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carole lombard 01

RIP, Mr. Schallert

Posted by vp19 on 2016.05.09 at 15:23
Current mood: contemplativecontemplative
Today's a sad one in the entertainment industry, as we lost one of its stalwarts -- veteran character actor William Schallert, who died last night at age 93.

Like many of you, I grew up watching him on all sorts of TV series -- "Dobie Gillis," "The Patty Duke Show" (shown above), "Get Smart" and countless others. He also appeared in many movies, worked on stage and did plenty of voiceovers. He even was president of the Screen Actors Guild.

I was fortunate to interview Mr. Schallert in 2002, and you can find a transcript here: http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/190884.html. It's well worth a read.

Let us celebrate a life well lived.

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On Mother's Day, a future gift of 'Orchids'

Posted by vp19 on 2016.05.08 at 09:25
Current mood: pensivepensive

A happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there -- thanks for bringing us into the world! -- so I thought I'd open this entry with this fan magazine pic of Carole Lombard and her mother, Elizabeth Peters, from the summer of 1931, not long after Carole married William Powell and honeymooned in Hawaii. (She caught ill there, a harbinger of a rocky marriage that evolved into a successful friendship.)

But today's entry focuses on the future, specifically something coming up in a bit over two months...

...a new blogathon headed our way. The topic: The films of 1932, a year that may not possess the inherent majesty of 1939 but in many ways is its pre-Code equivalent. Yes, '32 was a terrific year for movies, despite the Depression (which impacted the box office and in turn, the industry). Think of the many classics issued that year -- "Shanghai Express" (illustrated in the banner), Academy Award winner "Grand Hotel," Ernst Lubitsch's exquisite "Trouble in Paradise," the steamy "Red Dust," and so many more. It's only natutal I'd want to get in on the action with a Lombard spin on things.

But which film of Carole's?

Five productions starring her were released that year, and while the best of the quintet probably was "Virtue" (easily the most pre-Code in tone of the group), I've written extensively on it, perhaps too much so. If any fellow bloggers want to take a stab at it, be my guest.

"No Man Of Her Own" has that irresistible Clark Gable angle plus Lombard in lingerie (something for everybody!), but as a movie I find it falls apart in the second half and doesn't quite equal the star-studded sum of its parts.

"No One Man" (made in late 1931, issued in early '32), Carole's first top-billed Paramount production, is rather pedestrian despite the presence of Paul Lukas and everyone's favorite pre-Code antagonist, Ricardo Cortez. The same can be said of that summer's release...

..."Sinners in the Sun," perhaps now better remembered as Cary Grant's second film (a supporting role) and one where Lombard shows off a variety of fashions (from gowns to swimsuits) but does relatively little else.

So by process of elimination, I'm going with...

..."No More Orchids," Carole's Columbia followup to "Virtue." It's got a lot going for it: a hint of the comedic Lombard to come, a capable leading man in Lyle Talbot, the presence of Walter Connolly, a superb character actor who'd support Carole on three other occasions, and C. Aubrey Smith in an uncharacteristic bad-guy role. What else will I write about "Orchids"? You'll have to wait two months to find out.

To find out more about this blogathon, go to https://aurorasginjoint.com/2016/05/07/hot-and-bothered-the-films-of-1932-blogathon/. It's being co-hosted by Aurura and CineMaven's Essays From the Couch (https://cinemavensessaysfromthecouch.wordpress.com/).

Many fascinating films from '32 are still there for the taking -- not just the four from Lombard I left on the table, but several superb movies from her husband at the time, William Powell, notably two fine pairings with Kay Francis, the moving "One Way Passage" and the outrageous "Jewel Robbery" (aka the erudite Mr. Powell engages in drug humor!). Hope both of them are claimed soon.

And again, a happy Mother's Day as I reflect on my mother, who reached age 93 and left us in December 2013.

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On the set of the 'Century'

Posted by vp19 on 2016.05.07 at 08:29
Current mood: accomplishedaccomplished

Here's Carole Lombard taking a break on the set of what arguably is her most important movie, "Twentieth Century." It was released by Columbia in the spring of 1934 and helped transform her reputation from a clotheshorse with good legs but an undistinctive persona into the queen of a new cinematic genre, the screwball comedy.

Second from left is its director, Howard Hawks, a distant cousin of Carole's. (She'd had a supporting role in his first directorial effort, the lost 1926 silebt "The Road to Glory," which is unrelated to a film of the same title Hawks directed a decade later.) Hawks had a fascinatingly varied career, never tied down to a particular studio or genre, which may explain why it wasn't until the auteur theory took hold in the 1960s that his talent was fully appreciated.

As for the other two people pictured here, the seller has no idea who they are, and neither do I. Any ideas?

This original image, from the Frank Driggs collection, is up for auction at eBay:

The photo is described as in fine condition, with "light corner wear":

As of this writing, eight bids -- topping at $31 -- have been made for this rare pic, and the auction won't end until 9:21 p.m. (Eastern) a week from Monday. By then, expect bids to reach triple digits. If that doesn't daunt you or you want more information, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/Howard-Hawks-Carole-Lombard-Rare-Set-Twentieth-Century-Vintage-Photograph-1934-/231910625128?hash=item35fef34f68:g:ET4AAOSwSzdXC~m1.

