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carole lombard 06

50 years after that 'one small step'

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.20 at 01:08
Current mood: productiveproductive

I wanted to find a photo of Carole Lombard with the moon to commemorate today's 50th anniversary of the first humans setting foot on the lunar surface, but this is the best I could come up with -- an RKO publicity still of her "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" character, where Ann Smith presumably can see the moon from her Manhattan rooftop if conditions are right.

But that will have to do for a lead-in, as we look back to that momentous day of July 20, 1969...actually, newspapers from the following day. First, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner:

The Washington Daily News, which like the Herald-Examiner is no longer with us:

Another tabloid, the still-surviving Chicago Sun-Times, a few years after Roger Ebert had joined the staff:

And finally, the Post-Standard in my hometown of Syracuse, N.Y., where I was less than a month away from turning 14:

Given the partisanship and echo-chamber nature of today's media -- where your politics can be compartmentalized by whether you get your television news from MSNBC, CNN or Fox New Channel, going ideologically from left to right -- the 1969 broadcast landscape looks rather quaint today. Three TV networks, none with any ideological ax to grind. No 24-hour news cycle, just a trio of half-hour nightly newscasts and some public affairs programming.

Mine was a CBS family, where Walter Cronkite was a knowledgeable, reassuring presence on its space coverage. So it was on this Sunday night, as we watched Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon a few minutes before 11 p.m. (Eastern). The second man to set foot, Buzz Aldrin, is shown with an American flag:

Earlier that Sunday, ballgames were affected by the news, just as they had been a quarter-century before for D-Day. When Apollo 11 touched down on the lunar surface at 4:17 p.m., it was in the top of the eighth of a 2-2 game at Yankee Stadium against the Washington Senators (remember when D.C. was in the American League, folks?). The game paused for four minutes to celebrate the safe landing, actions repeated elsewhere throughout the majors (https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/07/17/when-apollo-landed-moon-major-league-baseball-stood-still/?utm_term=.e11710f3792e).

Carole would have been 60 at the time of Apollo 11 (her first husband, the long-retired William Powell, was slightly more than a week away from turning 77). Like all of us at the time, living in a far more united environment, I'm sure she would have celebrated the achievement.

One suburban Syracuse family had a personal tie-in to the mission, as the mother in the household was a high school classmate of Aldrin's:

A few weeks after the mission, a Syracuse-area apartment complex celebrated by giving those who toured it a commemorative record:

It turns out we do have a Lombard lunar "tie-in," but it's aural, not visual. On Feb. 10, 1941, Carole and James Stewart were the leads in a "Lux Radio Theater" adaptation of "The Moon's Our Home," a 1935 comedy starring Stewart's friend Henry Fonda and his ex-wife Margaret Sullavan. A website devoted to Stewart's considerable radio career did an entry on this broadcast (http://www.jimmystewartontheair.com/lux-radio-theatre-the-moons-our-home/), including copies of contracts MGM player Stewart had to sign in order to appear on "Lux" and links to each of its three acts.

carole lombard 05

One image, two autographs

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.19 at 20:49
Current mood: mellowmellow

Carole Lombard signed plenty of photos during her career, including the image above, taken by John Miehle. Another inscribed version is for sale at eBay.

Whereas the top photo's inscription is easy to see, the bottom -- in dark ink, under her face -- is far tougher to discern. So I've enlarged it.

According to the seller, it reads, "To Mary and Steve/my best to you both/Carole Lombard". This 9" x 13" photo certainly not as in good shape as the top one; note the 1 1/2-inch tear, as well as a creased service.

This goes for $1,800 straight up (10% off its original price of $2,000) or $75 monthly for 24 months; if neither option suits your fancy, you can make an offer. If you've always wanted a signed Lombard pic, get additional info at https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-AUTOGRAPHED-SIGNED-PHOTOGRAPH/283553819062?hash=item42051fe9b6:g:FjoAAOSwDO9dMhmr.

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Next month, Carole reaches new Heights in the Twin Cities

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.18 at 13:00
Current mood: ecstaticecstatic

During her sadly abbreviated life, Carole Lombard visited plenty of places, but many remained out of reach. A planned trip to Europe in early 1935 fell through at the last minute, so she settled for a visit to Cuba. She made numerous journeys to Mexico as most Hollywood folk did, and probably went to Canada alongside Clark Gable for some hunting. Numerous train trips east also enabled her to see much of the U.S.

I can't document Lombard's lifelong itinerary, but I'm guessing that she never once visited this state:

This is a map of Minnesota's congressional districts in the 1930s...and while Carole likely changed trains in Chicago several times, when heading west she probably never journeyed that far north. No matter -- Lombard had fans in the land of 10,000 lakes, as this Minneapolis Tribune review of "Made For Each Other" makes apparent:

Some 80 years later, Twin Cities film buffs get another chance to see Carole cavort on the big screen, as the Heights Theater in suburban Minneapolis runs a month-long Lombard retrospective, "Carole Lombard: 20th Century Screwball." A different Minnesota venue did a similar project honoring my second favorite classic era actress, Myrna Loy, in May (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/994039.html).

All films are shown in 35mm prints, and all performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. The schedule:

* Aug. 1, "Twentieth Century" (1934) -- The movie that put Carole on the map as a top-tier comic actress, something she had shown flashes of in earlier films but never harnessed until she worked with co-star John Barrymore and director Howard Hawks. She and Barrymore top each other in histrionics, and why not? He's a Broadway impresario, she's his creation who's now jilted him for hated Hollywood. A riotous trip on the title train reunites them.

* Aug. 8, "My Man Godfrey" (1936) -- The greatest screwball of them all (sorry "Bringing Up Baby" fans). Lombard's a daffy delight as a scatterbrained heiress who finds an East River bum (real-life ex-husband William Powell) and makes him her family's butler, falling in love with him...but unaware of his secret past. "Godfrey" has humor and heart, and deftly delivers a social message that resonates some 83 years later.

* Aug. 15, "True Confession" (1937) -- Carole's Paramount swan song and arguably her wackiest role, as a New York housewife and habitual liar who causes problems galore for her attorney husband (Fred MacMurray), especially when she's charged with a murder she didn't commit. Lombard insisted Barrymore -- whose star had faded from alcohol in a little over three years -- get third billing as a goofy expert on crime.

