. It's the other woman in this photo, taken for Mack Sennett in late 1927 or early '28, who's trying to emulate Colleen Moore (the star then most associated with the 'do) or Louise Brooks, who'd appear in the 1931 Lombard film "It Pays to Advertise," though she's in a separate scene and it's not known whether they ever met (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/32690.html).

And just who is this other woman? Her name is Jean Keller, a Sennett girl for a brief time. Born Jan. 3, 1911 in Santa Monica (was this where Mack discovered her?), Keller's movie output consisted of four uncredited appearances, three in Sennett shorts with Lombard -- "The Girl From Everywhere" (1927), as well as "The Swim Princess" and "Run, Girl, Run" (both 1928). She died in Nevada in 1990, and I have no idea whether she had children or ever told friends or family stories about working with Lombard.

Here's the back of the pic identifying her:

This photo is doubleweight and measures 10 1/2" x 13 1/2"; the seller calls it "spectacular" and adds it's in fine condition. This is a rarity, to be sure, and you can buy it for $165 or for $28 for six months. Just go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-Jean-Keller-Sexy-vintage-leggy-jumbo-1928-Mack-Sennett-photo-/371413998143?hash=item5679ffda3f to find out more.

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She's been framed!

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.16 at 09:25
Current mood: curiouscurious

Does this give Carole Lombard sufficient "street cred"? Actually, I created it using the free app http://www.straightouttasomewhere.com/ (thank you, Dr. Dre, whose Beats firm came up with this), and I like to think that somewhere, Carole's enjoying this tribute to her initial hometown. (If you hear of a lightning bolt striking someone in Los Angeles on this hot, but otherwise sunny day, you'll know I was wrong, in which case it's been nice knowing you.)

Our topic for today actually concerns this:

It's a lovely framed photo of Carole, probably from 1933 or '34, measuring 9" by 10 3/4" and in "a beautiful carved wood frame," as the seller states. I have no idea when this was framed, or whether it's a vintage image or a reprint. I suppose whomever wins this auction could remove the back and find out if they're really that curious:

Bidding begins at $9.99, with the auction closing at 12:45 p.m. (Eastern) Wednesday. To bid or find out more, go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/VTG-CAROLE-LOMBARD-FRAMED-PICTURE-ORIGINAL-OLD-STUDIO-HOLLYWOOD-GLAM-/231653704077?hash=item35efa3018d.

It's on to p1202-714 in our series of Lombard LiveJournal headers, and once again we have a snipe to furnish the details:

carole lombard 06

The Anti-Damsel Blogathon: 'Produced' by Carole Lombard

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.15 at 17:39
Current mood: contemplativecontemplative

When you read about the life of Carole Lombard, often it's difficult to believe that the prime of her career began slightly more than eight decades ago...and that we're slightly more than 17 months away from the 75th anniversary of her premature passing. There's such a modern, timeless air about her, you almost expect to see her on Hollywood Boulevard, just stepping out of Musso & Frank's with a few of her writer pals. (I've often said that if we could go back to 1935, herd all the stars of the day into a time machine and deposit them in 2015, Carole would have less difficulty adjusting than nearly all of her contemporaries.) In other words, the lady was ahead of her time.

And this entry is part of the Anti-Damsel Blogathon, which is just as its name implies -- a salute to women of classic Hollywood, in both silents and talkies, who kicked ass, took names and empowered themselves both on and off screen. It's hosted by the Last Drive-In (http://thelastdrivein.com/2015/08/15/its-saturday-and-the-anti-damsel-blogathon-2015-is-here/) and Movies Silently (http://moviessilently.com/).

In other words, think Emma Peel, only minus the karate kicks...and what red-blooded man would object to being rescued by Lombard? (She's shown below helping pull people from an overturned bus in "Vigil in the Night.")

During an early '70s TV interview, Diana Rigg -- beginning the transition from Avenger to dame of the West End, cited Carole as a type of actress to emulate. I sense Lombard would have returned the favor regarding Rigg.

