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carole lombard 03

Of celery and cigarettes: Dieting for flapperdom

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.25 at 21:30
Current mood: energeticenergetic

It's easy to think of Carole Lombard as a trend-setter, given her film stardom and influence on women -- not just as an actress but in terms of style, behavior and so much more. But on the other hand, she in turn was influenced by societal changes; it was a two-way street.

For example, as her teen years began in October 1921, the girl then still known as Jane Alice Peters -- who earlier that year had a small role in the Allan Dwan-directed "A Perfect Crime" -- was witnessing, and perhaps participating in, an American social revolution, one likely encouraged by her feminist-thinking mother, Elizabeth Peters. The student at Virgil Junior High School, an athletic sort who won a variety of medals, probably was fascinated by a new lifestyle for young women, whose practitioners were known as "flappers."

Flapper style did not emerge overnight. It reflected a variety of influences -- the suffragette movement, the growth of advertising (particularly to sell cosmetics and other beauty items) and the postwar boost in disposable income. And accompanying these changes was a new preference for body types.

Up until early in the 20th century, Americans preferred a bit of plumpness in women's figures, as well as demure dress. But tight corsets were constraining, and abundant cloth on dresses posed a fire hazard (consider the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist fire of April 1911). So during the 1910s, dresses became lighter and shorter. By 1920, there had been considerable change, as this cartoon showed, with more change on the horizon:

(Note the 1920 girl is reading Elinor Glyn, a popular author of the day whose titillating romantic fiction was that era's "Fifty Shades of Grey," while her 1820 counterpart is holding "Little Red Riding Hood.")

The postwar woman wore dresses whose hems nearly rose to knee level, and by mid-decade would slightly go above it, and possessed a figure that was angular, somewhat boyish. No doubt its pursuit was aided by the invention of the bathroom scale in 1916.

When Carole joined Mack Sennett in 1927, he persuaded the 19-year-old to gain some weight to develop a curvier figure while wearing swimsuits (thus leading to her brief moniker "Carole of the curves"). Moves such as this were among the reasons Sennett was increasingly viewed as "old hat" compared to Hal Roach, his short-comedy contemporary -- even if Carole. shown here playing baseball on the sand in "The Campus Vamp," was seen in two-strip Technicolor:

So a slender, more angular figure was what women of the '20s popularly desired, with dreams of capturing the style of the quintessential screen flapper, Colleen Moore, here shown in a variety of poses for her 1929 comedy "Synthetic Sin":

But how could they get the slender silhouette now deemed modern? Dr. Lulu Hunt Peters helped point the way with her pioneering weight-loss tome, "Diet & Health: With Key to the Calories," first published in 1918 and the first book to popularize focusing on calories. It was the best-selling nonfiction title of 1922.

While Peters touted healthy food such as celery and exercise, many Americans had difficulty adjusting to a newfangled diet. So more than a few women used innovative methods to take off the pounds; they included laxative gums, girdles to disguise the figure, and used a relatively new form of cultural rebellion: The cigarette.

Tobacco was marketed to women as an appetite suppressant; Lucky Strike's "reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet" became one of the decade's most memorable ad slogans (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/260044.html).

Eventually, the flapper fell out of favor, alongside silent movies, Valentino-style Latin lovers and other pop culture elements, a change hastened by an economy battered by the 1929 stock market crash and ensuing global depression. (It's amazing how quickly fashion can become unfashionable, as those of you who wore Nehru jackets or hot pants can attest.) However, the era's emphasis on counting calories and maintaining a slender figure remains popular to this day.

For more on this topic, read

* https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/1920s-food-flapper-diet?utm_source=Atlas+Obscura+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=06465160f3-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_04_25&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f36db9c480-06465160f3-66730533&ct=t(EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_4_25_2018)&mc_cid=06465160f3&mc_eid=f5b4f432e6;

* http://prohibition.themobmuseum.org/the-history/how-prohibition-changed-american-culture/prohibition-fashion/; and

* https://physicalculturestudy.com/2015/04/22/weight-loss-in-1920s-america-the-reducing-craze/

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Lombard's rosy flower power

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.24 at 23:10
Current mood: artisticartistic

Isn't that a remarkable photo of Carole Lombard (the October 1939 cover of Movie Life)? This full-color portrait is stunning -- and now, thanks to fellow Lombard fanatic Brian Lee Anderson, I know quite a bit more about a crucial part of this picture...

...the flowers.

According to Anderson, these roses, known as "CL Etoile de Hollande" ("Star of Holland"), was Lombard's favorite flower...oh, and to clear up any confusion at the outset, the "CL" is a tag for "climbing roses." That it shares her initials is purely coincidental.

According to Heirloom Roses, Inc., this is "The classic among red climbers. This repeat blooming sport with glossy dark green foliage produces a strong scented bloom of rich velvety red. 4 1/2" bloom with 35 petals."

Often called the "perfect" rose, I;m guessing its fragrance was its selling point for Lombard.

And even in black and white, these roses look impressive:

Both versions of that pic were shot at the couple's ranch in Encino, not long after they moved there. In fact, according to Anderson, Clark planted a mile and a half of these roses along the driveway and courtyard. (He then did likewise at the home of his mother-in-law, Elizabeth Peters, who cultivated roses of her own.)

Anderson ordered some roses, which arrived yesterday. He's put them in pots for now since he plans to move later this year, then will plant them in the ground next spring.

Two reviews gave the roses five-star ratings for fragrance and other qualities.

Each gallon pot is $38 from Heirloom Roses. If you'd like a little bit of Lombard in your garden, visit https://www.heirloomroses.com/cl-etoile-de-hollande.html. Wonder if Julie Newmar, a noted Carole admirer, has any in her extensive garden?

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Cinematic sex-change: Give a Lombard film a gender flip

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.23 at 17:30
Current mood: curiouscurious

Carole Lombard's work on screen and personality off it has inspired ensuing generations of actresses, particularly those whose forte is comedy. Now, one of them is remaking a signature film from another...but with a twist.

In 1987, Goldie Hawn (top) starred in "Overboard," playing a wealthy heiress who develops amnesia when she falls from her luxurious boat, is rescued by a handyman who doesn't inform her of her old identity, and falls in love with him. Next month, Anna Faris (bottom) stars in a remake of "Overboard"...but is she going to reprise Goldie's role? Nope -- she'll instead play a handyman (similar to Kurt Russell, Hawn's real-life squeeze, in the original). The heiress now is a playboy, portrayed by Eugenio Derbez, a huge star in Latin America whom U.S. audiences may recall from last year's "How To Be A Latin Lover."

I'm not certain whose idea it was to flip the lead characters' genders, but it's probably a wise move by Faris, whose comedic talent rarely has been fully utilized on screen. In fact, her last hit vehicle, "The House Bunny," came out in 2009; she's far better known today as the star of the hit sitcom "Mom." Trying to fill Goldie's shoes in one of her best-loved movies would be self-defeating, especially if Faris wants to go the Melissa McCarthy route and go from small-screen success to big-screen stardom.