* Aug. 22, "In Name Only" (1939) -- The remaining two films in the series aren't screwballs; heck, this isn't even a comedy, unusual considering Lombard and Cary Grant arguably are deemed their respective genders' top screwball performers. Cary falls for widow-with-daughter Carole, but his social-climbing wife (longtime Lombard friend Kay Francis) won't grant him a divorce. A well-made romantic drama directed by John Cromwell, proof Carole was more than a comic actress.

* Aug. 29, "To Be Or Not To Be" (1942) -- Lombard long had wanted to work with director Ernst Lubitsch, and got the chance in her cinematic valedictory. Comic radio legend Jack Benny is brilliant as her hammy husband; they head a Warsaw theater troupe who aids the Allied cause after Nazi Germany invades Poland. Controversial in its day, and released months after the U.S. entered World War II (Carole's premature passing also cast a pall over the movie), this now is recognized as a masterpiece of dark comedy.

The Heights Theater seats 239 and was built in 1926. It's at 3951 Central Ave. NE in suburban Columbia Heights. (The theater's owners run a Dairy Queen next door, and not only can you bring its food and treats inside the moviehouse, but your ticket stub is good for 50 cents off any treat or food item!) Plenty of fun for Minnesotans during a summer where the Twins lead the AL Central and may surprise some of the usual suspects in the postseason.

More on the series can be found at http://www.heightstheater.com/series/carole-lombard-20th-century-screwball/.

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Clubbing with Carole and Robert

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.17 at 18:11
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

Carole Lombard and "date" Cesar Romero enjoy the White Mayfair Ball in early 1936, the event that legend has it ignited the romance between Carole and Clark Gable. (They'd seen each other at several functions after making "No Man Of Her Own" in late 1932 without being perceived as an "item.")

That's probably what comes to mind when you link the word "Mayfair" with Lombard, but truth be told, she had been part of the Mayfair Club -- and it indeed was a club -- for several years. Here's some background on the organization:

From the names of the founders, I'm guessing the reluctance of Los Angeles society to mingle with the largely Jewish Hollywood hierarchy had a lot to do with the Mayfair's birth. As Lombard's stature rose in the industry, her personality made her an obvious candidate to join the exclusive group.

After the death of Russ Columbo in September 1934, Carole briefly retreated from the social whirl, but by December she was back -- and this photograph proves it:

Lombard's shown with screenwriter Robert Riskin; they were hardly strangers, as he had written her 1932 Columbia pre-Coder "Virtue." They may have been attracted to each other even then, as her marriage to William Powell was weakening. (He had been dating actress Glenda Farrell.) Riskin was riding high after writing the out-of-nowhere hit "It Happened One Night," the film credited as the catalyst for the screwball comedy genre, and would win an Academy Award for it the following spring.

The Lombard-Riskin relationship gradually waned, and he later found romance with another actress who loved writers, Fay Wray. (She'd previously been married to aviator and screenwriter John Monk Saunders.)

We know the pic is from a Mayfair function because of this on the back:

Carole Lombard and Robert Riskin talk between dances as they attend the first dinner dance of the Mayfair Club in Hollywood.

The photo is dated Dec. 12, 1934 and was received by the Newspaper Enterprise Association six days later. It measures 7" x 9" and is said to be in "very good" condition.

It's up for auction at eBay, with bids beginning at $22.99; the auction closes at 8:50 a.m. (Eastern) Monday. To bid or find out more, visit https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-ROBERT-RISKIN-VINTAGE-PHOTO-7-X-9-DATED-1934-THE-MAYFAIR-CLUB/192993914083?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160811114145%26meid%3D3972203283ec47c69aa91d119be7da8c%26pid%3D100667%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D323858779729%26itm%3D192993914083%26pg%3D2045573&_trksid=p2045573.c100667.m2042.

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Lots of Lombard for a little price (and a worthy cause)

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.16 at 07:16
Current mood: ecstaticecstatic

"Twentieth Century," Carole Lombard's first comedic masterpiece, hasn't been issued on DVD since 2005. So how'd you like to own it, and 10 other Lombard films, for less than its original price? You can -- and benefit a good cause in the process.

Look at what's available on eBay:

You have "Twentieth Century," 1941's "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," and two compilations: The 2006 "Carole Lombard -- The Glamour Collection" and a more recent grouping of four vintage films, three with Carole and the fourth William Powell's Oscar-nominated turn in 1947's "Life With Father."

Even better, money from this goes to benefit literacy and summer reading programs in Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio. All the DVDs are said to be in very good condition.

The price? A mere $20. Go for it at https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lot-of-4-DVDs-Carole-Lombard-12-movies/273931173354?hash=item3fc791fdea:g:dogAAOSwX~9dLb4- But hurry.

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'Gable And Lombard'? How about 'Powell And Lombard'?

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.15 at 21:48
Current mood: curiouscurious

Today's entry was inspired by "Supernatural" -- no, not the 1933 film that was Carole Lombard' lone journey into horror, but the long-running TV series of the same name on the CW network that begins its 15th and final season this fall.

The series chronicles the exploits of brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, who hunt monsters and demonic creatures while in alliance (and/or opposition) with angels, witches and other phenomena. (One of them killed their mother.) Arguably the CW's signature show, "Supernatural" draws a relatively small but extremely passionate audience who have followed the brothers through more than 300 episodes.

I live with a friend who avidly follows the series on DVD. From watching episodes of earlier seasons, it reminds me of another well-done show I watched 20 years ago, "Xena: Warrior Princess," in that it can go in all sorts of directions, from deadly serious drama to clever, off-beat comedy.

So where does this "Supernatural" tie in with Lombard? At the Facebook site "CAROLE LOMBARD !!!", the old "cast actors to portray Clark Gable and Carole Lombard in a biopic" game came up, and one suggested candidate for Clark was Jensen Ackles, who plays Dean Winchester and is now 40.

As for the Lombard sweepstakes, the names Emma Stone and Kristin Bell were brought up:

All well and good, but as we all know, this is territory that was explored some 43 years ago, and not very well in most people's eyes (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/47604.html).