The reviews were positive (although here, co-star John Barrymore, not Lombard, is the focal point), as this feature from the Hollywood Reporter makes evident:

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Starring in 'The Racquet-eer'

Posted by vp19 on 2016.04.29 at 15:20
Current mood: optimisticoptimistic

It's no secret Carole Lombard loved her tennis, and this group of three pictures from the mid-1930s proves it. Above, she's practicing her game in 1935, as we see from the bottom of the image. (Can any of you make out the Paramount p1202 number? As is the case with her famed black swimsuit pose, I couldn't.)

Even better news -- all three pics have snipes on the back, explaining what they were about. Check out this one:

How good a player was Lombard? Here's a photo of Carole with her mixed doubles partner:

And check out his resume:

Or maybe he simply enjoyed playing with such a glamorous, beautiful and lively partner. Couldn't blame him for that, either.

One of Lombard's closest pals was tennis champion Alice Marble. Lombard sponsored her career, which featured four U.S. Open singles titles and a Wimbledon singles championship. This hardly is a rare photo of the two, but adding the snipe gives the image an entirely new angle:

This pictorial trio all are originals, generally in good condition for photos roughly eight decades old. The three are being sold as a unit, with bids opening at $20. Since bidding is set to close at 3:54 p.m. (Eastern) Wednesday, the winning price may not be too exorbitant.

To bid or learn more, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/THREE-ORIGINAL-CAROLE-LOMBARD-TENNIS-PHOTOS-/322090973097?hash=item4afe1e37a9:g:kJ8AAOSw3mpXHSNW.

It's been more than a month since I've done an entry; as many of you know, life has temporarily interfered with my normal doings. (It's why I'm not at the TCM Classic Film Festival, though it's only a few miles from me. To those of you there, have a wonderful time, and I miss being with you.) Keep the faith -- soon I hope to be back with more frequent entries. Carole, you may not realize it, but you provide excellent therapy.

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The "Dot" Blogathon: Linking Lamour and Lombard

Posted by vp19 on 2016.03.12 at 13:07
Current mood: contemplativecontemplative

This entry, focusing on Carole Lombard's relationship with Dorothy Lamour, is part of the Dorothy Lamour Blogathon this weekend, hosted by Silver Screenings (http://silverscreenings.org) and Font and Frock (http://fontandfrock.com).

Many classic Hollywood fans know Lombard and Lamour made a film together, the 1937 musical "Swing High, Swing Low" -- Paramount's biggest moneymaker for the entire year. But relatively few are aware of the friendship that developed between them.

And perhaps it began with a 1934 automobile accident that claimed the life of Lamour's good friend and fellow New Orleans resident Dorothy Dell at age 19. Lombard quickly was given Dell's role in the film "Now And Forever," and Lamour -- who by now was making a name for herself as a band singer (and a pretty good one) -- was signed to a contract at Paramount.

She and Carole soon became friends, and when Lamour was assigned to "Swing High, Swing Low," Lombard used her considerable clout at the studio to make sure Dorothy's part was beefed up with a few extra pages of script (http://dearmrgable.com/?page_id=3314).

When Lombard finally severed her contract with Paramount in 1938, she made certain Lamour inherited her dressing room on the lot.

Following Lombard's death in 1942, Lamour became active in the war bond effort,helping sell several million dollars' worth of bonds. By now, of course, she was one of Paramount's top stars, though she no longer was renowned for her jungle or "sarong" pictures. Instead, she was best pals to Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in their successful series of "Road" films. (Indeed, her autobiography was titled "My Side of the Road.")

Lamour died in 1996 at age 81. She is buried at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.

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Carole is red-faced...and that's good

Posted by vp19 on 2016.02.29 at 18:27
Current mood: excitedexcited

And here, "red-faced" doesn't mean in an embarrassing way. Carole Lombard's image for her long-awaited biography by my friend Michelle Morgan has been announced...

A classic Carole smile, with a cover describing the title.

The hardback book is set to be released six months from now (Sept. 1) by Britain's The History Press. Those in North America will be able to order it online, with hopes a U.S. publisher soon will be found.

This promises to be the definitive Lombard biography, from an author whose works on other stars (Marilyn Monroe, Thelma Todd) have garnered deserved praise. Congratulations, Michelle!

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Playing the name game

Posted by vp19 on 2016.01.28 at 14:58
Current mood: distresseddistressed

It's been nearly a week since I've posted an entry, and I apologize to my fellow Carole Lombard fans for the delay. In all honesty, my life has been a struggle of late; here's a bit on that before I proceed.

I'm writing this from Jacksonville, Fla., where I've been since Jan. 10. Tomorrow night, I'm boarding a Greyhound and will return to Los Angeles sometime Monday. There, I hope to find work and shelter and get my life back together -- if any of you in southern California can help with either or make suggestions towards that end, it would be appreciated. Truth be told, I made some mistakes during my first stay there, and hope I've learned from them...especially since this time, I have no margin for error, and pray I don't wind up homeless.