We should also note that another beloved '80s comedy, "Splash," will soon get similar gender-bending treatment, as Daryl Hannah's mermaid in the original will become Channing Tatum's merman this time around.

With all this in mind, I thought I'd explore this topic: Which Lombard films could you see remade with the leads swapping sexes -- in other words, with Carole's character in the male lead and the leading man as the female?

Some additional ground rules: These stories would be adapted to current times, so no new "To Be Or Not To Be" (heck, Mel Brooks already remade it) or "Bolero" (set in the 1910s). Some elements would also be updated to reflect modern-day conditions.

Relatively few are aware that one Lombard film has already received the cross-gender treatment -- the 1954 comedy "Living It Up," a remake of "Nothing Sacred" and directed by Norman Taurog (two decades after he helmed Carole's "We're Not Dressing"). Here, Jerry Lewis is the person whom everyone thinks is dying -- he's named Homer Flagg, not Hazel Flagg, lives in New Mexico, not Vermont, and is believed to have radioactive poisoning, not radium poisoning. Janet Leigh is the reporter who tracks him down. So cross that off our list, and isn't the newspaper business dying? (As a former reporter and copy editor, I hate writing that.)

But there are several Lombard movies where a gender switch could work. (We'll limit these to comedies.) Here are a few possibilities:

"Hands Across the Table": Since this has not been remade in any form 83 years after its release, it probably could work as a simple modernization, as a manicurist looking for love and money winds up with a man who gives her lots of the former but has little of the latter. But if we did flip genders here, the new Regina Allen could be a department-store queen whose fortune has gone bust -- unbeknownst to the struggling hotel barber she bumps into.

"The Princess Comes Across": Right off the bat, the title of this second Lombard-Fred MacMurray collaboration would have to be changed, as the male lead would be the one passing himself as "royalty" (whether actual or figurative). Here, the female would be a musician-turned-amateur sleuth in this romantic comedy. This probably would require plenty of input from a story surgeon in order to succeed.

"Mr. & Mrs. Smith": You'd probably have to give this a new title, lest people mistake it for the 2005 Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie film (based on a novel by that name and completely unrelated to Alfred Hitchcock's 1941 comedy), but could the Norman Krasna script -- he also wrote "Hands Across the Table" -- succeed with the female in the household controlling all the figurative cards? And unlike the early '40s, both members of a married couple now are legally allowed to work, the most dated aspect of the story.

Give your imagination a whirl by thrusting a Lombard film into 2018, with she-as-he and he-as-she. But please, don't go overboard.

carole lombard 07

"State"-ing the case to restore a classic: See it next Sunday

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.22 at 09:17
Current mood: optimisticoptimistic

At times, it's hard to guess which downtown theater palaces hosted premieres of Carole Lombard films such as "To Be Or Not To Be" (above). But since it was a United Artists production, chances are good that it opened in downtown Los Angeles at this theater at 7th & Broadway, shown in 1938:

Note that while the marquee refers to "Loew's State," it then was owned by Fox West Coast Theaters, which bought the theater from Loew's, its original owner, in 1924 -- three years after it opened. United Artists took it over in 1941.

We wrote about the State earlier this year (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/884285.html), noting it was the first major downtown venue to run Spanish-language films, then ceased showing movies of any kind in 1997. For the past two decades, it has served as a church for the Hispanic community:

But examine that marquee now:

The congregation moved out at the end of 2017, and there are plans to restore the State into some sort of performing arts venue. And a week from today, you can tour the 97-year-old facility, which in its heyday had an interior looking like this:

The event begins at 10 a.m. April 29 (doors open at 9:45), and you can examine the behind-the-scenes operations from its cinematic glory days. It's sponsored by the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation; tickets are $20 for the general public, $10 for LAHTF members. Buy a ticket or learn more at https://tickets.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?e=203494dca21bc9ae128f1cb2160febe3&t=tix&vqitq=6f2ff639-6bc5-4c20-9764-0a17925cf3ef&vqitp=2739e1d9-9590-46b6-b925-cf92939d1c30&vqitts=1524410616&vqitc=vendini&vqite=itl&vqitrt=Safetynet&vqith=7ef32e00b9a5da3ebdd4d9800ba556f7. Those of you in town that weekend for the annual Turner Classic Movies Film Festival might want to venture downtown to check it out.

carole lombard 06

A voyage 'In Name Only' to New York, August 1939

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.21 at 11:38
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

It would mark the only co-starring of screwball comedy titans Carole Lombard and Cary Grant...and yet, "In Name Only," Lombard's first film at RKO, was instead a heartfelt drama, with Kay Francis -- hired at Carole's urging -- completing this romantic triangle. That the story semi-paralleled Lombard's recent involvement with, and marriage to, Clark Gable was lost on few.

"In Name Only" had its world premiere at Radio City Music Hall in midtown Manhattan on Aug. 4, 1939 (two weeks ahead of the rest of the U.S.), a big deal in those days, as the venue was among the largest in New York and carried plenty of prestige. So it should come as no surprise that a magazine focusing in New York happenings played it up.

The Metropolitan Host placed Carole on its Aug. 5 cover, alongside bandleader Tommy Dorsey. She'd also grace the cover the following week. Both issues are up for auction at eBay, and they provide fascinating snapshots of New York in 1939, arguably at the apex of its glory as America's premier city.

Each issue has 25 pages, according to the seller, who has provided some highlights. First, material from Aug. 5:

At this time, my parents both lived in Brooklyn, but had yet to meet. My father would turn 16 in October, the same month my mother turned 19. She worked in a variety of jobs in Manhattan, including one where she delivered packages to addresses -- and one of them was to actress Glenda Farrell's apartment. (Alas, the "Torchy Blane" star was not in.)

As you can tell, one of New York's main attractions that summer wasn't in Manhattan at all, but Flushing Meadows, Queens...the legendary New York World's Fair of 1939-1940. (My grandfather, who had written for the famed Brooklyn Eagle in the 1920s and now published a weekly in the borough's Bay Ridge neighborhood, was publicist for the Norwegian exhibit.) The fold-out, full-color map of the fair -- on the same site where a world's fair would take place a quarter-century later -- is exquisite.

The Aug. 12 issue, this time in blue rather than red, had bandleader Ben Bernie as Carole's cover partner:

Some of what's inside:

Here, we see views from the Empire State Building, during its four-decade run as the world's tallest skyscraper. The skyline was comparable to what I saw there as a nine-year-old in 1964, as work had yet to begin in lower Manhattan on the ill-fated twin towers of the World Trade Center.

And since it was summer in NYC, baseball was big, even at a time when the color bar prohibited dark-skinned players, American or Hispanic, from being in MLB. Visitors could head uptown to the Polo Grounds where the New York Giants -- two years removed from a National League pennant and now struggling to stay above .500 -- played the Phillies on Saturday the 12th and in a doubleheader on the 13th. (They lost on Saturday, but swept the Phils on Sunday.) Over in Brooklyn, the revitalized Dodgers, on the periphery of the NL pennant race, had the opposite fortune against Boston, beating the Bees (which the Braves were called at the time) on Saturday and dropping two on Sunday.