So despite good intentions, one might understand why producers would not want to try a new version of "Gable And Lombard," even with a much stronger script and more vivid portrayals of Clark and Carole.

So instead, why not explore another part of Lombard's life?

Lombard's relationship with William Powell wasn't out of a fairy tale, though to many it seemed that way when they married in June 1931. Some 26 months later, they split, though Carole's claims of cruelty in the brief divorce proceedings were likely overblown; later in 1933, they regularly dated. Powell, by now romancing Jean Harlow, recommended Lombard for the female lead in "My Man Godfrey" in 1936, perhaps her biggest big-screen success. Following Harlow's sudden passing and Bill's serious illness, Carole was among the friends who gradually guided him back to health.

Even after she married Gable in 1939 and he wed Diana Lewis the following year, they remained close, as this 1940 picture of them dancing at Ciro's made clear:

Lombard and Powell aren't linked for posterity, unlike Carole and Clark; in fact, many classic movie fans aren't aware they had been married, or even been a couple. However, the complex nature of their relationship more than 80 years ago, and why they stayed close following their split, may have something to say to a society where divorces are far more common.

A movie about Carole and Bill would probably be tailored for the indie, art-house crowd. The number-one question would be, who would play Powell? There's really no name actor today who evokes his suave, urbane personality (not even George Clooney). Perhaps there's an unknown who possesses such qualities; it sure would be fun to find him.

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Who are these guys?

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.14 at 01:11
Current mood: confusedconfused

Through the several films she made with Clark Gable, Myrna Loy became good friends with Carole Lombard; the three are shown at a tennis tournament in Los Angeles. Another photo involving the three leads to some identification questions...

...namely, who's posing with them?

It's believed this was taken outside Stage 12 at MGM in Culver City while Gable and Loy were filming "Test Pilot," among Clark's most successful vehicles. However, I can't identify the man at left or the fellow between Lombard and Loy. Were they Metro executives, notables from the aviation industry or other people entirely?

If you have any idea, please drop us a line.

carole lombard 06

Cooking in the style of the stars

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.13 at 01:47
Current mood: hungryhungry

Carole Lombard and Clark Gable may have been major movie stars, but they liked to do many of the same things as mortal couples -- preparing their own meals, for instance, as shown here in 1940. Lombard enjoyed cooking, among the skills she had learned from her mother and two older brothers.

In fact, more than a decade earlier, she contributed two recipes to a celebrity cookbook:

I've made the spinach soup several times, adding a few touches of my own (seasoned flour, shredded rather than grated cheese), and it's always satisfying. One of these days, I'll work up the courage to make lettuce soup a la Lombard.

The cookbook it's from is up for auction at eBay:

The book was created by the Beverly Hills Woman's Club, and we see that although it was printed in August 1931, this was its third edition...which explains why Lombard's first name has no "e" and she's shown as a Pathe player rather than one at Paramount.

Will Rogers, a key player in the growth of Beverly Hills, appropriately provided a foreword:

Rogers, who once referred to chili as "a bowl of blessedness," contributes a recipe for the dish, while Buster Keaton has one for chop suey. Unfortunately, the seller didn't show any recipes from the book in the description (the Lombard page was provided to me some years back), and the only other recipe I could track down was for Douglas Fairbanks' lemon pie:

However, we have several ads, two from local businesses and a third from a favorite getaway for the film crowd:

While the 223-page volume has some wear on the covers, it's in usable condition for a cookbook that's 88 years old.

Bids open at $25 for this book, a popular item in earlier eBay auction. This one's scheduled to end at 1:13 p.m. (Eastern) Wednesday. Strike early for this relative rarity by visiting https://www.ebay.com/itm/Buster-Keaton-Rob-Wagners-Will-Rogerss-Cookbook-Antique-1931-Carol-Lombard-Old/264390940142?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160811114145%26meid%3D94c2b3ade56843139553ae2db4d7295b%26pid%3D100667%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D8%26sd%3D264390940142%26itm%3D264390940142%26pg%3D2045573&_trksid=p2045573.c100667.m2042.

And if you're the winner, please share some of the recipes with us. With luck, they'll be as tasty as Lombard's spinach soup.

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Ladies, a show of hands

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.12 at 22:11
Current mood: amusedamused

Carole Lombard's hands are in the forefront of this image, a reminder that her glamour arsenal had far more than face and figure. Need further convincing? Check out this, from the June 1933 issue of Modern Screen:

But attractive hands aren't the only thing linking the three actresses pictured on that page. There are these...

..."Hell's Angels," the 1930 aviation epic produced and partly directed by Howard Hughes.

Greta Nissen, at the top of the Modern Screen page, was a Norwegian actress who'd gained some North American success in the late silent era. She was initially cast as Helen, the sexy female lead, when "Hell's Angels" was planned as a silent. Then talking pictures arrived, and Hughes believed Nissen's accent would betray her character's upper-class English origins. So she was dumped from the production, and despite a career with success in both silents and to a lesser extent talkies, Nissen today is better remembered for a film she didn't make than the many she did.

Hughes needed a replacement who'd both sound and look appropriate for the role, and Lombard -- who'd recently passed a Pathe vocal audition -- qualified on both counts. It's believed the young millionaire not only considered Carole for the part, but took her virginity in the process (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/57165.html). Said affair, if it occurred, was extremely secretive.

As we know, Lombard didn't get the role, but another blonde did...

...Jean Harlow, who vaulted from near-obscurity to become the first bona fide sex symbol of the talkie era.

That pic of Lombard's hands was derived from a Paramount publicity photo, p1202-495:

carole lombard 04

Contracts for more Lombard movie history

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.11 at 10:06
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

Carole Lombard was at a career crossroads when she posed for this photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt of Life magazine in mid-1938. For the past four years, she had gained renown for her mastery at smart romantic comedy, but her latest film in that vein, "Fools For Scandal" at Warners, had been both a critical and box-office disappointment. Moreover, there were signs throughout the industry that the public was tiring of the genre known as "screwball."