But empowerment transcends the physical, and even if Carole hadn't been such a fine athlete, she definitely was empowered. An ardent feminist -- a trait she learned from the Baha'i faith of her mother -- Lombard believed women could achieve just about anything (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/157005.html, http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/332743.html).

So it should come as little surprise that Lombard's interest in the film industry went far beyond appearing in front of the camera, although she had an uncanny feel for lighting and cinematography and was renowned in the business for her sense regarding scripts. Carole truly felt at home in the movie business...and let's emphasize that word, "business."

This is a carbon copy of the contract Carole signed in September 1940 to appear in the RKO comedy "Mr. & Mrs. Smith." Those of you who are regular readers of Carole & Co. may note we ran this several days ago as part of an entry on an auction for the item at eBay. Nobody bid on it earlier this week, so it's once again in the mix with an opening bid of $2,500. The auction ends at 3:45 p.m. (Eastern) Friday; if interested, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/ORIGINAL-CONTRACT-1940-MR-MRS-SMITH-SIGNED-BY-CAROLE-LOMBARD/281773637739?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D29979%26meid%3D0de74667c318431dbb359ef54b94df01%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D151779552788.)

What the contract doesn't say is that Lombard herself put up some of the money for the movie, making her a de facto producer -- which may be how she was able to arrange 5 percent of gross revenue beyond the $150,000 she received from RKO. Several months later, when Ernst Lubitsch heeded Jack Benny's request to have Carole replace Miriam Hopkins (who wanted more speaking lines in the script), she wielded enough industry clout to sign a similar deal. (At the time, Lombard essentially was a freelancer -- unlike most of her contemporaries, bound by ironclad studio contracts -- and was to have made "They All Kissed the Bride" at Columbia following "To Be Or Not To Be.")

People who knew Lombard later said she had little desire to direct movies (unlike her one-time Paramount stablemate, Ida Lupino), but was interested in producing movies, starring herself as well as others. And given her track record, she almost certainly would have succeeded.

carole lombard 05

Clark and Carole and James and Jean...oh, and Loretta, too

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.14 at 19:08
Current mood: energeticenergetic

Carole Lombard and Clark Gable were a few months into their well-publicized marriage as the summer of 1939 began, the last summer before war clouds spread across Europe, just as they had been in Asia for some years. (As the weird typography of the snipe indicates, that's a press release from RKO.)

The Gables' new marriage was celebrated in that summer's edition of Screen Album, basically a pictorial with a few paragraphs' copy on Hollywood personalities:

The issue's cover subject was Twentieth Century-Fox beauty Loretta Young, in all her brunette glory:

Another "couple" that appeared on facing pages in that issue weren't married in real life -- and their film characters weren't, either. But James Stewart and Jean Arthur nevertheless had terrific screen chemistry in Frank Capra's Capitol epic "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington":

Who was Hollywood's goddess of love in summer 1939? This issue put forth four lovely candidates -- Madeleine Carroll, the long-since forgotten Isa Miranda, Warners firecracker Ann Sheridan and MGM stunner Hedy Lamarr:

And while the front inside cover offered a table of contents...

...and the back inside cover featured a profile of Don Ameche, whose recent portrayal of Alexander Graham Bell had vaulted him to stardom...

...both also featured plugs for their sibling fanmags, Modern Screen and Screen Romances.

This magazine, in very good condition despite its 76-year-old age, is up for auction at eBay. Bidding begins at $4.99, with bids closing at 9:13 a.m. (Eastern) next Friday. For more information or to place a bid, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/SCREEN-ALBUM-SUMMER-EDITION-1939-MAGAZINE-CAROLE-LOMBARD-GABLE-DELL-PUBLISHING-/151779552788?hash=item2356c42e14.

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The Barrymore Trilogy Blogathon: Carole and John, together again

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.13 at 12:48
Current mood: contemplativecontemplative

I recently came across a wonderful banner on the Internet, one whose message I agree with -- and I'm sure Carole Lombard would've too (though I doubt "cool" was used as a term beyond describing temperature in her time):

Integrity was among the many reasons Carole ranked among the most popular people in the film industry; she did many things to aid others. And three years after the inscribed photo above from John Barrymore following their mutual triumph in "Twentieth Century," one that put Lombard in the cinematic map, so to speak, she later had the chance to return the favor -- and did.