In the American League, the Yankees -- six games up on the Red Sox on the 12th -- were in Philly that weekend to face the Athletics. They'd return to the Bronx on the 15th for three games with Washington. The Yanks eventually would win their fourth straight pennant, then do likewise in the World Series by sweeping Cincinnati.

Each magazine has an opening bid of $3.99, with auctions closing at 10:56 a.m. (Eastern) next Saturday. For the Aug. 5 issue, go to https://www.ebay.com/itm/THE-METROPOLITAN-HOST-MAGAZINE-AUGUST-5-1939-CAROLE-LOMBARD-TOMMY-DORSEY-COVER/142765896823?hash=item213d82b477:g:WKsAAOSwXsFadJO1; the Aug. 12 issue is at https://www.ebay.com/itm/THE-METROPOLITAN-HOST-MAGAZINE-AUGUST-12-1939-CAROLE-LOMBARD-BEN-BERNIE-COVER/142765896824?hash=item213d82b478:g:HigAAOSwYDZadJLh.

Both provide insight into a New York that would begin to radically change that Sept. 1, when Germany's invasion of Poland ignited the Second World War.

carole lombard 05

A screwy batch of Smiths

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.20 at 18:28
Current mood: amusedamused

Ah, what one goes through in screwball comedy! Carole Lombard, all wet after being caught in a downpour while on a World's Fair ride, can vouch for such travails in this pic from "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," her return to comedy following three years in dramatic roles better received by critics than the general public. The back of this photo lists more information from RKO:

The copy notes five copies of the taffeta gown (designed by Irene Lentz, I believe) were made for Carole, but only one survived filming.

This is one of seven photos from "Smith" up for auction at eBay. Six of them are from a group of eight continuity pics; this was No. 3, under the heading "Carole Lombard takes it." The other photos from this batch, first from "Carole Lombard takes it":

No. 2 shows her Ann Smith character with Gene Raymond, enjoying the ride till the rains came:

Rough on performers indeed, even on an RKO sound stage.

No. 4 is "Star takes a workout." Carole and Gene lug Ann's husband-turned-ex David Smith (Robert Montgomery) back to their Lake Placid cabin:

Next, No. 7..."still, there's romance." Why, yes, as Ann returns to the fold with David:

Other continuity pics were No. 2 from a campaign labeled "Screwball meets screwball"...

...and No. 8 from "How to shave a husband":

The only one of these seven pics not intended for continuity was this one:

All these photos are from the Marvin Paige collection, and all are original vintage pics. If you're a fan of "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" -- famed director Alfred Hitchcock's lone foray into romantic comedy -- you'll want to add one or more of these pics to your collection. Opening bids range from $15.95 to $19.95, and bidding ends at 9:56 or 9:58 p.m. (Eastern) April 29, a week from Sunday.

For the top pic, where Carole's all wet, go to https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-Original-CANDID-Studio-Set-Vintage-40-MR-AND-MRS-SMITH-RKO-Photo/332626613466?hash=item4d721754da:g:EDwAAOSw-INa2T8i.

For "Carole Lombard takes it" No. 2, visit https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-GENE-RAYMOND-Original-Vintage-MR-AND-MRS-SMITH-RKO-Studio-Photo/392023851142?hash=item5b46714086:g:pf8AAOSwsQFa2Tyf.

No. 4 is at https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-ROBERT-MONTGOMERY-Original-Vintage-40-MR-AND-MRS-SMITH-RKO-Photo/392023852344?hash=item5b46714538:g:9vcAAOSwj2Ra2T18,

Find No. 7 at https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-ROBERT-MONTGOMERY-Original-Vintage-40-MR-AND-MRS-SMITH-RKO-Photo/332626609434?hash=item4d7217451a:g:ai8AAOSwPbla2T02.

Track down "Screwball meets screwball" at https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-ROBERT-MONTGOMERY-Original-Vintage-40-MR-AND-MRS-SMITH-RKO-Photo/332626610739?hash=item4d72174a33:g:BYEAAOSw1Fda2T3R.

Want the "How to shave a husband" pic? Go to https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-ROBERT-MONTGOMERY-Original-Vintage-40-MR-AND-MRS-SMITH-RKO-Photo/392023853842?hash=item5b46714b12:g:HmAAAOSwIM9a2T5U.

And the photo unaffiliated with any of the campaigns is at https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-GENE-RAMOND-Original-Vintage-1940-MR-AND-MRS-SMITH-RKO-Photo/392023854221?hash=item5b46714c8d:g:a3wAAOSwkbxa2T6X.

carole lombard 04

A twin bill for a 'Ladies' Man'

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.19 at 16:53
Current mood: relaxedrelaxed

Carole Lombard's second film with William Powell, "Ladies' Man," made in the spring of 1931, proved she still had a ways to go as an actress. She tries to keep up with the more experienced Powell and Kay Francis, but can't quite do it. Thankfully, Bill and Kay carry the load, which for Lombard was a genuine learning experience.

Two rare stills promoting this Paramount film now are available via eBay. First of all, here's Carole between Powell and Martin Burton (1904-1976, a Hoosier like Carole who made but five films, between 1931 and '33):

This is an image I've never seen before, so I understand why the seller is asking $79.95 under eBay's "buy it now" policy. (You can also make an offer, if you're interested in buying or merely curious, visit https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-ORIGINAL-KEYBOOK-PHOTO-LADIES-MAN-LINEN-BACKED-POWELL-VF-1931/253563998424?hash=item3b099790d8:g:pnMAAOSwhxhadySg to learn more.

Another still promoting that movie shows a very stylish Lombard:

IT's from the same seller as the other picture...although here the "buy it now" price is $109.95 (it's listed in "very fine" condition). Get additional info by going to https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-ORIGINAL-KEYBOOK-PHOTO-LADIES-MAN-LINEN-BACKED-VF-1931/253563998430?hash=item3b099790de:g:9cQAAOSwKcVadyg3.

carole lombard 03

Louella: Carole and Clark are off to 'Saratoga'

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.18 at 21:03
Current mood: curiouscurious

By the fall of 1936, the world knew Carole Lombard and Clark Gable were, as they say, an "item." He was MGM's most popular star; she was rising in the Hollywood pantheon due to her comic ability, then on display in the Universal hit "My Man Godfrey." OK, technically Clark was married to a woman considerably his senior, but relatively few cared about that.

So talk began that the pair, whose lone teaming on screen came at Paramount in late 1932'a "No Man Of Her Own," should be reunited at Metro -- where Carole had been loaned out two years later in the lackluster "The Gay Bride."

One of those talking, or should we say writing, about it was Hearst Hollywood columnist Louella Parsons. In October 1936, her column -- which ran in hundreds of newspapers -- suggested Clark and Carole were about to pair on the big screen. This is what ran in the Oct. 24, 1936 Minneapolis Tribune, a non-Hearst publication:

Wrote Parsons:

"...next year, Carole will be co-starred with Clark in 'Saratoga.' Yes, I know it was intended for Joan Crawford, but I am told there are other plans for La Crawford. When Carole finishes 'Morning, Noon and Night' for Paramount, she'll move to Metro to film this picture. And that is the most interesting thing I have today, my friends."