That out of the way, here's today's entry, dealing with the photo above. It's fron November 1936, when Jane Alice Peters officially changed her name to Carole Lombard. I've seen photos of this before, but don't believe I've come across this one. It's from Hearst's International News Service, as the back of it explains:

The snipe, in close-up:

This original photo, nearly 80 years old, is up for auction at eBay. As of this writing, two bids have been made, topping at $12.50. Bidding closes at 10:14 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday, and if you'd like to get in on the action, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/1936-Actress-Carol-Lombard-Hollywood-Movie-Star-Press-News-Service-Photo/371541656697?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131017132637%26meid%3Df0c80ec178424c8b83e10df7af270de6%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D121877712904.

If you bid, I wish you good luck...and please return the favor. I need all the good fortune I can get.

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It's in the cards

Posted by vp19 on 2016.01.21 at 18:50
Current mood: confusedconfused

Apologies to Carole Lombard fans, but it's been a while since my last Carole & Co. entry. I apologize, but my life's been rather confusing of late. So let's rectify things with news of a rare Lombard goodie.

We're referring to a collection of 32 Lombard Ross cards from the 1930s.

The cards are said to be originals, measuring 2 3/4" x 1 3/4". They are in very good condition with a glossy front and blank back.

Bidding on the collection begins at $79.95. The auction is slated to end at 5:33 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday. For more information, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/Collection-of-32-0riginal-vintage-1930s-ROSS-tobacco-photo-cards-CAROLE-LOMBARD-/361473573948?hash=item542981043c:g:WbAAAOSwX~dWoTKA.

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Remembering her angel day

Posted by vp19 on 2016.01.16 at 10:44
Current mood: contemplativecontemplative

As someone who loves Carole Lombard, I always dread writing an entry on this day -- for it was 74 years ago today, Jan. 16, 1942, that we lost Carole, her mother Elizabeth Peters, MGM press agent Otto Winkler and 19 others in an airplane crash in Nevada.

This marks the ninth year I've written a Jan 16 entry, and given the volatiity of my life of late, I really haven't thought much about how I'll approach it. So this year, I'll keep things relatively brief.

Lombard was but 33 at the time of her passing, and certainly had more personal and professional triumphs ahead of her. We can only guess what they might have been.

So Carole, thank you for your accomplishments...and simply for being you.

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Lombard, au naturel? (Quasi-NSFW)

Posted by vp19 on 2016.01.14 at 16:48
Current mood: cynicalcynical

Carole Lombard was no stranger to provocative photos, particularly when pictured by Pathe's ace photographer, William E. Thomas. But did she ever cross the line into nudity, even tasteful "art" poses? Her contemporary Jean Harlow posed for such images, such as this from Edwin Bower Hesser at Griffith Park in 1929...

Now, someone has claimed to come up with a Lombard nude, specifically this:

Is it the real deal? At least one Lombard expert, Carole Sampeck of The Carole Lombard Archive, has her doubts. Asked for her thoughts on the veracity of the image, here's what she wrote:

"Would LOVE to know how/why the seller believed this might even remotely bear any resemblance to CL.

"Just about the only thing this charming unknown girl shares with CL are the facts that

1) They are both blondes, and

2) They both probably have ladyparts,"

So to potential buyers, caveat emptor. More information: The photo measures 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" and its country of manufacture is France.

If you're still interested, the minimum bid is $9.99 and the auction ends at 11:35 p.m. (Eastern) Jan. 22. Learn more by visiting http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Original-Photo-Sexy-Nude-Carole-Lombard/231812091770?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131017132637%26meid%3D0509fe04796b4b1caf6339a09b1cf107%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D371532451783.

There very well may be a fully documented Lombard nude somewhere, but the search apparently continues.

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Celebrating Carole with three films in Indianapolis

Posted by vp19 on 2016.01.13 at 19:40
Current mood: tiredtired

This week tends to be a melancholy one for Carole Lombard fans, as Saturday will mark thr 74th anniversary of her passing. But in Indianapolis -- where Carole made what would be her final public appearance raising funds for war bonds on Jan. 15, 1942 -- there will be a happier reason to remember her.

That's because on Saturday, the Garfield Park Arts Center will begin something it calls "the Carole Lombard Marathon" -- three of her films on Saturday nights through March. Two of them are relatively rare and show an often-forgotten side of her...the dancing Lombard.

At 7 p.m. Saturday for a mere $5, you can see Carole cavort with George Raft in...


It's pre-Code (issued at the start of 1934), so you get to see a bit more of Lombard than you would later on. Here's what I mean:

Yep, Lombard in her underwear.

The complete schedule abd information is here:

As you see, "Rumba" (1935), her other dance film with Raft (and somewhat tamer than "Bolero"), will be shown Feb. 20...

...followed by Carole's final movie, "To Be Or Not To Be," on March 26:

Both also have $5 admission, and all three will have $1 concessions. A nice way to celebrate a Saturday night if you live in central Indiana.