So Carole decided to go in a different direction, although it's not necessarily evident in a contract she signed for Selznick International Pictures on Aug. 1, 1938, not long after she had spent a week handling publicity at the studio:

This contract, dated Aug. 1, 1938, delays by 15 days the start of her new film for Selznick -- but note she had started on the studio's payroll on July 5. Might her PR stint have been a response to having nothing other to do (and a way to get Carole some indirect publicity)? This doesn't answer the question, nor is her upcoming film mentioned, but it's certain that it refers to "Made For Each Other" with James Stewart, shown here with Carole and Janet Gaynor during Lombard's tenure as a publicist:

"Made For Each Other," a domestic drama with some comedic overtones, was released in early 1939 and won both box-office success and critical acclaim.

By June of that year, Lombard's life had considerably changed. Now married to Clark Gable, they had moved into director Raoul Walsh's former home and ranch in the San Fernando Valley enclave of Encino. Carole had also signed with RKO, whose lot was adjacent to her former home at Paramount.

On June 6, she signed a contract regarding a film she had agreed to two months earlier.

What does the above, from a 2015 entry (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/800406.html), have to do with the movie? Examine the snipe, if you can get past the rather weird typography. It refers to her forthcoming film, "Memory Of Love," which we learn from the June 6 contract was a tentative title:

Its title shortly was changed to "In Name Only," a romantic drama that marked Carole's only co-starring vehicle with Cary Grant:

Both contracts are available through eBay. The one from 1938 goes for $1,800 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-DOCUMENT-SIGNED-08-01-1938-CO-SIGNED-BY-DANIEL-T-OSHEA/303218679345?hash=item46993dde31:g:N4kAAOSw9TFdJQW7), the one from '39 for $1,620 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-CONTRACT-SIGNED-06-06-1939/303219483796?hash=item46994a2494:g:bQgAAOSwP7ZdJdvd).

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'Semi-nude'? Okay...

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.10 at 15:19
Current mood: flirtyflirty

When the category is "racy Carole Lombard photos," the first name that should come to mind is William E. Thomas. The Pathe photographer took all sorts of pics of her in the late '20s, when Carole was in her early 20s -- the sensual shots of Lombard (such as the one above are what he's best known for.

Now an original, rarer pic of her from that era has surfaced, and it's on eBay:

It's certainly from the same session, but her hands are placed slightly differently. And his stamp on the back confirms things:

A check of my Google cloud revealed I'd downloaded this photo in December 2016, but did nothing with it at Carole & Co. Then again, it was while I was struggling on Skid Row in Los Angeles (I posted but two entries the entire month), and I clearly had more pressing things on my mind.

The seller describes this as "semi-nude." Sorry for the more prurient among you, but while Lombard personally had no hangups with nudity -- witness separate anecdotes about her informally appearing in the buff before William Haines and George Raft -- she never posed for any completely nude pics, not even "artistic" ones. It's an 8" x 10" double-weight with some slight silvering.

The price? A cool $1,100, though you can pay $46 monthly for 24 months or make an offer. But hurry -- the seller writes, "This listing good until the 10th of July [today], after which it will be ended." So head right away to https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-ORIGINAL-PHOTO-BY-WILLIAM-E-THOMAS-SEMI-NUDE/362696289124?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160811114145%26meid%3D145edca223ed44d8a6d14b72aa9e0a60%26pid%3D100667%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D7%26sd%3D362696289124%26itm%3D362696289124&_trksid=p2045573.c100667.m2042.

After all, thanks to Thomas, the twentyish Lombard got to show off her considerable sex appeal in "semi-nudes' such as this.

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A fiery, massive, largely silent disaster

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.09 at 17:57
Current mood: sadsad

It was 82 years ago today that part of Carole Lombard died, slightly more than 4 1/2 years before she actually did. This "death" didn't occur on a rugged Nevada mountainside, but in a small New Jersey town where she had far more than 21 fellow victims.

We're referring to a fire in Little Ferry, N.J., on July 9, 1937, that destroyed the entire Fox film vault stored there, along with content from other studios.

Because of the blaze, the several films the teenage Carole made for Fox, such as "Marriage In Transit" (above) and the western "Hearts And Spurs" (below, with Buck Jones), are feared lost forever, barring a near-miraculous recovery in some far-off place.

Lombard's lost output that day was minimal compared to others. Think of Theda Bara, the studio-created "vamp" who put Fox on the map in the mid-teens with vehicles such as "A Fool There Was."

Nearly all of Bara's films perished in the fire, including all but a few seconds of her 1917 turn as Cleopatra. Many of western legend Tom Mix's movies also were lost, as were the highest-quality versions of Fox releases prior to 1932; this presumably includes the best print of Carole's only talkie for the studio, 1930's "The Arizona Kid."

How did this disaster happen? Nitrate, the film stock used in cinema's first few decades, is highly flammable. There had been a heat wave in North Jersey in early July of '37, with daytime temperatures reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit at a time when air conditioning was largely limited to movie theaters. While the facility, built in 1934, was deemed fireproof, it lacked a fire sprinkler system or mechanical ventilation. Moreover, it was built in a residential neighborhood.

At about 2 a.m., there was spontaneous ignition in the building's northwest corner, and flames quickly spread. Vaults in the south and east portions exploded, and a mother and two sons were severely burned; one of the boys died 10 days later. it's estimated some 40,000 reels of film were lost.

Here's footage of the blaze, taken by the chief of the Little Ferry fire department:

That evening, the Bergen Record of nearby Hackensack reported the fire:

In the aftermath of the fire, motion picture companies developed safer, more durable film stock, in addition to improved archival safety procedures. But all media is inherently ephemeral, as was learned a decade ago when a fire on June 1, 2008 seriouly damaged a vault of film and recordings at Universal City (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/108392.html). It wasn't until this June that the severity of the musical damage was revealed via a report in the New York Times Magazine (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-master-recordings.html).

Original tape masters dating back to the late 1940s were destroyed; hundreds of thousands of recordings were lost, including alternate takes and session masters. Legendary labels affected included Decca (Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Bill Haley, Brenda Lee, the Who), Chess (Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry) and many more.

The Times called it "the biggest disaster in the history of the music business." How depressing.