Of course, most of us know "Saratoga" as a collaboration -- the last one -- between Gable and another iconic blonde, Jean Harlow; she died midway through production. (I had no idea MGM had considered Crawford as the female lead, as this was somewhat a comedy, not her strong suit.)

Initially, you're tempted to believe this was yet another error from Parsons, whose mistakes were many. But according to Turner Classic Movies, "Saratoga" indeed was intended as a Gable-Lombard teaming (http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/78384%7C0/Saratoga.html).

In fact, after Jean's unexpected death, MGM officials planned to scrap the Harlow footage and sought Lombard as the new lead. Carole, who'd developed a friendship with Jean during the brief time they knew each other, would have nothing of it, and the film was completed with extra Mary Dees filling in for some scenes.

Here's what that entire Tribune page looked like:

This page is up for auction at eBay, but the seller acknowledges the page is extremely brittle from its nearly 82-year age, "and should be handled delicately with the utmost care."

Bidding begins at $14.99, with the auction set to end at 8:57 p.m. (Eastern) next Tuesday. If you are interested, visit https://www.ebay.com/itm/1936-Minnesota-Newspaper-Page-Clark-Gable-Carole-Lombard-in-Saratoga/192513701444?hash=item2cd2b5f644:g:6OgAAOSwo2la1peJ.

carole lombard 02

At a Lombard photo shoot...

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.17 at 16:17
Current mood: artisticartistic

Imagine zapping yourself back to the 1930s (or 1931, as Cecil Beaton is in this case), attending a photo shoot of Carole Lombard. What would it be like?

Let legendary photographer George Hurrell describe it to you:

"Carole was one of my favorite subjects. She could be carrying on like Faust one minute and then strike an ultra-dramatic attitude the next. She was always in high spirits and even when she was swearing up a storm, no one minded, because it was done in such a funny, lowbrow way. The technicians on her pictures truly loved her and she was so bright and so witty that I always looked forward not only to photograph her but to just being with her. No one could possibly be bored in her presence."

In late 1933 or early '34, on the set of "Bolero," Hurrell took the above photo of Lombard with a cellophane background. A further description of the session:

"Blonde, beautiful and bombastic, she stood in the middle of the living room set for 'Bolero' with a cup of coffee in one hand and a script in the other. As usual, the area was blue from her language. St. Hilare [Hurrell's assistant] hung a piece of cellophane over a nearby scenery flat and arranged the lights. Lombard was dressed in a low-cut, slinky black dress.

"Hurrell posed her against the cellophane, which crackled as she sat down. She stuck her tongue out and thumbed her nose at him while St. Hilare adjusted the key light. Hurrell was used to her chameleon-like changes of mood as well as her vocabulary and pressed the bulb. Her cerulean-blue eyes were large and expressive, her creamy complexion marred only slightly by a thin hairline scar running from the corner of her mouth up through the left side of her cheek. Her hair, shimmering in the light, heightened her heart-shaped face."

Wish I'd been there. Don't you?

I'm guessing this also came from that session:

carole lombard 01

Shanghai semi-surprise

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.16 at 21:20
Current mood: curiouscurious

Considering the popularity of "Swing High, Swing Low" -- this Carole Lombard-Fred MacMurray collaboration was Paramount's biggest money-maker for all of 1937 -- it's strange that no complete 35 mm print of the film exists. But that's another story for another time.

In the 1930s, Hollywood product had fans far beyond American borders. The U.S. had wrested control of the international film market from Europe in the wake of World War I, and retained that dominance two decades later. That even held true in China; witness this item from a theater in Shanghai:

The Capitol Theater opened in 1928. While it seated but 900, that was sufficient for the city's relatively small but prosperous English-speaking community:

What are sandbags doing outside the theater? It was taken during World War II. In August 1937, the Imperial Japanese Army invaded Shanghai, and they fought Chinese troops throughout much of downtown for more than three months. The bloody battle later was described as "Stalingrad on the Yangtze."

In late June of '37, the theatre was still open, and showing Carole's third collaboration with Fred:

The previous October, the Capitol ran the epic "San Francisco" with Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and Jeanette MacDonald:

Both programs, accompanied by actual tickets, are now available via eBay. The programs have a little browning, as might be expected for souvenirs more than 80 years old, but aren't brittle and are in good condition.

Bids begin at $3, with the auction set to close at 8:51 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday. Bid, or find out more, by visiting https://www.ebay.com/itm/Capitol-Theatre-Programs-1937-Clark-Gable-Spencer-Tracy-Carol-Lombard-SHANGHAI/332622256242?hash=item4d71d4d872:g:iQsAAOSwugha0~ET.

Speaking of China, how about a well-known standard with that land in the title? "(I'd Like to Get You) On A Slow Boat to China" was written by Broadway composer Frank Loesser in 1947, although it doesn't appear in any of his musicals. According to Loesser's daughter Susan, the phrase comes from poker, referring to a person who lost big. It's since come to mean anything that takes a long time.

Several dozen acts have recorded this over the years (including Fats Domino and Paul McCartney!), but perhaps my favorite was recorded in October 1947 by Benny Goodman and his orchestra, with the little-known Al Hendrickson on vocal. Benny's musicianship makes this version a standout.

carole lombard 07

The Times, it is a-movin'

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.15 at 19:51
Current mood: hopefulhopeful

This still of Carole Lombard is from the only time she ever played a newspaper reporter on screen, the 1929 Pathe film "Big News." (She also played a journalist in the 1941 Silver Theater radio production "Murder, Unlimited,")

While Carole never played a reporter as iconic as Rosalind Russell in "His Girl Friday" or Glenda Farrell in the "Torchy Blane" series, I'm guessing she was an inveterate reader of newspapers. Back then, most folks were. How else would they get news coverage? Radio news reporting was in its infancy, television was in its experimental stages, and the Internet or social media? The stuff of science fiction.

Which newspapers did Lombard read? Probably quite a few, though it's doubtful she read all of them every day. She likely saw both Hearst papers, the Herald and the Examiner; the Daily News, then a tabloid (and unrelated to the current publication, which focuses on the San Fernando Valley), and a few others, including several dailies printed in Hollywood, such as the Citizen (later the Citizen-News).

But there's one daily she certainly read...

...the Los Angeles Times, by far the largest of the city's dailies. The front page above is from November 1936, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt easily won re-election by trouncing Republican nominee Alf Landon. The year before, the Times had moved to a new home at First and Spring streets, near City Hall:

It's possible Lombard visited the Times offices to meet entertainment columnists such as Edwin Schallert (father of respected character actor William Schallert) and former fellow actor Hedda Hopper, though I have no concrete proof. But were Carole to magically re-materialize three months from now and wanted to drop by the Times, we'd have to send her to...

...El Segundo?

Yes, it was announced Friday that at the end of June, the Times is vacating its longtime downtown home for a small beachfront city in the southwest suburbs, not far from Los Angeles International Airport.

