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'Dressing' in 16mm

Stunning still of Carole Lombard, isn't it? Well, yes and no. That's her, all right, but it's not a publicity still, but a frame grab from a 16mm print of her 1934 Paramount musical comedy (a reworking of "The Admirable Crichton")...

So, for that matter, are all the images you'll see in this entry, including this of Lombard by herself, looking properly regal (as an heiress should)...

...and this of Carole with Ethel Merman:

We'll soon provide more info on this 16mm print, but for now take a look at this incredible cast. The lead, Bing Crosby...

...Leon Errol...

...the aforementioned Merman...

...Ray Milland (who'd become a major star in the '40s) and Jay Henry (who never made another film) as two princes on board the yacht...

...and George Burns and Gracie Allen as two nature researchers on the island where Carole's yacht is shipwrecked:

In addition, there's a bear on the yacht for comic relief:

(Unfortunately, one of the female extras on the set was fatally attacked by the ursine.)

The print is in very good condition, if you're into collecting 16mm film. Bidding begins at $199, but you don't have much time to bid; the auction ends at 10 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday.

Interested? Get all the information at And enjoy the assorted 16mm hijinks.

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Some 'Supernatural' things

"Supernatural" is an anomaly in Carole Lombard's cinematic canon. Made in early 1933 when neither Paramount nor Lombard herself had yet defined herself on screen (she's shown above in a publicity still with co-star Randolph Scott), it was a drama with elements of horror and the occult, neither of them genres Lombard felt at ease in. Consequently, Carole frequently quarreled on the set with director Victor Halperin, leading to a largely apocryphal anecdote relating to the March 10, 1933 earthquake that rattled southern California (

Nevertheless, the film has some fans, and here's an eBay item related to it:

This is an ad from the Sept. 7, 1933 British trade paper Kinematograph Weekly, promoting that "Supernatural" would hit UK shores the following February. The magazine's title can be found in the upper left-hand corner:

The ad itself measures 10 1/2" x 17 1/2", and is framed in black wood.

This certainly is a rarity, so the seller's minimum bid is a lofty $399. The auction is scheduled to close at 7:06 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday.

Interested? Visit to find out more.

And there is indeed more. Nearly a year ago, we learned "Supernatural" soon would find its way to a Blu-ray release ( and now we know the particulars.

Kino Lorber, a reputable firm when it comes to restoration of classic titles (it's handled several previous Lombard Blu-ray adaptations), will do this one. Among the features:

* A new 2K master print.
* Audio commentary by pioneering video critic Tim Lukas, who has done more than 30 such commentaries (
* A theatrical trailer (did you know one existed? I didn't)

The "Supernatural" Blu-ray is scheduled for an April 7 release, although its price or how to order has not been announced. But for Lombard fans, getting this, with extras, is something to celebrate.
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So what's this about a 'new divorce'?

Carole Lombard and William Powell's divorce was approved in Nevada on Aug. 18, 1933, so it hardly was "new" when this publicity photo, Paramount p1202-1135, was issued in early 1936:

But the marking on the back refers to something listed as "New Divorce, The." Huh?

Nothing in Carole & Co. files refers to any project by that name. At least we do learn this is a Eugene Robert Richee work...and as usual for his creations, it's pretty darn stunning.

This is an 8" x 10" glossy single-weight from the George Smoots Collection, said to be in excellent condition. (There's a small faint dimple at top center and a faint vertical line at right.)

Bidding opens at $39.99, with the auction closing at 10:39 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday. To check it out and possibly bid, visit
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When cattle direct

Did Alfred Hitchcock, shown with Carole Lombard on the set of "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," actually say "actors are cattle"? No, the iconic director claimed; according to him, he actually said "all actors should be treated like cattle."

In late 1940, one of his figurative livestock got the chance to turn the tables on Hitch. By now, the director was noted for making brief cameos in his films, and when it came time to do his cameo for "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," Lombard -- as keen on innovative publicity as Hitchcock, as well as one of his first close American friends -- offered to direct the scene. Hitch accepted.