But let's leave on a happier note. ABC News covered the recent Rom Com Fest in Los Angeles, and here's their report, including comments from screenwriters Karen McCullah and Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith. Enjoy. https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/video/celebrating-love-film-63954368?fbclid=IwAR2gEJUcR2NWRbXvhg1-xQ4exD9eI24q0N8XtF9ZHqu2TRVD1SxDL1MIRaU

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This will get your goat

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.08 at 01:28
Current mood: curiouscurious

A new acronym has surfaced in recent years, "G.O.A.T.," or "greatest of all time." It's often used to label athletes -- is Babe Ruth the "G.O.A.T." of baseball, or might it be Willie Mays? (If Mike Trout keeps up his fabulous career, he'll enter the discussion, though it'd help his cause if the Angels ever reached the World Series.)

I'm sure many Carole Lombard fans deem her the G.O.A.T. where comic actresses are concerned, but in Carole's time it didn't refer to acronyms, merely to this:

Now, another photo of Carole with a goat (as in livestock) has surfaced, and at first glance it's rather odd:

What's this all about? A close-up of Lombard helps a little (and look at the man next to her holding his nose!):

Does the back of the photo help? Not as much as we'd like:

Most of the snipe's been torn away -- but thankfully there's a stamp indicating this was taken by a Roy L. Johnson. An Internet search for his photos led to this:

That's Joyce Compton (1907-1997), who had supporting roles in Carole's "Up Pops The Devil" and "Love Before Breakfast." (Her best-known film is probably "The Awful Truth," where she plays a gimmicky nightclub singer.) However, in between those Lombard films, Compton worked for Mack Sennett before his studio shut down in 1933. So if Johnson shot that still for Sennett, he probably also worked for Pathe, its sister studio.

There's a man next to Carole wearing headphones; could this be from that chaotic period when silents were being challenged by talking pictures? We know that on Dec. 16, 1928, Lombard appeared in a gag photo with a parrot, an image that ran in the Los Angeles Times (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/915945.html):

So this may have been more of the same, only with a different animal. Furthermore, Carole's cloche was popular millinery in late '28. So as result of my sleuthing, I've come to the conclusion this was taken about that time, at Pathe. (Philo Vance and Nick Charles would be proud of my detective work!)

The photo measures 8 1/8" x 10" and is in fine/very fine condition. And you can buy this rarity for $99.95, though you have an option of making an offer. Want this unusual pic? Get the information at https://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-ODD-CAROLE-LOMBARD-ORIGINAL-CANDID-PHOTO-GOAT-BACKLOT-c1930/264289097572?_trkparms=aid%3D1110001%26algo%3DSPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20190129125700%26meid%3Df7d060ece22547fd9a6231925107893c%26pid%3D100752%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D12%26sd%3D254203995048%26itm%3D264289097572&_trksid=p2047675.c100752.m1982.

carole lombard 07

When Hollywood was shakin' all over

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.07 at 01:32
Current mood: nervousnervous

Carole Lombard and Randolph Scott comfort each other in this still from "Supernatural," the film they were making in March 1933 when something happened in Hollywood that current Angelenos can relate to.

Yep, an earthquake, which struck at 5:55 p.m. on Friday, March 10...and though it only registered 6.4 on the Richter scale -- roughly identical to the lesser of the two quakes which southern California experienced recently -- it was far more severe than the illustration above lets on. More than 100 people died in the quake which caused substantial property damage, particularly in Long Beach, Compton and Huntington Park.

The area of Los Angeles where the film industry was centered (Paramount, RKO, Columbia and United Artists around Hollywood; Fox in West Los Angeles; MGM and Hal Roach in Culver City; Universal and Warners in the San Fernando Valley) suffered far less than communities south of town. But at a time when the economy was at its nadir and the film industry was struggling, this hit the movie capital hard. From the June 1933 issue of Motion Picture magazine:

We've previously noted reaction to the quake when it struck, including a Lombard anecdote that's probably apocryphal but is charming nonetheless (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/6116.html). On its 80th anniversary, we examined industry reaction (including the entire Motion Picture article as part of https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/581991.html, and a thoughtful account from Jean Harlow at https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/582200.html).

The entries are worth checking out -- and a reminder that we should be thankful that in the ensuing 86 years, construction and engineering techniques have made buildings far safer. Whether they'll be enough to withstand "the big one" if and when a huge quake strikes a fault close to Los Angeles is something none of us can predict.

To close, some related music. The song "Shakin' All Over," first recorded in 1960 by the British band Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, has become a rock standard; the Canadian band the Guess Who had the biggest version of it in North America in 1965, and the Who performed it at Woodstock in 1969 and on their famed "Live At Leeds" album in 1970. But this song of desire is especially interesting when done by a woman -- the now-retired Wanda Jackson sang it, and I'm partial to this version from my Facebook friend Donna Loren, a '60s singer/actress who performed it on "Shindig!" in 1965, then did it again 45 years later, using the '65 video as a backdrop. I love her updated version and arrangement, and think you will too.

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Part of our Heritage is Universal

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.06 at 08:20
Current mood: accomplishedaccomplished

On a morning Angelenos absorb all sorts of earth-shaking news, both literal (an earthquake rolled through southern California last night, for the second time in as many days) and figurative (the long-suffering Los Angeles Clippers signed NBA finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, then traded for All-Star Paul George to boot), some intriguing news for Carole Lombard collectors -- especially if you're a fan of her 1936 Universal comedy "Love Before Breakfast."

Three weeks from today, Heritage Auctions of Dallas will hold an auction of movie posters and related memorabilia... and look what's included:

It's a 22" x 28" half-sheet for the film, an item professionally restored to "very fine-" condition. A current bid is for $500 (with buyer's premium, $600); last November, a similar poster sold for $1,320. How will it fare this time?

You can learn more, and place a bid if so desired, by visiting https://movieposters.ha.com/itm/comedy/love-before-breakfast-universal-1936-very-fine-on-paper-half-sheet-22-x-28-style-b/a/7194-86232.s?ic4=GalleryView-Thumbnail-071515#.

But several items from Lombard's other Universal film, the screwball classic "My Man Godfrey," are part of this auction, too. All are lobby cards, measuring 11" x 14".