The newspaper had been expected to leave the building after its previous owner sold it to a Canadian developer (which plans to convert it into retail and housing), and new owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, a surgeon-entrepreneur with a net worth of $7.6 billion, had to find new editorial space. But few expected El Segundo, about 19 miles from downtown, would be where it would relocate.

When he told stunned staffers about the move Friday, he said the new offices would be in an eight-story building that would include a museum, event and retail space. Among tweets from reporters regarding the move were:
* "El Segundo is at least 45 minutes from everywhere, including El Segundo."
* "Everyone has Google Maps open on their screens, calculating new commute times."
* "I just had the same waking nightmare. Very excited to wake up at 3:30 a.m."
(Many Times employees live north or east of their current downtown offices.)

By process of elimination -- since you can't erect an eight-story building in El Segundo in under three months -- it's been determined the new Times headquarters will be on 2300 Imperial Highway, near a few bus lines (one of them from downtown) and half a mile from the Mariposa station on Metro's Green Line.

For the sake of metro reporters covering City Hall and other city governmental operations, I hope the Times rents a small office for a local news bureau. Perhaps something similar can be set up in Hollywood or Studio City for entertainment coverage.

These are tough times for newspapers, which are cutting back staffing all over the place. Even the future of a large daily such as the Denver Post -- owned by a hedge fund -- is uncertain following a recent round of layoffs that outraged staffers.

Frankly, this former reporter and copy editor is happy the Times again has local ownership who appear willing to put money into the product and restore the paper to its greatness in the '70s and '80s. Out-of-town ownership seriously damaged its reputation. But as someone elsewhere quipped, it would be like moving the New York Times to Ronkonkoma (a small town on Long Island). If moving to El Segundo saves the Times, I'm all for it.

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Carole with a Cuban flair

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.14 at 22:11
Current mood: determineddetermined

In January 1935, Carole Lombard and friend Madalynne Field went east for a vacation; this pic shows Lombard at the Biltmore Country Club in Miami. After Florida, they journeyed to nearby Cuba, roughly a quarter-century before Fidel Castro's revolution (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/152746.html).

I've never seen any photos of Carole in Havana, but it's entirely possible that while she was in Cuba, she came across this image of herself, issued in January of '35:

It's from the Aguilitas cigar company, part of a series of film-star cards (2" x 2.5"). The reverse features information -- in Spanish, of course -- about the company:

The card is considered to be in excellent condition.

Bidding begins at 99 cents, with the auction schedule to close at 9:03 p.m. (Eastern) Saturday. A good pick-up for those who collect such cards. If you're interested, bid or learn more by visiting https://www.ebay.com/itm/1935-Cuba-Cigars-AGUILITAS-116-CAROLE-LOMBARD-Tobacco-Card-Paramount/202288535569?hash=item2f19561811:g:9TwAAOSwO4Ra0hET.

And we hope that one day, we'll get more detailed information, and perhaps even a photo, of Lombard's trip to Havana.

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Go 'Gay [Bride]' in a brand new way

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.13 at 21:49
Current mood: giddygiddy

Last week, we noted the Carole Lombard 1934 MGM comedy "The Gay Bride" had just been issued on Warner Archive (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/895254.html). This version has already found its way to eBay for auction.

Listed as "brand new" by the seller (in other words, still sealed), one bid already has been made, for $9.99. The auction is set to end at 10:09 p.m. (Eastern) Friday, but I doubt the price will soar very high, because the list price from the WB Shop is $21.99.

Want to bid? Then go to https://www.ebay.com/itm/The-Gay-Bride-DVD-Warner-Archive-Carole-Lombard-NEW/312110450183?hash=item48ab3b8607:g:CqQAAOSwMGBaz4RH and try your luck.

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'Advertise'-ing a Lombard lobby card

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.12 at 22:33
Current mood: amusedamused

"It Pays To Advertise" was the first of five Carole Lombard films released at Paramount during the first half of 1931. Also with Lombard are Norman Foster, Skeets Gallagher and Eugene Pallette, five years before he would play the father of Carole's character in "My Man Godfrey." Even late-silent icon Louise Brooks is in the cast, though she only appears in one early scene and has no interaction with Lombard.

This was Carole's third movie at Paramount, and after eliciting good reaction for her two 1930 films for the studio -- "Safety in Numbers" and "Fast and Loose" -- officials sought to build her up as a leading lady. It's a programmer and little more though it has its moments. While it would take another year for Lombard to be top-billed, in "No One Man," this vehicle certainly helped make her more visible to moviegoers.

An original lobby card for "Advertise" is now up for auction at eBay:

Lombard and Foster are clearly a romantic couple, as a focus on them makes absolutely clear:

The card is said to be in very good condition.

Bidding opens at $89.99, a reasonable price for a lobby card that's now 87 years old. The auction is slated to end at 10:13 p.m. (Eastern) next Thursday.

interested, or merely curious? You can check on all the particulars by visiting https://www.ebay.com/itm/It-Pays-To-Advertise-1931-Paramount-lobby-card-Carole-Lombard-Norman-Foster/282923024924?hash=item41df86c21c:g:Mr0AAOSwH2Ja0BGp.

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Carole + canines, felines, etc.: It's #NationalPetDay!

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.11 at 10:06
Current mood: happyhappy

Were Carole Lombard here today, I'm certain she'd celebrate #NationalPetDay, a day when we honor our furry friends. It doesn't matter whether you're a dog or cat person -- or the not-so-rare breed who enjoys them equally -- or are into anything from rabbits to iguanas. Pets provide peace of mind, companionship and so much more.

Many Hollywood folk were and are pet lovers, and Lombard ranked with the best of them. Her menagerie was diverse, as seen above, and here are several more pics of Carole and her critters, beginning with a quartet of kittens:

Lombard's Pekingese, Pushface, appeared with her in 1936's "Love Before Breakfast":

Here's Carole with a Samoyed in the late '20s:

Carole and second husband Clark Gable adored horses and kept a few on their ranch:

Lombard mimics a sheepdog in this hilarious still:

Carole will get your goat (or is that a lamb?) in this autographed photo:

Perhaps Lombard's favorite horse was Pico, a gelded Palomino filly. Here they are from about 1937:

This image of Carole with a white cat is a screenshot from her 1935 film "Hands Across the Table":

And finally, Carole going after geese:

Give your pet an extra treat today. Lombard certainly would.

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An early obituary: L.A. Times, Jan. 18, 1942

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.10 at 21:21
Current mood: contemplativecontemplative

Slightly more than 24 hours after this photo of Carole Lombard singing the national anthem at Cadle Tabernacle in Indianapolis was taken on Jan. 15, 1942, she would be dead from a plane crash. Coming only 40 days after the attack on Pearl Harbor thrust the U.S. into World War II, her passing stunned the entertainment community, America and indeed the world.

Since the crash occurred on a Friday night (above is the Los Angeles Times from Jan. 17, 1942), any substantial obituaries of Lombard didn't run until Sunday. The Times had considerable second-day coverage on the front page...