Credit film historian Eric Grayson (http://www.filmeric.com) for making the event possible.

Oh, this also marks my first entry from Jacksonville, Fla. So far, so good, and we'll see where this leads. And to my friends back in Los Angeles, congratulations on regaining something Jacksonville's had for two decades: the NFL. Enjoy the return of the Rams.

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For now, say goodbye to Hollywood

Posted by vp19 on 2016.01.09 at 15:44
Current mood: sadsad

It pains me to write this entry, since for now this probably is the last one I'll write from Los Angeles, the city Carole Lombard called home for most of her much too brief life. A perfect storm of problems -- financial and otherwise -- as well as an inability to find work are leading me to pull up stakes.

My next stop: Jacksonville, Fla., a city I've never visited but my brother loves. I'll be staying with him for a while as I try to get my life back together...with hopes I can return to Los Angeles, a place I've come to love, in the near future.

It breaks my heart to leave LA; I've made more than a few friends there during my nearly two years in town. To those of you, please keep in touch (and if any of you come across work I might be suited for, please let me know). I'll continue to hone my screenwriting skills, and perhaps one of these scripts might be my ticket back. I surely hope so.

So to LA, my warmest regards. I'll miss the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, riding the Metro, chiliburgers from Tommy's, pancakes from Du-par's at Farmers Market and so many other things.

Here's hoping this winter's El Nino somehow both alleviates the drought and causes minimal damage, that the many homeless I see around town find shelter, safety and comfort...and that next week, NFL owners decide on at least one franchise for Los Angeles, maybe two.

Thank you, City of Angels. I love you.

P.S. And don't worry -- this is not the end of Carole & Co., though you may not see quite as many entries here as in the past. I'll continue to keep up with Lombard, classic Hollywood and everything that goes with them. I owe it to you all, since your support and encouragement has kept this site going for more than 8 1/2 years.

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A gal and her horse

Posted by vp19 on 2016.01.08 at 12:06
Current mood: lovedloved

If this photo doesn't make Carole Lombard's affection for her Palomino gelding Pico evident, then what will? It's a lovely image from 1937 (Paramount p1202-1514 to be precise), one I don't believe I've seen before.

It's an 8" x 10" original, selling for $85. Want it? Then go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-Original-8x10-Photo-K2521-/381514017697?hash=item58d401eba1:g:SYAAAOSwoydWj8OO. But hurry, before this gallops away into the proverbial sunset.

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'Godfrey': A lobby card for a lot, a DVD for a little

Posted by vp19 on 2016.01.07 at 15:07
Current mood: amusedamused

Is "My Man Godfrey" Carole Lombard's most famous movie? It's certainly among the greatest screwball comedies ever made, with a social message that doesn't compromise its humor. It's expertly acted, from Powell and Lombard to the superb supporting cast.

Now, two "Godfrey" items are available at eBay...but it's a lobby card commanding four figures while a first-class DVD of the film is being sold for a bargain price.

The lobby card first:

The opening bid for this 11" x 14" lobby card above is $1,500. Why such a prodigious sum? Let the seller explain:

This auction concludes at 10:21 p.m. (Eastern) next Wednesday. If interested, go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/MY-MAN-GODFREY-CAROLE-LOMBARD-WILLIAM-POWELL-NEAR-MINT-1936-LC-/151941574732?hash=item23606c704c:g:aFMAAOSwL7VWjdmt.

In contrast, you theoretically could obtain 1,000 copies of this Criterion Collection DVD of "Godfrey," as its initial bid is all of $1.49:

Criterion issued this in mid-2001 and like its companions from the company, this is expertly remastered, with all sorts of extras -- including the "Lux Radio Theater" 1938 adaptation, with Lombard, Powell and Gail Patrick reprising their film roles. Best of all, it's ib brand new condition.

This auction is set to expire at 2:14 p.m. (Eastern) Thursday, and there'll probably be a few more bids by then, If you want one of them to be yours, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/My-Man-Godfrey-DVD-Criterion-Collection-William-Powell-Carole-Lombard-/151942423375?hash=item236079634f:m:mQ2SrVIh-UpTwaVRwlp17fA.

A similarly inexpensive, like new Criterion copy is currently at $3.25 after six bids; it's slated to end at 6:51 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday. To bid or learn more, check out http://www.ebay.com/itm/My-Man-Godfrey-DVD-2001-Criterion-Collection/231798766560?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D35006%26meid%3D5860796e0f3e4e378b60a232bd6f4253%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D151942423375&rt=nc.

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The Loretta Young Blogathon: Pinch-riding for Carole in a 'Taxi!'

Posted by vp19 on 2016.01.06 at 12:50
Current mood: numbnumb

This entry is part of the Loretta Young Blogathon, as today is the 103rd anniversary of Young's birth.

Other than sheer luminosity, Carole Lombard and Loretta Young really didn't have much in common. (OK, there was Clark Gable, but that's another story for another time.) They never worked at the same studio together, Lombard's strength was in comedy while Young's was in drama, although both were effective when switching genres, and I've never seen a photo of them together. (Could a camera have handled so much etherealness?)