Oh, I nearly forgot to mention this is part of the Barrymore Trilogy Blogathon, hosted by my good friend Crystal at "In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood" (https://crystalkalyana.wordpress.com/)

OK, let's get back to Lombard, Barrymore and integrity.

"Twentieth Century" more or less ignited Carole's career as a lively, lovable comedic actress...but at the time, few knew it would effectively be a last hurrah for Barrymore. Age and alcoholism were gradually taking their toll, and by 1937 his starring roles were a thing of the past. For better or worse, the man once renowned as "the great profile" was now a character actor...and an erratic one.

Following "Twentieth Century," not only did Lombard's stature rise in Hollywood, but so did her power. By the mid-thirties, Carole finally had become reliable box office at her home studio of Paramount, a place that for years had shunted her into useless all-purpose leading lady roles not necessarily aligned with her strengths as an actress.

She used this power not merely to bolster herself, but to help others at the studio. And among her projects was rehabilitating the career of John Barrymore. When Paramount began casting for her latest comedy vehicle "True Confession," Lombard sensed that one of the roles -- that of an eccentric criminologist -- could be just right for him; in fact, she insisted he receive third billing for a comparatively small part. And as my friend Lara Gabrielle Fowler notes in her review of "True Confession" (http://backlots.net/2013/03/11/clfp-true-confession-1937/),

"Carole advocated passionately for him, using her significant power with Paramount to demand that her friend be given the role of Charley Jasper in 'True Confession.' Though Barrymore was a very risky hire at that point, Carole did not back down and Paramount conceded to Barrymore as Charley. He gave a performance that demonstrated, as it did in 'Twentieth Century,' that he had a great talent for comedy and had these films come earlier in his career, he may have developed this talent to his professional advantage."

Barrymore was clearly having a ball making "True Confession," but the film as a whole is a sort of an acquired taste. Lombard's Helen Bartlett, a congenital liar, isn't the easiest character to root for, and you almost feel sorry for Fred MacMurray as her attorney husband. No wonder that it has both passionate defenders and detractors, a rare divide in Carole's filmography. (Many maintain her portrayal of Helen helped hone the later comedic persona of Lucille Ball, most notably as Lucy Ricardo in the landmark sitcom "I Love Lucy.")

Alas for John Barrymore, it was too late, as John Barleycorn was winning his internal battle. Barrymore continued to get work, mostly in comedies such as "The Invisible Woman," but the roles -- and films -- continued diminishing. Barely four months after Lombard's shockingly early death, Barrymore breathed his last in May 1942.

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The lady gives thanks

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.12 at 13:57
Current mood: thankfulthankful

Carole Lombard knew that while she had worked hard to achieve her high status in Hollywood, she also was extremely fortunate. So for the December 1939 issue of Movie Mirror, Carole -- preparing for her first holiday season as Clark Gable's wife -- said as such to her fans in a special Thanksgiving message.

The magazine ran it both in her handwriting...

...and in print:

What else is inside? Of course, there's a table of contents, facing an ad for William Powell' "comeback" film, "Another Thin Man" with Myrna Loy...

...an ad and photo on facing pages for Claudette Colbert and Henry Fonda in John Ford's Technicolor "Drums Along the Mohawk"...

...and two stories on Barbara Stanwyck, one an "as told to" by Stany herself:

Not a bad little package as that glorious cinematic year 1939 was nearing its climax.

The magazine, used but in good condition, is available via auction at eBay. Bids open at $9.99, with bids closing at 2:19 p.m. (Eastern) Monday. Interested? Learn more at http://www.ebay.com/itm/1939-December-MOVIE-MIRROR-Magazine-Full-Issue-CAROLE-LOMBARD-Cover/271955781354?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D29979%26meid%3D1aec47f2ea9941929d6530c1d11e26b9%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D400976360360.