...but inside, in what we now would call the arts and entertainment section, an appreciative obituary of Lombard ran. She was among the most liked and beloved personalities in Hollywood, and more than a few of her filmland cohorts, including several she merely knew as acquaintances and never worked with, paid their respects. While I can't reprint the obituary, I can link to it here: http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-carole-lombard-19420118-story.html.

Some reflections on this piece:

* Lombard's age at the time of her death is listed at 32, not 33, with a birthdate of Oct. 6, 1909, not the actual 1908. It's surprising to see this here, since she had admitted her correct age for several years.

* According to this, when she played baseball with boys in her youth, her position was first base.

* Her first lead film role, in 1925, is incorrectly shown as "Married in Haste."

* The story about her adding an "e" following a typographical error to make her name "Carole" is repeated...even though, had the Times checked its archives, it would've found Lombard had used an "e" in her screen name as early as February 1925 (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/394176.html).

* It referred to her vocabulary as "sprightly," not how many of us today would describe her word usage.

* A description of her upcoming film, "To Be Or Not To Be," which was to have had a sneak preview in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood that Sunday, had this poignant passage:

"As the production stands before release, the entire troupe of comedians, including one impersonating Hitler, celebrates [their escape from occupied Poland] in the transport plane. Suddenly, motor trouble develops. The actors, stars and all, parachute to safety. That was Carole's good fortune in pictures. In her last flight in real life, she wore no parachute."

* Several dozen tributes ran from fellow actors and industry executives. Among them were:

* Ginger Rogers: "The world has lost a wonderful girl, the motion-picture industry has lost a valuable star who brought joy to millions and her associates have lost a wonderful friend." (According to the story, Rogers and Lombard had adjacent dressing rooms at RKO.)

* Joseph Breen: "The industry has lost a fine actress, and Hollywood a lovely woman. It seems impossible to believe that Carole Lombard will not be seen again in our studios and homes." (Breen, at the time an RKO executive, had been the industry's chief censor for some years, and rejected the above publicity still for Columbia's "Twentieth Century.")

* Ann Sheridan: "Unbelievable and too tragic, one of the greatest troupers, one of the finest souls I've ever worked with." (You're saying to yourself, "Ann Sheridan never worked with Carole." Don't worry, I thought that, too. It turns out Sheridan, one of many star talents who slipped through Paramount's fingers during the '30s, had an uncredited role as a chorus girl in "Rumba.")

* James Cagney: "Carole Lombard died doing her job for her country. Every one of us is proud of her, though saddened by her passing."

* Tay Garnett: "Hollywood watched her grow from Jane Peters, the high-spirited girl of early studio days, to Carole Lombard, one of Hollywood's most highly-respected actresses. I can only add my respect and grief to that of others who will never forget her." (Garnett directed "One Way Passage," "China Seas," the original "The Postman Always Rings Twice" and many other films.)

With Lombard gone, Hollywood would never be the same.

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The leggy Lombard, in the swim

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.09 at 17:27
Current mood: hothot

We had a brief heat wave in Los Angeles today; about four hours ago along Vermont Avenue near Wilshire, I saw temperature readings of 96 and 97 Fahrenheit. (Things are expected to cool off sometime tomorrow.) I'm sure Carole Lombard would do some sunning under such conditions -- and with the way she filled out a swimsuit, along with her magnificent legs, many of us would enjoy the sight.

It just so happens three Lombard swimsuit images are new at eBay, including the one above, issued in 2000 by the British firm Swiftsure as part of a series of classic actress postcards. It measures 3.5" x 5.5" and is said to be in excellent shape.

Bids begin at $4.21 US, with the auction set to close at 4:34 p.m. (Eastern) next Monday. Think you're interested in bidding on this, my favorite Lombard swimsuit image? Then go to https://www.ebay.com/itm/N234-CAROLE-LOMBARD-SWIFTSURE-P507-2-PHOTO-POSTCARD-FILM-STAR-PIN-UP/302699383545?hash=item467a4a0af9:g:0D8AAOSwpXBay3qU.

We have two other swimsuit shots of Carole. We'll start with this one:

It's an 8" x 10" glossy, a current-day high-resolution digital scan. It's being sold for $12 under eBay's "buy it now" policy. Learn more by visiting https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-PHOTOGRAPH-64/253550611363?hash=item3b08cb4ba3:g:k9UAAOSw42JZCk6x.

And finally, another horizontal:

Bids on this one begin at $15, and the auction ends at 4:39 p.m. (Eastern) Monday. If you'd like it to be yours, place a bid at https://www.ebay.com/itm/Beautiful-Hollywood-Photo-developed-from-negative-leggy-sexy-Carole-Lombard/332615696008?hash=item4d7170be88:g:~uQAAOSwH3haSBgi.

Keep cool, folks.

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A document with the Lombard Factor

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.08 at 13:02
Current mood: enthralledenthralled

Like so many in the film industry, Carole Lombard owed a lot to Max Factor, whose work in cosmetics for movies aided scores of actors. And as his company expanded into products for the general public, Lombard was among the stars who helped promote them.

A document from July 13, 1932 has surfaced where Carole gave the company permission to use her image in advertising:

As might be expected during the heyday of the studio system, this promotion -- for window displays, billboards, daily newspapers and magazines -- was under the strict aegis of her home studio at the time, which was Paramount (her current or upcoming film was to be featured in any ad). If Carole was compensated for this, either monetarily or with a supply of Max Factor items, it's not listed here. All we have is her signature.

As a result of the agreement, one saw Lombard in ads such as this:

In January 1975, this and several other contracts signed by Golden Age legends were borrowed, via an inter-office memorandum:

The '32 and '75 documents are on sale at Invaluable.com for $2,800. If you're a serious Carole collector (as you'd have to be at that price), learn more by visiting https://www.invaluable.com/buy-now/-CED4D1BAC5?utm_source=inv_kwalert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=keywordalertlive&utm_term=2.

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Lombard on Long Island

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.07 at 22:22
Current mood: chipperchipper

Carole Lombard is shown with Frank Morgan in the 1930 comedy "Fast And Loose" -- her only film shot in New York (at the Paramount Astoria studios in Queens). Carole was a favorite of Big Apple audiences...and we're not referring solely to Manhattan. Here's plenty of proof.

Five mid-1930s theater programs from the Long Island borough of Queens and nearby Nassau County are up for auction at eBay. They're fascinating souvenirs of Lombard fare and other films of that era, as shown at what those in the business called "the nabes," neighborhood houses showing second-run movies after they made the rounds of the palaces in midtown Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn, followed by larger theaters in the outer boroughs.

Two of the programs are from February 1935 and promote Carole's comedy from late the previous year, the MGM release "The Gay Bride." First, this one from the Floral Theater in Floral Park:

"Clever Bride Foils Dumb Racketeers" -- love that headline.