But they did cross paths, so to speak, in late 1931, leading to one of Carole's few career missteps and Loretta's early triumphs -- not to mention her only collaboration with a fellow screen legend.

It's the fall of 1931, and Lombard, recovering from a bout of the flu that forced her to withdraw from the Samuel Goldwyn production "The Greeks Had a Word for Them," is loaned out from her home studio of Paramount to Warners to co-star in a film with James Cagney, "Taxi!" Paramount represented European chic (Lubitsch, Paris, etc.), while Warners epitomized the urban proletariat. Cagney, a New Yorker to the core, was coming off a success in "Public Enemy," but his talent wasn't completely obvious just yet.

So Lombard, on the advice of both husband William Powell -- who'd just jumped from Paramount to Warners earlier in the year -- and agent Myron Selznick, balked at the loan. Fine, Warners officials said, we'll stay in-house and go with Loretta Young as Cagney's leading lady.

Don't let this publicity still fool you; Cagney played the New York cabbie (there's even a brief bit where he speaks Yiddish, a dialect he learned on the streets of the Yorkville section of Manhattan), while Young played a restauranteur's daughter. (Loretta driving a cab in the early '30s might be an interesting story today, but that was a job few, if any, women held back then.) James and Loretta are in love -- in fact, we even see them on a date at a movie theater...showing Warners product, of course:

It's a fun, fast film, typical Warners product for the era, directed by Roy Del Ruth (husband of Winnie Lightner, an early Warners talkie star). It drew good reviews and was a box-office success, and Lombard soon realized she'd made a mistake (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/65901.html).

Perhaps word got out around the industry about her blunder, because she received an offer to do another cabbie movie...not from Paramount, but from Harry Cohn's Columbia studio. Carole didn't work with Cagney this time, but with the next best thing -- fellow New York Irishman Pat O'Brien. This film also had a one-word title: "Virtue."

Here, Lombard was a streetwalker -- among the toughest characters she ever played -- trying to reform by falling in love with and marrying O'Brien, who's unaware of her past. Things nearly fall apart before the requisite happy ending.

There is one more Lombard-Loretta link. Carole was guest editor of the April 1936 issue of Screen Book (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/672326.html), and Young sent her an autographed photo wishing her well:

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Carole as cat lady

Posted by vp19 on 2016.01.05 at 16:57
Current mood: artisticartistic

Carole Lombard adored animals, owning a menagerie of species during her relatively brief lifetime. One wonders how she would have reacted to the current term "cat lady," which these days as often as not is preceded by the perjorative adjective "crazy."

Lombard probably wouldn't have sought that title for herself; truth be told, like most Americans in the 1930s, her primary pet of choice likely would've been a dog, not a cat. (Carole owned several of both species.) But last fall, she became the cover subject for a book about women and their felines -- a volume from Diane Lovejoy called "Cat Lady Chic." But her kitty companion isn't that Siamese you see on top, but a black cat that frankly looks mangy, or even stuffed:

Why put out a book celebrating the cat lady? This promotional material supplies the answer:

Lovwjoy, publications director of Houston's Museum of Fine Arts, owns 10 cats herself (though she also is married). And the many pix of femmes with felines proves woman + cat indeed can = glamorous. The "Conscious Cat" website (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/344899.html) gave it a largely positive review; after having perused it at the Los Angeles Public Library's store the other day, I think you'll feel that way too.

Learn more about "Cat Lady Chic" (Harry N. Abrams) by visiting http://www.amazon.com/Cat-Lady-Chic-Diane-Lovejoy/dp/1419714023;

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Visiting milady's lair

Posted by vp19 on 2016.01.02 at 13:40
Current mood: hopefulhopeful

Carole Lombard gave the moviegoing public a photographic open house of her new residence on Hollywood Boulevard in the spring of 1934, and why not? It was a major step uomop for her in the filmland hierarchy...especially since the (rented) mansion was designed by former silent star William Haines. Relatively candid for the time about his homosexuality, Haines shifted into new role with ease, winning plaudits for decorating the home of Joan Crawford, Carole's one-time Cocoanut Grove dance rival. He followed suit with a similarly acclaimed home for Lombard.

We've "toured" 7953 Hollywood Boulevard in the past, but now let's examine a part of the place heretofore off-limits to us. May I present Miss Lombard's dressing room:

Can't read the back? Let's enlarge it:

"Utter femininity," indeed.

This is Paramount p1202-730, one of the few photod in the p1202 series that doesn't picture Carole's face. (Two others show the back of her head, to publicize a hairstyle, and her hands.) It's an original 8" x 10" up for auction at eBay...but as of this writing, there have been no bids. (The initial bid is $9.99.)

The auction is scheduled to end at 9:06 p.m. (Eastern) on Wednesday, and among the many who adore Lombard's sense of style, you would think at least one would be interested in this relative rarity. If that one might be you, go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombards-dressing-room-in-her-new-house-orig-candid-photo-1934-Paramount/231798913962?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131017132637%26meid%3D8650c9cecd4f428c898609c2ccf1575d%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D231798913962 and at least check it out.