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Mrs. Smith means business

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.11 at 11:08
Current mood: enviousenvious

Carole Lombard gets to play director of Alfred Hitchcock's customary cameo in this famed scene from 1941's "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," the only romantic comedy the master of suspense ever helmed. Now, a document from that film has been made public, and it's a notable illustration of Lombard the businesswoman -- as well as yet another indication she was an actress ahead of her time.

It's a copy of the contract Carole signed with RKO to make the movie in September 1940:

And yes, Lombard signs it in her traditional green fountain pen ink, although the nearly 75 years that have elapsed since her signing have given it a somewhat forest-green hue (and it is a carbon copy):

Reading the contract enables one to appreciate Lombard's shrewd financial sense. Note, for example, that she not only received $150,000 for making "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," but 5 percent of the subsequent gross from its distribution:

Hardly any actor in Hollywood was doing this at the start of the 1940s; Lombard could, since she had a relatively loose contract with RKO, a far cry from the seven-year deal she'd had with neighboring Paramount several years earlier. About a decade later, James Stewart gained industry plaudits for receiving a percentage of the gross in his westerns, but by then the Supreme Court had struck down the ties between studios and theater ownership and the ironclad studio system was rapidly weakening. That wasn't true in Lombard's time, and her groundbreaking role in this perhaps was blunted by her premature passing.

But Carole wasn't merely getting from the studio -- she was giving to them as well. She was de facto producer of her final few films, putting up money and assisting in coordinating the projects (first for RKO, then for United Artists in the case of "To Be Or Not To Be"). Over the years, many actors have produced their own film vehicles (including two heirs to Lombard's funny/sexy style, Goldie Hawn and Anna Faris). It's been conjectured that had Lombard lived several more decades, she would have become a producer, not only of her own films but others as well. It was one of the many things she loved about the movie business. And in that vein, she probably made many a phone call to help "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" become a reality.

That original carbon copy (the seller says this was given to Lombard for her files) is up for auction at eBay, and as you might guess, bidding on this rarity won't come cheaply. The opening price is $2,500, and the auction is set to end at 3:45 p.m. (Eastern) Friday. This is for the super-avid (or super-wealthy) Carole collector; if you qualify in either category, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/ORIGINAL-CONTRACT-1940-MR-MRS-SMITH-SIGNED-BY-CAROLE-LOMBARD-/321826550320?hash=item4aee5b7230.

Another 1934 pose at La Casa Carole at 7953 Hollywood Boulevard for our latest Lombard LiveJournal header -- it's Paramount p1202-713, this one showing her in a black dress.

carole lombard 01

Two more oversized beauties

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.10 at 08:04
Current mood: impressedimpressed

Yesterday's entry featured a sultry oversized (11" x 14") portrait of Carole Lombard. It turns out that seller has two more in that category Carole collectors should know about. Like the first, neither are originals, but are printed on high-quality lustre finish paper. Each are on sale for $24.99, though for postal purposes it should be noted the seller hails from Australia.

This photo is said to be from 1932, and from the hairstyle and blonder-than-usual shade, I won't dispute that. (Apologies to animal lovers for the fox skins draped around her neck.) Purchase it or learn more by visiting http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-1932-OVERSIZED-11x14-Hollywood-Print-LUMINOUS-PROFILE-/301708502863?hash=item463f3a674f.

Now to the other, from later in her career:

It can be found at http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-1940-OVERSIZED-11x14-Hollywood-Print-BREATHTAKING-BELLE-/301708502352?hash=item463f3a6550.

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Carole + cleavage =

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.09 at 18:59
Current mood: hothot

...wow -- that's one sexy photo of Carole Lombard. The seller defines it as "1933...sensual pre-Code," and while it's undeniably sensual, I'm not 100 percent certain it's from '33. The hair has more of a mid-thirties feel to it, and while Lombard may have had some apparel with her initials at the time, I can't recall seeing any pictures with them from that period. And if it is indeed from mid-1934 or later, that would explain the absence of any studio stamp, from Paramount or otherwise, because there's simply no way that such a considerable display of cleavage would get past Joseph Breen's office.