The next, from the following week, lists it at the Franklin Theater on Hempstead Turnpike:

The previous April, as what we now call the pre-Code era was beginning to wind down, audiences could see Carole dance in her underwear, then fully clothed with George Raft, in the anachronistic dance film "Bolero." It ran at the Floral, although this program also lists the weekly card at the nearby Bellerose. (Both would show "It Happened One Night" at the beginning of May.)

In August 1936, Lombard's second film with Fred MacMurray, "The Princess Comes Across," had hit the nabes. "Princess" was part of a double bill with Shirley Temple's "Poor Little Rich Girl" at the Queens Theater in Queens Village:

Note the "Screeno" game ($50 in prizes!), one of the many promotions theaters used in the mid-thirties to woo audiences.

Carole's first film with Fred, "Hands Across the Table," was promoted in January 1936 for a chain of theaters across the city line in Nassau County. This was a larger publication than the above four-page program, but we only have the cover:

Bids on all of the above end at 4:17 p.m. (Eastern) Thursday. Bidding opens at $9.99 for the "Movi-Guide" (which measures 6" x 9"), $7.99 for the others (5.5" x 8").

To bid on the "Movi-Guide," visit https://www.ebay.com/itm/1936-Movi-Guide-Movie-Theater-Showtimes-Guide-Carole-Lombard-Fred-MacMurray/253536658408?hash=item3b07f663e8:g:J0kAAOSwi4dasdIt.

For "The Gay Bride," visit https://www.ebay.com/itm/1930s-Movie-Theater-Showtimes-Guide-Bert-Wheeler-Spanky-McFarland-Carole-Lombard/253536658388?hash=item3b07f663d4:g:a80AAOSwDqlasVAh (Floral) and https://www.ebay.com/itm/1930s-Movie-Theater-Showtimes-Guide-Mynra-Loy-Carole-Lombard-Claude-Rains-Dunne/263583402953?hash=item3d5ecb8bc9:g:7XIAAOSwkXdasVDk (Franklin).

"Bolero" is at https://www.ebay.com/itm/1930s-Movie-Theater-Showtimes-Guide-George-Raft-Carole-Lombard-Will-Rogers/253536658447?hash=item3b07f6640f:g:5F8AAOSwxJlasKkv.

See "The Princess Comes Across" by going to https://www.ebay.com/itm/1934-Movie-Theater-Showtimes-Guide-Grace-Moore-Shirley-Temple-Carole-Lombard/253536658362?hash=item3b07f663ba:g:lM4AAOSwaVRasIs~.

And to learn more about these theaters, visit an invaluable site for anyone who loves the history of movie houses: http://cinematreasures.org/.

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'Modern Screen,' March 1938: Carry on, Carole

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.06 at 22:44
Current mood: cheerfulcheerful

Perhaps no film did more damage to Carole Lombard's career than "Fools For Scandal." The Warners comedy, which was released in April 1938 following her late '37 triumphs in "True Confession" and "Nothing Sacred," not only burst her bubble as the hottest star in the industry, but shifted her out of comedy films for nearly three years.

But no one knew what was to come a few months earlier, when Modern Screen came out with its March 1938 issue. It included a two-page "on the set" Lombard thread, with several rare photographs. Here are the pages:

The pics are fun, particularly those showing her with Ralph Bellamy (they had worked together 2 1/2 years earlier in "Hands Across the Table," and in later years Bellamy always spoke well of her).

Carole's also part of a beauty piece, "Movie-Star Beauty For You." She provides hints for good hands (her pic is on the first page, her tips on the last):

This issue is up for auction at eBay. On the cover are Tyrone Power and Sonja Henie:

Inside is a story asking an astrologer, "Who will Tyrone Power marry?" (Annabella, whom he would marry the following year, was not one of the listed candidates.)

The magazine is said to be in very good condition, aside from some minor wear. Bids begin at $29.99, and the auction is set to close at 8:59 p.m. (Eastern) next Thursday.

To place a bid or seek more information, visit https://www.ebay.com/itm/Modern-Screen-Magazine-March-1938-Tyrone-Power-Clark-Gable-Carole-Lombard-RARE/312104080212?hash=item48aada5354:g:vaYAAOSwdxJaxsZ5.

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Here comes 'The Gay Bride'

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.05 at 22:55
Current mood: amusedamused

It was Carole Lombard's visit to Hollywood's big-time (OK, so it actually was in Culver City). But Carole -- pictured between director Jack Conway (left) and leading man Chester Morris -- would later label this her worst movie.

We are referring to "The Gay Bride," made for MGM in late 1934 and now available on DVD through the Warner Archive:

"The Gay Bride" is a comedy which many have labeled a predecessor to Michelle Pfeiffer's "Married To the Mob," made some 54 years later.

But whereas the Pfeiffer film was a major project and part of her ascension to top-tier star, "The Gay Bride" was just another programmer for Leo's MGM, which obtained Carole on a loan-out from her home base of Paramount. It's a tough comedy, atypical for Metro in the '30s (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/705670.html). It had superior production values to a comparable film at Warners or Columbia, two studios specializing in urban atmospheres, but in retrospect the glitz may have worked against the project. However, it helped Lombard appear super-alluring, as this shot of her in a form-fitting gown makes evident:

Lombard may not have been happy with the finished product, but this is more along the lines of Jack Benny's "The Horn Blows At Midnight": A movie better than the star claims it to be. The script, from the husband-and-wife team of Sam and Bella Spewack, has its occasional charms, but the repeal of Prohibition in late 1933 (in fact, the film's working title was "Repeal)" led to waning interest in gangster films and lessened audience appeal. Few if any Carole fans would deem this their favorite film of hers, but if my only choices for Lombard fare are this and "Fools For Scandal," I'll take "The Gay Bride" every time.

With a list price of $21.99, you can order this directly from the WB Shop (https://www.wbshop.com/products/the-gay-bride-1934-mod) or visit outlets such as oldies.com or amazon.com. And in no other Lombard film will you find ace character actors Nat Pendleton and Zasu Pitts, here flanking Carole:

carole lombard 03

Now we know when, and where, that 'Woman' will be

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.04 at 22:41
Current mood: determineddetermined

Not long ago, we learned Carole Lombard's little-seen 1931 drama "I Take This Woman" with Gary Cooper would be part of the annual Turner Classic Movies Film Festival later this month (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/892561.html). Today, we discovered its spot in the program.

According to the schedule (http://filmfestival.tcm.com/programs/schedule/04-27-2018/?layout=grid), it will run at 7:15 p.m. Friday, April 27 at Chinese Multiplex House 4, adjacent to the renowned Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.

The good news is that the restored Paramount film, which since March 2017 has been shown at the Billy Wilder Theater at UCLA and the Stanford Theatre in the Bay Area, gets a decent evening time slot on the first day films are shown at the festival. The bad news: House 4 is the smallest of the three multiplex venues being used -- 177 seats, compared to 477 for House 1 and 210 for House 6.

But although Lombard fans planning to attend and who want to watch this film should plan to get in line early (assuming they've already paid to be part of the event), they shouldn't automatically fret that night if there's no room at the cinematic inn. On Sunday, the closing day, five time slots -- four at House 4, one at House 6 -- are left open, usually for movies which had the heaviest demand at the smaller houses the first two days. While there's no guarantee "I Take This Woman" will receive an encore showing, the many Coop and Carole fans give it a decent shot at returning.