I trust all of you celebrated New Year's happily and safely. As I stated the other day, I'm taking a bit of time off to go through some things in my life, including a move. I want to be able to stay in Los Angeles, but as the old Johnny Mathis song goes, it's not for me to say. Wish me well as I look for work, and I'll see you in a bit. I hope.

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From the last session...74 years ago today

Posted by vp19 on 2015.12.31 at 14:32
Current mood: contemplativecontemplative

New Year's Eve fell on a Wednesday in 1941, as America -- not to mention Carole Lombard and the film industry -- was still reeling from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 24 days earlier, which plunged the U.S. into a two-pronged war. (Germany declared war on the U.S. on Dec. 8, the same day America declared war on Japan.)

The nation was so up in arms over the attack that the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, between Oregon State and Duke, was moved to Durham, N.C. -- the only time the oldest of bowl games has been played outside Pasadena. (Oregon State won, 20-16.)

All the filming on "To Be Or Not To Be," Lombard's long-awaited collaboration with fabled director Ernst Lubitsch, had been completed earlier in the month. But United Artists wanted a few more publicity stills, so Carole dutifully went to pose for some shots with Robert Coburn, primarily a Columbia staff photographer.

Above is one of the shots, nearly all of them exquisite. Lombard certainly had no idea of what fate awaited her, but she certainly had to feel an urgency. Conditions were bound to change in wartime -- mobilization was just beginning -- and no one knew what was in store. Any festivities she or anyone else in Hollywood had that evening were appropriately subdued.

This 8" x 10" is not an original, but is in mint condition. You can buy it for $4.22 by visiting http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-8x10-Photo-038-/141865369285?hash=item2107d5bec5:g:02MAAOxy0QBSSj~l. And to see the seller's complete list of Lombard photos -- there are 38 in all, from varied points in her career -- go to http://stores.ebay.com/tsmithco/_i.html?_nkw=Carole+Lombard&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_mPrRngCbx=1&_sop=1&_udhi=&_udlo=.

It's been a year of ups and downs for me, and I'll be taking at least New Year's Day off as I make some necessary changes in my life. I wish all of you a happy, successful and safe 2016.

carole lombard 03

Carole and Fred have 'magnetic appeal'

Posted by vp19 on 2015.12.30 at 12:55
Current mood: mellowmellow

And in this case, it's both a literal and figurative sense. Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray are shown in a still from "Hands Across the Table" (1935), and it's been captured on a 2" x 3" magnet -- and the eBay seller's name is, appropriately, "magneticappeal."

Here's how the seller touts it:

See that semicolon above? I mistakenly first typed in an exclamation point, I was so excited(!).

Each magnet is $4.49; more than 10 are available. To purchase one (or more), go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/FRED-MACMURRAY-CAROLE-LOMBARD-2X3-FRIDGE-MAGNET-ACTOR-ACTRESS-FILM-TELEVISION-/252231034983?hash=item3aba242867:g:lIcAAOxydlFS5tMR.

The seller has nearly 3,900 magnets at the store, but this is the only one of Lombard (although Marilyn Monroe has but two, and Jean Harlow doesn't have any). If this sells well, perhaps we'll get some other "magnetic images" of Carole. How about this for a vertical...

...and this, once cropped, for a horizontal?

carole lombard 02

'Herald'-ing 'Bolero'

Posted by vp19 on 2015.12.29 at 18:01
Current mood: hothot

With the Production Code drawing ever closer to strict enforcement in the first few months of 1934 (it came to be in July), Carole Lombard showed off her sexy side in "Bolero." Not only did she dance sensually with George Raft (with whom she did the horizontal dance off-screen), but earlier in the movie she danced before Raft in her underwear...

...leading one writer to comment in a Carole retrospective piece a few years back that at the time, men in the audience must have deemed her "the best lay in the world." (Wish I'd written that.)

Paramount put much of its publicity power on behalf of "Bolero," as this ad from the Feb. 10, 1934 Motion Picture Herald made clear:

It must be noted Paramount didn't ignore the other stars in its stable -- witness this for "Six of a Kind," where George Burns and Gracie Allen, who would provide support for Carole and Bing Crosby i "We're Not Dressing," here did likewise for W.C. Fields:

MGM, in contrast, needed but one word to promote "Queen Christina"...

And RKO went the adventure route for John Ford's "The Lost Patrol," starring Victor McLaglen and of all people, Boris Karloff::

The publication is in "good" condition; you can buy it straight up for $75, or make an offer and see if anyone will top in before the auction closes at 7:18 p.m. (Eastern) Jan. 24. Learn more at http://www.ebay.com/itm/MOTION-PICTURE-HERALD-2-10-1934-BORIS-KARLOFF-CAROLE-LOMBARD-GRETA-GARBO-/111858753299?hash=item1a0b4d1f13&autorefresh=true.

carole lombard 01

'Screenland,' October 1935: Lots of Lombard, plus Garbo talks (for real)

Posted by vp19 on 2015.12.28 at 16:28
Current mood: pleasedpleased

Nearly a year ago, on Jan 7 and 8, I ran two entries focusing on the October 1935 issue of Screenland, which included all sorts of goodies: A terrific Carole Lombard cover portrait by Charles Gates Sheldon, accompanied by a fine profile of her by media friend Elizabeth WIlson (both at http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/755311.html), followed the next day by that rarest of rarities -- a Greta Garbo interview (almost certainly conducted in her native Sweden while visiting there, and found at http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/755680.html). Perhaps Lombard examined it while preparing her faux Garbo impression for the following spring's "The Princess Comes Across."