What we do know at the photo is that it's oversized (11" x 14"), gorgeous and not an original pic, according to the seller, appropriately named "dreampinups"...and that it also can be yours, if you're willing to shell out $24.99. But if you're interested, do so pronto -- Lombard lusciously displaying her wares probably means it won't be around for long. Go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-1933-OVERSIZED-11x14-Hollywood-Print-SENSUAL-PRECODE-/261997912056?hash=item3d004adff8 to find out more.

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More than just a state park

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.08 at 18:18
Current mood: accomplishedaccomplished

The above picture from "The Gay Bride" shows Carole Lombard alongside Leo Carrillo. For generations of southern Californians who only know Carrillo's name in conjunction with a state park, Carrillo (1881-1961) was a reliable character actor who appeared in films such as "Manhattan Melodrama" (1934) and "Too Hot To Handle" (1938). He later moved to television, starring as Pancho on the video version of "The Cisco Kid."

Carrillo, part of a multi-generation southern California family (his father was the first mayor of Santa Monica), attended Loyola University in town and became an engineer and newspaper political cartoonist before pursuing a career in show business. He served on the State Park and Recreation Commission, and Leo Carrillo State Park and Leo Carrillo beach in Malibu were named in his honor.

The photo, said to be in good condition, is up for auction at eBay. Bidding begins at $6, with the auction set to close at 7:54 a.m. (Eastern) next Saturday. If you're interested or would like to learn more, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/ORIGINAL-STILL-1934-THE-GAY-BRIDE-CAROLE-LOMBARD-LEO-CARRILLO/321827104567?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D29979%26meid%3D6c0758a1d1bc4644a7c9f9afc0a72931%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D321827104567.

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Sexy x 2

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.07 at 05:17
Current mood: impressedimpressed

Paramount staff photographer Eugene Robert Richee took some delightfully sexy images of Carole Lombard during the early 1930s -- in fact, below are two rarities from that very same session:

Each are impressive -- so much so that you'll have to shell out $695.95 (or make a best offer) for each one. Here's more information:

"This is one of the most famous photo shoots that Richee did with Lombard. The back of the photo has Paramount Stamp with Eugene Robert Richee being credit for the photo. Photo is in great shape, shows a little handling wear and the corners have pin holes where someone had hung the photo."

Specifics can be found at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-Original-1932-Photo-by-Eugene-Robert-Richee-RARE-8x10-Sexy-Pose-/301706566483?hash=item463f1cdb53 and at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-Original-1932-Photo-by-Eugene-Robert-Richee-RARE-8x10-Sexy-2-/291533269774?hash=item43e0bcab0e.

Each of these images (which I'm guessing actually are from 1933, promotional stills for that fall's film "White Woman") deserve all the praise they get; both are in excellent shape. And upon seeing these images, all Carole Sampeck of The Lombard Archive could say was, "Helluva dress." We agree.

The latest Lombard LiveJournal header again depicts Carole at her new Hollywood Boulevard home in the spring of 1934. Specifically, it's Paramount p1202-711, and shows her in the luxurious bed designed for her by William Haines. (And oh, what stories that bed could tell!)

carole lombard 03

Look (or listen to) who's a Lombard fan!

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.05 at 22:01
Current mood: thankfulthankful

Carole Lombard not only made a movie with Bing Crosby ("We're Not Dressing"), but legitimately was a fan of his, as she was with his good friend and ill-fated crooning rival Russ Columbo. I think it would please her to know that more than 80 years after filming "We're Not Dressing," some talented musicians of today are returning the favor....including one who visited her hometown of Fort Wayne, Ind., this week.

We're referring to Diana Krall, talented jazz vocalist and pianist (and wife of another towering musical talent, Elvis Costello), who played the town's Embassy Theater Tuesday night. How do we know this? It was reported in Wednesday's Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. Here's part of James Grant's review (http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20150805/ENT/150809907):

Krall also spoke of her love of Fort Wayne's own Carole Lombard, one of her favorite actresses, during her first encore song, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” when she jokingly chided the audience to make sure they knew Carole was born here.