Up against it on the Friday night schedule are 1983's "The Right Stuff" (5 p.m., TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX), 1971's "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song" (6:15 p.m., Egyptian Theatre), 1968's "The Odd Couple" (6 p.m., Chinese Multiplex House 1); the rare 3-D print of 1954's "The Creature From the Black Lagoon" (7:15 p.m., Chinese Multiplex House 6) and a "Roaring Twenties" poolside party at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel pool at 6:30 p.m., followed by a showing of the 1939 film at 8. So plan your schedules accordingly, and check the chart whose link is shown above for additional information.

Lombard and Cooper look forward to seeing you there. Perhaps by then, there finally will be no wintry weather back east (more snow is expected to hit the Washington-to-Boston corridor this weekend).

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Who was she with, and where is this from?

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.03 at 15:55
Current mood: blankblank

I hope I'm not boastful when I say that after nearly 11 years of running this site and a few prior decades of Carole Lombard, I consider myself somewhat expert on the woman, her life and her movies. Does that mean I bat 1.000? Hardly.

Take the photo above, for instance. It's almost certainly a movie publicity still, and in the lower left-hand corner, you can ascertain that it's from Columbia, back when Harry Cohn's fiefdom was at Sunset & Gower. Beyond that...nothing. No studio information at the bottom, and if there's a snipe or other information on the back, the seller at eBay didn't provide it.

So I posted the pic at Facebook, where at last count I had 1,074 friends, and asked them (more than a few are fellow Lombard aficionados):

I'm drawing a blank on this photo. Anyone know which Carole Lombard film this is from? (Assuming that's Carole.)

Several quickly determined his identity, first among them Dan Day Jr., who took time out from celebrating Notre Dame's national title in women's basketball and waiting for the White Sox game that night to say it was Arthur Hohl. A view of his IMDb profile showed Hohl (1889-1964) appeared in two of Carole's Columbia films: "Brief Moment" (1933), as Steve Walsh, and "Lady By Choice" (1934), as Kendall. Several other responses said they believed it to be from the latter movie.

The 8" x 10" photo is said to be from the archives of the late New York nostalgia maven Joe Franklin, whose local TV talk show ran for decades and seemingly had anyone who was anyone as a guest. (When I resided in the New York metropolitan area, I saw Joe near his Times Square office several times.)

You can buy the still for $23.80, or try your hand at making an offer; bids are set to end at 12:49 p.m. (Eastern) May 2. Learn more by visiting https://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-8x10-B-W-Still/232719709966?hash=item362f2cf70e:g:~i4AAOSwdVFawl8J:sc:USPSFirstClass!90014!US!-1.

I'm unsure whether Franklin had Doris Day on as a guest, but today is her 96th birthday and we pay her tribute. Doris may be the female equivalent of Bing Crosby as both a hitmaker on records and major film star; she made many fine movies and is well-known for her work as an animal rights activist. Here's my favorite song of hers, her wonderfully romantic late '40s rendition of a song that dates back to the teens, "Pretty Baby":

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'Intriguing,' all right...and expensive

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.02 at 17:17
Current mood: impressedimpressed

Carole Lombard may have shown more skin at Pathe than she later would in her pre-Code days at Paramount, but at either place she exuded plenty of sex appeal. Witness:

That's Paramount p1202-517, an image we ran several years ago. But I don't believe we then had the snipe on the back. Now we do.

Intriguing negligee, eh what? Carole Lombard will wear it in one scene of her forthcoming Paramount picture, "White Woman."

OK, so we now know this photo is likely from the second half of 1933, to promote her upcoming over-the-top potboiler, "White Woman." And although we're certain Paramount designer Travis Banton used plenty of costly material to create Lombard's lingerie, I'm guessing that in 1933 dollars, this negligee didn't cost the studio $299.

But that's what the buyer is asking if you want to swoop in and buy this on eBay. Fortunately, you're provided an alternative -- making an offer. This auction is slated to end at 6:31 p.m. (Eastern) on May 2.

To make an offer, or buy it right away (it looks to be in pretty good condition for an original vintage photo nearly 85 years old), visit https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-Risque-Revealing-Negligee-White-Woman-1933-Sexy-Glamour-Photo/392012121898?hash=item5b45be472a:g:0gkAAOSwJtdaIvu6.

carole lombard 07

An Easter reminder (no foolin'): Some bunny loves you

Posted by vp19 on 2018.04.01 at 11:44
Current mood: jubilantjubilant

This is as close as I could find to an Easter-related Carole Lombard photo, though I have no idea whether this was its original intent. It's Lombard, leaning atop a portrait of a rabbit, taken by John Engstead. Carole's industry clout, and perhaps her own innate good taste, enabled her to avoid the cheesy Easter pics of many of her contemporaries.

Nevertheless, such images have a sense of kitschy fun many decades later, especially since this year, Easter falls on April Fools' Day. In its honor, here are an array of classic Hollywood photos. We'll kick off with two from a lady who today experiences her 104th Easter, Mary Carlisle. Here she is as the Easter bunny...

...and here she is (at right) with Jean Parker as aides to the Big Bunny (the Easter equivalent of the Great Pumpkin?):

Easter-related Hollywood pics date back a century. For proof, here's Alla Nazimova, of all people, in 1919 wearing a bunny suit while atop...a mushroom?

Jeanette Loff, who appeared with Lombard in 1929's "The Racketeer," donned rabbit attire:

On to the 1930s, and Ida Lupino accompanying a giant rabbit during her youthful Paramount days:

Heather Angel (that's her real name) goes seasonal in 1933:

Move ahead to 1939 and Olympe Bradna, who at least gets to pose with a real rabbit:

The decade's biggest star, little Shirley Temple, naturally was shown in many Easter stills. Here's one:

Now to the 1940s and Susan Hayward, though the bunny she's with is presumably plush and not the real thing:

Ann Miller might be a magician in this bizarre pose, as she literally could pull a rabbit out of her hat:

One of the 1950s' top stars, Doris Day (she'll turn 96 Tuesday!), is in of all things an oversized Easter basket in this 1952 shot:

On this day, the 86th anniversary of her birth, here's Debbie Reynolds:

Mitzi Gaynor hatches up some holiday fun:

From the Bugs Bunny doll Angie Dickinson is holding, I guess this promotional still was for a Warners project:

By 1959, quite a few of these Easter pics were done in color, such as this shot of Sandra Dee:

Lanky Paula Prentiss was a significant star of the early '60s:

The end of the studio system -- and with it, their star-obsessed publicity offices -- largely spelled the end for Easter and other holiday pics. But that doesn't mean celebrities today can't celebrate the season. Here, "Mom" star Anna Faris (whose best-known movie vehicle, lest we forget, was 2009's "The House Bunny") dons rabbit ears and holds a heart:

Whether you celebrate the holiday religiously, secularly, or both, a happy Easter to all...and that's no April Fool's joke.

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