Still pictures of the scene are plentiful, but have you ever seen it in motion? Well, here it is, all 21 seconds of it. There's an irrelevant instrumental soundtrack added (it almost certainly was filmed without sound), and it's a delight to watch Carole put Hitchcock through his paces.

It's at Give it a look-see.

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Carole Lombard Memorial Blogathon: Wrapping up the entries

The four-day Carole Lombard Memorial Blogathon is complete, and I thank Crystal Kalyana Pacey of "In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood" for her help in running the event -- and coordinating things after my heart attack Wednesday night sidelined me for a few days.

The blogathon had but 10 entries, including mine, which doesn't sound like much (I take blame for not promoting it better)...but reading through them proved to me they're all worthwhile. So let's list them, one by one in chronological order of specific films examined, then showing the others:

* The Midnite Drive-In looks at Lombard's first talkie feature, Pathe's creaky 1929 drama "High Voltage" (

* Screen Dreams examines "No Man Of Her Own" (1932) and explains in its backstory how you can thank Marion Davies, of all people, for setting up Lombard's lone collaboration with Clark Gable (

* Caftan Woman has fun with "We're Not Dressing" (1934), which not only teams Carole with Bing Crosby but has arguably the weirdest supporting cast of any Lombard film -- Ethel Merman, George Burns, Gracie Allen and a young Ray Milland (

* The Stop Button labels "The Princess Comes Across" (1936), Lombard's second teaming with Fred MacMurray, "an uneven mix of comedy and mystery." Find out why at

* Karanvansara gives you two "Godfreys" for the price of one: The 1936 screwball classic with Carole and friendly ex William Powell, and the little-remembered 1957 version with David Niven and June Allyson, which attempts to retool the Depression story for the prosperous '50s (

* Taking Up Room examines "Made For Each Other," the first of two films Carole made in 1939, both directed by John Cromwell, and co-starring James Stewart. The film has its merits, but is hampered by an incredulous ending ( The other '39 Lombard-Cromwell collaboration, "In Name Only" with Cary Grant and Kay Francis, is handled by...

* 18 Cinema Lane, whose author, "Sally Silverscreen," had never seen a Lombard film until this. She liked Carole's work and Cary's too, along with the film's realistic approach to the subject of divorce ( Hope you see many more Lombard movies, Sally.

* The Story Enthusiast, run by Brittaney, is the rare bird who prefers Lombard's work as a dramatic actress (hey, everyone's entitled to their opinion), and cites "Vigil In The Night" (1940) as a reason why. (Carole's shown with Peter Cushing, 37 years before he entered the "Star Wars" universe.) "I'm so glad I didn't give up on Carole Lombard," she writes. We are, too (

* Critica Retro, a Spanish/English classic film site, reviews several of Lombard's two-reelers for Mack Sennett, including "Matchmaking Mamma" (1929, with Daphne Pollard). Sennett gave Carole comedic experience as well as an on-screen confidence in the wake of her 1926 automobile accident that ended her brief tenure at Fox ( Finally...

* Carole & Co., and my look at the sleeping car "Rose Bowl," which Lombard used for two nights en route from Los Angeles to Chicago for her financially successful but ill-fated war bond rally trip to the Midwest. (She's shown with a local Treasury Department official before leaving Union Station Jan. 12, and she may be standing in the sleeper.) It's at, and I expect to have more information about and pictures of this historic rail car soon.

Crystal's entry, with all the blogathon entries, is at Make that all the blogathon entries except hers -- she emailed me today and said her Lombard entry will be in soon.) I thank her and everyone who participated.
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Carole Lombard Memorial Blogathon: A sleeper car with an upright story

This entry is part of the Carole Lombard Memorial Blogathon, co-hosted by this site and "In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood" ( I apologize for its relative lateness, but my (thankfully minor) heart attack late Wednesday threw my writing haywire.