The sense that Krall was familiar with Fort Wayne and her references to the city and Embassy Theatre throughout the night was a much appreciated touch of class.

Wonder if she paid a visit to Lombard's birthplace at 704 Rockhill Street?

So as a thank you to Krall, here's one of my favorite recordings of hers -- a version of the Nat Cole classic "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You":

carole lombard 02

'Breakfast' treat

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.04 at 20:15
Current mood: accomplishedaccomplished

Carole Lombard, playing the horsewoman she was in real life, and co-star Preston Foster are shown in this rare, on-the-set shot from the 1936 Universal comedy "Love Before Breakfast." Both are identified on the back of this vintage 8" x 10" doubleweight, now up for auction at eBay:

Several years ago, I found another equine scene from the film, complete with snipe:

The top photo is deemed in very good condition, although the seller notes there is a slight curl.

Bidding opens at $29.95, with the auction ending at 4:36 p.m. (Eastern) next Tuesday. Interested, or merely curious? Bid, or find out more, by visiting http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-PRESTON-FOSTER-Love-Before-Breakfast-Orig-1936-Photo-On-Set-DBWT-/381352630152?hash=item58ca635788.

We note the passing of Cilla Black at age 72, a name vaguely familiar to Americans but a prominent figure for British music and television fans. She didn't have much chart success stateside -- "You're My World," from 1965, probably is her best-known record in the U.S. -- in contrast to the many hits she racked up in the UK. A Liverpool native who worked at the legendary Cavern club and became good friends with the Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein, Black later became a popular TV host (or "presenter," as the Brits like to call it), and became one of that nation's most beloved personalities. Here's my favorite record of hers, "I've Been Wrong Before," an early Randy Newman composition backed by George Martin's orchestra. Elvis Costello liked this song so much he did his own version on his '90s album "Kojak Variety."

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A potpourri of portraits

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.03 at 05:51
Current mood: determineddetermined

An assortment of Carole Lombard stills are being offered as a unit on eBay, including this rarity above from 1940's "Vigil in the Night," indicative of the resolve Carole gave to her character in this nursing drama. The item is being sold as "6 Glamorous Carole Lombard 8 x 10 Photographs," but the other five portraits better display that side of her -- for example, this early image, which may be from publicity sessions for her first Paramount film, "Safety in Numbers" from 1930:

This head shot is Paramount p1202-594, from about 1933:

A year or so later, Lombard teamed with George Raft for the dance film "Bolero," and they posed for this publicity still:

Carole again was a dancer in 1937's "Swing High, Swing Low," where this leggy pose hails from:

And finally, this image, which I'm guessing comes from her 1933 Paramount film "White Woman":

The seller states, "Aside from some minor denting, these prints are in excellent condition." You can purchase the group straight up for $23.99 or place a bid starting at $16.99, in which case this becomes an auction lasting through 6:01 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday. To find out more, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/6-Glamorous-CAROLE-LOMBARD-8-x-10-PHOTOGRAPHS-/161782726455?hash=item25ab007f37.

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Feel the steam (and the camp!) from this pressbook

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.02 at 06:55
Current mood: amusedamused

If you ever wondered how a Southeast Asia plantation was created on a Paramount soundstage for Carole Lombard's 1933 potboiler "White Woman," this photo helps provide an answer. Lombard and associates weren't yet aware of the term "camp," but that future Susan Sontag term oozes throughout this over-the-top production.

Now, a rare souvenir from this film has surfaced -- a pressbook. It looks to be from the American release, as there are no British spellings or typically English fonts used. The seller correctly describes the front cover as "stunning with wonderful seductive image of Lombard."

Shown are "typical inside pages," with the sensationalistic ad angle used...

...with posters promoted on the back cover.

One senses this pressbook might be more fun than the actual film.

Bidding begins at $24.99, with the auction ending at 8:45 p.m. (Eastern) Saturday. Get in the game by going to http://www.ebay.com/itm/1935-Paramount-White-Woman-Orig-Pressbook-Charles-Laughton-Carole-Lombard-Scarce-/221842152256?hash=item33a6d29b40.

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