This one, a montage showing William Powell's Godfrey tending to Alice Brady's Mrs. Bullock adjacent to an alluring portrait of Carole's Irene, is in "very fine" condition. Bidding also opens at $500/$600; get in on the action by visiting https://movieposters.ha.com/itm/movie-posters/comedy/my-man-godfrey-universal-1936-very-fine-lobby-card-11-x-14-/a/7194-86235.s?ic16=ViewItem-BrowseTabs-Auction-Open-ThisAuction-120115#.

Two other "Godfrey" lobby cards are being auctioned jointly.

These are in "fine+" condition; each have light edge wear and other minor blemishes. Again, bids open at $500/$600. For the lowdown, check out https://movieposters.ha.com/itm/movie-posters/comedy/my-man-godfrey-universal-1936-fine-lobby-cards-2-11-x-14-/a/7194-86236.s?ic16=ViewItem-BrowseTabs-Auction-Open-ThisAuction-120115.

Get more on the entire auction at https://movieposters.ha.com/c/auction-home.zx?saleNo=7194&ic=breadcrumb-movieposters-121913-interior.

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Let's go 'Past Daily,' part 2

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.05 at 08:19
Current mood: curiouscurious

Yesterday's Carole & Co. entry dealt with "Past Daily," a site with several thousand items of recorded sound (most of them radio broadcasts). A visit to https://pastdaily.com/archive/ enables one to search its library for particulars; for example, there are 238 listings under "Los Angeles."

A look there showed all sorts of fascinating things -- local newscasts about earthquakes (timely in light of yesterday's Ridgecrest quake and its ensuing aftershocks) and civil unrest; air checks of stations from Top 40 giants (KHJ, KFWB and KRLA among them) to classical performances; and more. Several listings are from Carole Lombard's time, which I deemed worth examining.

Carole loved horses, and horse racing, so the June 1938 opening of the Hollywood Turf Club (more popularly known as "Hollywood Park") in Inglewood was certainly of interest to her. Founded in part by Jack and Harry Warner because the nearby Santa Anita track was not welcoming to Jews (https://www.kcrw.com/culture/articles/saying-goodbye-to-hollywood-park), the Warners' ties to the new track were played up in a 1938 CBS Hollywood program. Several studio stars are featured.

This gossip broadcast also discusses the upcoming "The Rage Of Paris," which introduced Danielle Darrieux to American audiences, and the Warners comedy "The Cowboy From Brooklyn." It's sponsored by Lorillard's Old Gold cigarettes, yet another tobacco company using radio to sell its products (https://pastdaily.com/2016/06/11/hollywood-park-june-9-1938-pop-chronicles/).

The track, which hosted the likes of Seabiscuit in its early years, ceased racing in 2013 amidst declining attendance. Next year, a roofed stadium housing the NFL's Rams and Chargers is slated to open at the site.

Now on to music. Nat Cole started his career in the late '30s, and his King Cole Trio, by now already locally renowned, recorded a transcribed session in LA in February 1939.

The smooth, jazzy sound that would bring Cole fame in the 1940s with hits like "Straighten Up And Fly Right" and "Route 66" is already in place through the combo's version of standards such as "Undecided" (https://pastdaily.com/2017/12/31/nat-king-cole-trio-1939-past-daily-nights/). For jazz buffs, it's worth a listen.

Longtime Angelenos fondly recall Clifton's Cafeteria on South Broadway, a place where one could get American food at a reasonable price. (Alas, not many recalled it well enough for a revived version of the venue to succeed a few years ago.) Owner Clifford Clinton was a beloved local figure, fighting for good government during an era of rampant local corruption (a la the film "Chinatown") -- and nearly paid for it with his life. He played a major role in the 1938 recall of mayor Frank Shaw, who was succeeded by judge Fletcher Bowron...the same judge who'd legally changed Jane Alice Peters' name to Carole Lombard.

Reformers faced many challenges from that era's LA power structure, notably the Los Angeles Times. Clinton helped their cause via a 15-minute radio program for several years where he named names and promoted candidates, and several of these surprisingly entertaining broadcasts survive. Here are four broadcasts of the muckraking activist from March and April 1939 (https://pastdaily.com/2015/09/16/clifford-clinton-and-muckraking-in-1930s-los-angeles-past-daily-reference-room/).

Another broadcast comes from that September, during an election campaign (https://pastdaily.com/2016/08/24/los-angeles-muckraker-name-clinton/).

Finally, Clinton from August 1940 discussing one of his favorite targets, District Attorney Buron Fitts, whose palatial Arcadia home seemed drastically inappropriate on a public servant's salary (https://pastdaily.com/2017/08/23/1930s-los-angeles-clifford-clinton/).

These broadcasts give you a sense of the dark underbelly permeating Los Angeles in the 1930s.

carole lombard 04

Let's go 'Past Daily', part 1

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.04 at 00:30
Current mood: artisticartistic

We've frequently noted that Carole Lombard regularly appeared on radio, especially from 1938 to 1941. But what shows might she have listened to, either at home or in one of those newfangled car radios (a luxury she certainly could've afforded)?

We'll never know precisely, but a site I discovered yesterday provides us some possibilities. More than that, it's a passport to all sorts of history. It's called "Past Daily" (http://pastdaily.com/), and its archive includes thousands of broadcasts, recordings and much more dating back to the 1890s.

Some of you may say, "Isn't this like old-time radio?" Well, sort of, but there are quite a few differences. Many wonderful radio series such as "Lux Radio Theater," "The Jack Benny Program," "Dragnet" and "Gunsmoke" have been preserved in near-complete form, thanks in part to the shows' sponsors or network officials. But broadcasting, indeed recorded sound, goes far beyond that, and sound archivist Gordon Skene has uncovered plenty of rare and fascinating things.

You'll be enthralled over what's available -- just peruse the archive (https://pastdaily.com/archive/). Today's entry, the first of a two-part series, will focus on programs Carole either might have listened to or had interest in.