The photo at the top of this entry shows Carole Lombard with servicemen at the Salt Lake City train station on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 1942, as she was traveling to Chicago to receive instructions from the Treasury Department regarding her upcoming war bond rally in Indianapolis that Thursday. Flying home late that Friday, her plane crashed into a mountain in Nevada, killing her and 21 others, including her mother Elizabeth Peters, MGM press agent and chaperone Otto Winkler and members of the Army Air Corps.

After the stopover, Carole returned to the Union Pacific's "City Of Los Angeles" train and its sleeper car...which has a fascinating backstory of its own.

This is "Rose Bowl," so named for the Pasadena-based stadium and football game that concluded the Tournament of Roses each New Year's Day. (In 1942, war fears in the wake of Pearl Harbor forced the game to be moved east to Durham, N.C., where Oregon State defeated host Duke.) The car was built by Pullman in 1937 and contained 18 roomettes.

However, initially it had a different name as part of a different train. It was called "Telegraph Hill" and was part of the Southern Pacific's "City of San Francisco." Why the change?

The car was one of five that remained upright on the train's westward trip. Others, including the dining car, plunged into the river as the death toll rose to 24.

No doubt Lombard heard about the Aug. 12, 1939 derailment -- among the most notorious unsolved train tragedies -- but was she aware of her car's ties to that incident? And if so, might that have led to her fateful decision to return home by air? Here's the interior of a sleeping car of that era:

The sleeper gave the actress sufficient privacy, though she would interact with the public at times. According to reports, actor Pat O'Brien, who'd co-starred with Carole nearly a decade earlier in the pre-Code "Virtue," was also aboard and made a fourth when Lombard, her mother and Winkler played bridge.

What's especially intriguing about all of this is that the car is among few vestiges of the ill-fated tour extant today. Here I am posing with it, taken Tuesday, the day before my heart attack:

In the words of Paul Harvey, I'll soon provide "the rest of the story." Many thanks to Brian Lee Anderson and Michael McComb for uncovering this.
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If you're wondering what happened to me...

By now, I guess many of you know I suffered a minor heart attack Wednesday night, my second in 14 years (hence the Carole Lombard "heart" picture at the top of this entry). Thanks to the good people at McCormick Ambulance and St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, Calif., I'm back home after two days -- one in the ICU, the other recuperating.

This came at a rather inopportune time for me. Not only was Thursday my first day without an entry since March 31, 2018 -- thus ending a string of 21 1/2 months with one each day -- but as most Lombard fans know, Jan. 16 was the 78th anniversary of Carole's passing, a day we solemnly commemorate. Moreover, Thursday marked the start of the Carole Lombard Memorial Blogathon (see above), which I was to co-host with "In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood."

Crystal Kalyana Pacey has run things in my absence (thank you!), and seven entries have been received so far ( Hope we'll have a few more ready tomorrow, when the event is scheduled to close, and I intend to have one among them. (Early Wednesday evening, I was planning my entry, looking to send it early Thursday, but alas, I never got the chance to prepare it.)

Upon hearing the news of my hospitalization, many of you sent messages of encouragement; I offer my thanks for the love you showed, it keeps me going. I am blessed to know so many wonderful people.
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A goddess in gray chiffon

We've previously run this Carole Lombard Paramount still, p1202-1272, but knew little about it -- until this version appeared, with a snipe on the rear:

The wording in close-up:

Gray chiffon, plenty of beautiful bare back, a brooch in star sapphire -- it's by all means "ethereal." The photo was issued in 1935, but this copy didn't arrive at its media outlet until February of '36.

This 8" x 10" single-weight from the George Smoots collection is in excellent condition, and is up for auction. Bidding begins at $39.99 and closes at 11:04 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday. Place your bid at
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Drawing nearer

Ready for your close-up, Carole Lombard? We're only two days away from...

...the Carole Lombard Memorial Blogathon, where from Thursday through Sunday people will contribute entries relating to the life and films of one of Hollywood's iconic actresses and most beloved personalities.

What will I contribute? I'm keeping mum for now -- remember, unlike you I have to come up with an entry at least tangentially related to her each day -- but I promise it will be of import and, I hope, add to Lombard research.

I eagerly look forward to your contributions. Somewhere, so does she.

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