Anyhow, that particular issue now can be purchased via eBay. We'll give you the particulars shortly, but first, a few things about that issue we didn't get to earlier. First, the table of contents -- if you have trouble reading the following pages, or wish to see an article not shown here, simply go to http://www.archive.org/stream/screenland31unse/screenland31unse#page/n399/mode/1up and take it from there:

Lombard -- who had briefly visited New York in January -- isn't mentioned here, but this story will give you a feel for what she and other Hollywood types experienced when they came to NYC:

One of my favorites, Joan Blondell (who doesn't like her?), showed off her new son Norman to the magazine:

And of course, there were movie ads, beginning with this misfire from Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Young. "The year's outstanding romantic comedy!"? I don't think so...

This teaming of Garbo and Fredric March drew considerably better notices...

Warners touted its first vehicle for the recently-acquired Marion Davies...

A double-truck from Paramount promoted "The Big Broadcast of 1936," using a typeface that made it resemble editorial copy, not an ad -- a tactic that would elicit plenty of disdain today...

...and lastly, an ad for Fox's "Dante's Inferno" with Spencer Tracy:

Now for the specifics: This issue is in very good condition, and you can buy it straight up for $24.99 or make an offer. Get all the info by visiting http://www.ebay.com/itm/Screenland-Magazine-October-1935-Carole-Lombard-Cover/161930810022?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131017132637%26meid%3D2181d697f07d42d39d2c686f23c7a3ee%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D161930810022.

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'Silver Screen,' May 1932: An issue that slipped through the cracks

Posted by vp19 on 2015.12.27 at 15:49
Current mood: impressedimpressed

Not in a figurative sense, mind you, not with Carole Lombard gracing the cover. Nor is it in a literal sense -- yes, the Depression was in full throttle, but this issue of Silver Screen had plenty of advertising. It's simply an issue that we somehow ignored for some time, probably because it wasn't until relatively recently we had online access to everything inside.

Now we do, and while there's no Carole-related feature, there is plenty of her beyond the cover. Take this pic, for example:

If "Palm Springs" is a room on the Paramount lot, I suppose the setting might be accurate. But the description of what Carole's wearing, rather than where she's wearing it, is the key point here. It helps one mentally translat3e this sepia shot into vivid color.

There's a story on the increasing popularity of polo in the film colony, and Lombard's attendance with husband William Powell at a match is duly noted:

So Charles Middleton was menacing long before he became Ming the Merciless. Interesting.

There's a mini-review of Carole's most recent movie, "No One Man"...

...as well as a description of work on the set with Walter Byron in "Sinners in the Sun":

There's lots in this issue beyond Lombard. These pics of two of her rivals in the 1932 luminosity sweepstakes, Joan Blondell...

...and the lady who pinch-hit for Carole when she balked at being loaned out for "Taxi!", Loretta Young:

Wonder if my Facebook friend Linda Lewis has ever seen this charmingly casual shot of her famed mother-in-law?

This issue has four ads from what turned out to be a fine (and underrated) film year, though I'm not sure if any of these movies played a role in that. First, Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell in Fox's "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm":

Then, MGM's Prohibition epic, its adaptation of Upton Sinclair's "The Wet Parade":

Blondell partners with favorite co-star James Cagney in the Warners vehicle (pardon the pun) "The Crowd Roars":

And finally, an actress associated with Cagney for all the wrong reasons (think grapefruit, folks), Mae Clarke, here with Lew Ayres as her leading man in Universal's "Impatient Maiden" (direcred by James Whale!):

This issue is up for auction (or sale) at eBay -- that's because there are two ways of acquiring it. You can buy it straight up for $60...or you can make a bid starting at $40, with hopes no one will top you before what becomes an auction closes at 7:50 p.m. (Eastern) Friday. (It should be noted the issue, which also features stories on Clark Gable and Jean Harlow, is listed in very good condition.)

Wanna go for it, or simoly find out more? Then go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/Silver-Screen-Magazine-Carole-Lombard-May1932-/281894087892?hash=item41a2326cd4:g:uFcAAOSw~otWdKTi.

carole lombard 06

While you wait for Michelle's book...

Posted by vp19 on 2015.12.26 at 11:38
Current mood: creativecreative

Apparently Carole Lombard is reading a script or something work-related (the setting looks to be her dressing room). Many of Carole's fans are counting the days until Michelle Morgan's biography "Carole Lombard: Twentieth-Century Star" is released next September in Britain. (I'm unsure if it will have a similar release date in America.)

Morgan's book promises to be the last word in Lombard bios...well, until a time machine is invented that enables us to go back to the lady's time and interview her ourselves. (Of course, that also would alter the space-time continuum, resulting in who knows what; see the famed "Star Trek" episode "The City on the Edge of Forever," written by Harlan Ellison, for proof.)

For now, though, those who want to read more about Carole have several other options -- and as it turns out, three of them are being auctioned at eBay, all from the same seller. Here they are, in order of publishing:

I dare say the 1975 book "Screwball" by Larry Swindell was where most of us first learned about Lombard. Swindell interviewed many people who knew Carole, nearly all of whom are gone 40 years later. Conversely, research was considerably more difficult in those days, leading to statements we now know are erroneous. (For example, the former Jane Alice Peters first used the name "Carole Lombard" in the mid-1920s while a starlet at Fox; the only time she used "Carol" was during her tenure at Pathe, and she reverted to "Carole" for good by fall 1930.) Nevertheless it's a pretty good biography, despite the limitations of its time.

The opening bid is a mere $10, and the auction closes at 11:54 a.m. (Eastern) New Year's Eve (roughly the same time as the other two titles). This long out-of-print volume is said to be in very good condition; you can place a bid or learn more by visiting http://www.ebay.com/itm/Screwball-The-Life-of-Carole-Lombard-by-Larry-Swindell-1975-Book/281894484528?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131017132637%26meid%3Da568325a5ac4441bb35b0875e066ec0f%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D321959029933.

Today we know Robert Matzen for "Fireball," his superb account of Lombard's ill-fated January 1942 flight. But back in the '80s, he wrote a bio-bibliography about her. While it's illustrated, it has sort of a bare-bones feel to it (typewritten, not printed), but it's chockfull of Lombard info, including titles and dates of stories about her. (This wonderfully complements the recent Media History Digital Library, where many of these publications have since been uploaded.)

This is in like-new condition, and bidding begins at $25. Interested? Then go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bio-Bibliographies-in-the-Performing-Arts-Ser-Carole-Lombard-A/321959029933?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131017132637%26meid%3D83438ec0ca3b4e688620eaf2a7195b07%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D281894484528.

Ball State professor Wes D. Gehring's "Carole Lombard: The Hoosier Tornado" was published a dozen years ago, and occupies a somewhat unusual place among Lombard bios. Much of it focuses on her time in Indiana, not just the '42 war bond rally in Indianapolis but her June 1930 visit to Fort Wayne (there's info on both trips I've never read anywhere else). He also examines her stardom and career, albeit from a different perspective from Swindell.

It too is in like new condition, and its opening bid is $12. You can get involved by going to http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-The-Hoosier-Tornado-by-Wes-D-Gehring-2003-Hardcover/281894484691?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131017132637%26meid%3Dbcd6cafef6114750bcbbcb63215fc038%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D321959029933.

carole lombard christmas 00

From classic Hollywood, merry Christmas!

Posted by vp19 on 2015.12.25 at 02:27
Current mood: jubilantjubilant

Carole Lombard and Gary Cooper celebrate Christmas in this rare still from "I Take This Woman" (1931).

Here are some other holiday pics of Carole's contemporaries -- Norma Shearer, Clara Bow, Loretta Young and Jean Harlow:

Merry Christmas to all of you!

carole lombard 04

Ole...it's Carole, the senorita

Posted by vp19 on 2015.12.24 at 11:48
Current mood: enthralledenthralled

Was Carole Lombard cognizant of how popular she was in Latin America? As early as the late 1920s, Carole graced covers of Spanish-language magazines, and seemingly got more attention from them than from their English-language counterparts.

With Lombard's uncanny sense of public relations, I'd say the answer was yes. It wouldn't surprise me if she collected publications where she appeared in some way, or had someone do it for her.

So we shouldn't be surprised to see her above, looking very much like a lady south of the border. Carole regularly visited casinos and racetracks in Mexico while married to William Powell.

The pic is Paramount p1202-942, from 1934, and you can get this 8" x 10" glossy for $3.99 (it's presumably not an original) by visiting http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-8x10-glossy-Photo-E4684-/381500692496?hash=item58d3369810:g:UZUAAOSwzOxUXXgs.

The seller has two other Lombard pics for the same price. Here's p1202-937, which can be found at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-8x10-glossy-photo-F2450-/381500692480?hash=item58d3369800:m:mxMcFzqHXjN5a0gnFS-WdNQ:

Finally, this pic of her in fur is at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-in-fur-8x10-glossy-photo-F132-/381500686008?hash=item58d3367eb8:m:mppGfgM1k46BfCb2wfbiu8A:

I want to wish everyone here a great holiday season, and here's the greeting from my alma mater's athletic department (the University of Maryland). In this charming video, Testudo the terrapin mascot is accidentally left "home alone" at xfinity Center (home to the Terps' two Top 5 basketball teams, wrestling and volleyball). So there's some fun until the bus returns to rescue him. Enjoy.

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