For example, here's a transcribed Hollywood program from April 1935, something called the "Grayco Movie Column Of The Air." (Grayco was its sponsor.) It's 12 minutes long, and while Lombard isn't mentioned, Joan Crawford is (several times, in fact); so is Robert Montgomery. The narrator said he overheard two teen girls leaving a theater discuss what those stars would be like in 30 years...old, of course. (And by 1965, Robert might be better known as the dad of Elizabeth, then a toddler.) Maurice Chevalier is on his way out of Hollywood, while fellow Frenchman Charles Boyer is rising in the film firmament (https://pastdaily.com/2018/04/07/april-7-1935-all-about-hollywood-past-daily-pop-chronicles/).

Now for some music. In 1935, Benny Goodman's orchestra vaulted to stardom and made "swing" popular though broadcasts from the legendary Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/484127.html). By 1937, Goodman's integrated group was at the peak of popularity, with a CBS radio series, the "Camel Caravan" (named for the sponsoring cigarette brand).

We have two programs for your listening pleasure -- from Nov. 16, 1937 (https://pastdaily.com/2018/12/02/benny-goodman-orchestra-on-air-1937-past-daily-downbeat/) and Sept. 6, 1938 (https://pastdaily.com/2015/08/23/benny-goodman-and-his-orchestra-on-the-air-1938-past-daily-downbeat/).

How about some more jazz legends from the '30s?

First, the impeccable Duke Ellington guides his orchestra in a Mutual remote from Harlem's Cotton Club on March 18, 1937 (https://pastdaily.com/2016/11/20/duke-ellington-live-at-the-cotton-club-1937-past-daily-downbeat/).

Next, 15 minutes of Fats Waller from CBS on July 6, 1938 (https://pastdaily.com/2019/05/12/fats-waller-and-his-rhythm-on-the-radio-1938-past-daily-downbeat/).

And finally, pianist Earl "Fatha" Hines and his combo from NBC in Chicago on Aug. 3, 1938 (https://pastdaily.com/2019/05/26/earl-fatha-hines-live-from-the-grand-terrace-chicago-1938-past-daily-downbeat/).

More interesting broadcasts from this era tomorrow.

carole lombard 03

There's hope for the rom-com yet

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.03 at 09:25
Current mood: optimisticoptimistic

I don't know how you plan to spend your July 4th holiday. You may be at a summer home, a la Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray in 1937's "True Confession." (Part of it was filmed at Lake Arrowhead.) You may spend time watching a romantic comedy, such as the one above, and the good news is that the genre is undergoing a revival of sorts.

One of the movies leading the way is a Netflix release, "Always Be My Maybe," which the streaming service released in May (along with a brief theatrical showing).

The film evokes rom-coms of years past -- both from Lombard's era and the genre's boom in the 1990s -- but adds touches to bring it up to date with current societal mores.

For one thing, leads Randall Park and Ali Wong (who co-wrote the film with Michael Golamco) are both Asians (and real-life friends), in the Far East footsteps of last year's unexpected box-office hit "Crazy Rich Asians." For another, the characters are low-key and sympathetic.

No wonder it's drawing raves (a cameo from Keanu Reeves doesn't hurt, either). Even the conservative-libertarian site The Federalist likes it (https://thefederalist.com/2019/06/05/always-maybe-breathes-life-gasping-rom-com-genre/).

In recent weeks, I've written quite a bit about Rom Com Fest, the downtown Los Angeles event celebrating the genre last month.

I'm delighted to discover that yesterday, the Washington Post got into the act with a lengthy story about the festival (https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2019/07/02/welcome-rom-com-fest-haven-fans-who-never-stopped-believing-happily-ever-after/?utm_term=.7e353bac5e91).

While the story too often seemingly conflates rom-coms with "chick flicks," and worse overlooks the halcyon days of the genre -- Carole, William Powell and Myrna Loy, Cary Grant, etc. -- it makes for fun reading. I hope it reminded many of my old friends in the D.C. area about the joys of movies such as the brilliant "Libeled Lady," where Powell and Loy teamed with Jean Harlow and Spencer Tracy to reel in some comedic magic:

carole lombard 02

Carole and Cary rule Radio City 'In Name Only'

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.02 at 23:14
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

A hypothetical question: If you could team Carole Lombard and Cary Grant to co-star in only one film, would you retain their romantic drama "In Name Only"...

...or would you give that up and have Cary and Carole as leads in the genre they're arguably most associated with, the romantic comedy? We can't guarantee their comic teaming would result in a four-star smash -- so many other factors come into play (script, director, studio style, etc.) -- but I sense many of us would make that deal.

Which is not meant to downgrade "In Name Only," well-made for its genre. Kay Francis is superb as the married "other woman," John Cromwell directs admirably, and the plot is serious but never lachrymose.

The film premiered in mid-August 1939, weeks before war broke in Europe, and an item from that film has surfaced on eBay:

Radio City Music Hall had hosted Lombard films in the past (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/275026.html), and now she was back at the fabled midtown Manhattan venue. But before audiences saw her, they were treated to this:

Finally, the main event:

The program is $10, or you can make an offer. Find out more at https://www.ebay.com/itm/1939-Radio-City-Music-Hall-Program-In-Name-Only-Cary-Grant-Carole-Lombard/333252923486?hash=item4d976c105e&enc=AQADAAAC4FjVrDbVsZ8oH%2F8PNHtt9VX4%2Fw7FZcmMuqsX8uaFEduVH9fB0XFZ4Ho78Yi1KsfBVd4Ef8dFOxu6wfyUytUgQoKeyA%2FDLlzYfU59C8ykWohKSaHkWmh2yA8g0J6tposJ%2BZDQZgfX3PWUqg2eTIEzhWFkxXCTbaRySex43UPkZb7eGymDWYW%2BdIJkNnF%2FOvnJeEcMY4aHTzFPTa5xyCyn0ttVlhPRbGl6GQc5cA%2FFZqnx4zb8LPZwBgtp54rPnAxFMrFydf7HBLDW3LXK%2Bjys59MK3jDrAJZkvQFyRCIMqI9jzFbteHI4HXzDQhqUOo7CQZERGsZ8T9vZcp17Em3YlhRgDn1LQOok7TIDprTRrg1gBCGAc2wqYiuE5gHd7a8DkAh%2FRs7OwnQByy27yFgomWWqZXeLEV6omO%2BwTmYSG3iS%2FbebNcR2uWX1NiFm3eDroS0PpB2dafuLVpHLxujYPVPHLjfp7%2BbCqoBk%2BNcN9eNfObO4Hn1EitN%2BR6cdmGGl5SiC0fe4j8UyjhY1VvWLzrnpAwX8oM59VnGhSC7y%2BM3QTCxuByzSQ9pSdBINfNBaDU8E0fZZXO2JREowdxxopYF7kfgeybfElJXK%2BsSioHv3gUtdEWBZyl96vYkANHLC7M0c6eVMN%2F4v533MaezKDMlba5QugHjG545y%2FRyWGp8jaxBpnG4VUDVz9%2FlCzRM%2Fq1jVbiN83BXkpFgzTr9KReS83rR2FPJN6MNCu%2FZnFzqR0J2QRaw3RqCTn49BZ2LTSA3w6nlcexXOggBhZslUPjwrmAmiDcYoeK9HMCQvlGkpj0e5O0HbCuK4hNKNp7UHcff7dr1IwJNZF%2FbWWGMrQ1QM4G5EALoIuJL6hXisny%2F2SHIELJes%2FHEFWapcykvKi059iSrxGsLEfMO54Klc8oKnLqJXRBiGhPo2qiR4urDKwlSzZrRyUwGRhtRLInnQjmwMhlEUoGeyowT4lcS0ZKs%3D&checksum=333252923486366ec561dabd42c0ae73d311066e6727

carole lombard 01

A history, er, 'herstory,' that needed to be told

Posted by vp19 on 2019.07.01 at 17:17
Current mood: accomplishedaccomplished

Imagine an alternate universe where Carole Lombard doesn't recover from injuries suffered in a 1926 automobile accident, that cosmetic surgery of the time can't fully repair her Fox starlet looks. Would she have slunk off into obscurity? Maybe, maybe not.

But it's a pretty good bet that, famous or not, the teenage Jane Alice Peters (still her official name) would've found a way to remain in the motion picture business in some capacity. For one thing, it was an industry she'd come to love. For another, she had inherited the same feminist slant as her mother, Elizabeth Peters.

And third, movies at the time were an industry welcome to women, had been since the business began around the turn of the century. Now that heritage is celebrated in a book published this year...

..."Hollywood Her Story: An Illustrated History of Women and the Movies," by Jill S. Tietjen and Barbara Bridges. This 400-page volume examines the many roles women played in film from the start -- not merely as actresses (yes, Lombard's included) but as directors, writers, cinematographers, producers, stuntwomen. (Many held multiple positions.) It's an essential book for anyone interested in movie history, regardless of gender.

As pioneering director Alice Guy-Blache said, "There is nothing connected with the staging of a motion picture that a woman cannot do as easily as a man, and there is no reason why she cannot completely master every technicality of the art."

Ironically, Lombard never worked for a female director; by the time she entered the industry in the mid-1920s, movies were a big-money business and men had shoved women aside from many key roles. There were a few directors during the Golden Age of Hollywood (Dorothy Arzner and Ida Lupino come to mind), but not until recently have women gained enough clout to direct more than a handful of films.

You'll also find writers -- from Frances Marion to Dorothy Parker -- famed designers such as Irene and Edith Head, and many more. Stalwarts of black and Asian cinema are also saluted. This book is terrific, and I can't recommend it enough. Makes one wonder what field our alternate-history Carole would have chosen.

I should note that today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that half of its 842 new members are women (https://deadline.com/2019/07/motion-picture-academy-adds-842-new-members-half-are-women-1202640500/).

Learn more about the book and how to order it at http://hollywoodherstory.com/

Finally, I note today's entry is our 3,900th since Carole & Co. began more than 12 years ago.

carole lombard 07

Signatures worth $7,020

Posted by vp19 on 2019.06.30 at 06:30
Current mood: contentcontent

We don't know the "Dolores" this autographed Carole Lombard photo is addressed to, but we do know this sepia-toned shot measures 10 1/4" x 13" and that Carole's signature is in her customary green ink and appears genuine.

We also know this item is selling for $5,400 -- down from its earlier price of $6,000 -- or you can make an offer. All the information is available at https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-AUTOGRAPHED-INSCRIBED-PHOTOGRAPH/303205521980?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160811114145%26meid%3D908618f12d55448b93b84b945514d642%26pid%3D100667%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D8%26sd%3D401798924725%26itm%3D303205521980&_trksid=p2045573.c100667.m2042.

Somewhat too expensive for you? That same seller, HistoryDirect, has this Lombard-signed item available:

It's smaller (8" x 7 1/2"), irregularly cut (it's from a magazine) and affixed to a 9" x 8" sheet. The asking price: A mere $1,620, 10 percent off its initial $1,800. (Again, you can make an offer.) Learn more by visiting https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-MAGAZINE-PHOTOGRAPH-SIGNED/283530995444?hash=item4203c3a6f4:g:FjYAAOSwztddFnIr.

carole lombard 01

'Color' pics to Examine

Posted by vp19 on 2019.06.29 at 16:01
Current mood: determineddetermined

This Carole Lombard portrait on the cover of the November 1935 Hollywood magazine marks one of the first times -- in not the first -- that she had been photographed in what was called "natural color," a still cousin to the three-strip Technicolor process employed in feature films for the first time that year in "Becky Sharp."

A few months later, Photoplay did likewise:

Newspapers of the time didn't have such technology, so if they wanted "color," they had to fake it. Witness this page from Hearst's Los Angeles Examiner on Feb. 16, 1936:

Carole's colorized in the upper left corner, and here's the accompanying caption:

Note it's said her upcoming film is titled "Concertina" (it soon was changed to "The Princess Comes Across"), and screenwriter Robert Riskin is still identified as her romantic interest (one-time co-star Clark Gable took that role at about this time).

Others on the page are Rochelle Hudson, Paula Stone and in the lower right corner Gail Patrick, who'd supported Carole in 1935's "Rumba" and a few months later would do so again at Universal for "My Man Godfrey."

The other side of the page gives us a snapshot at what was playing in LA in early 1936, as well as a Louella Parsons column and a story on stars and low-figure license plates written by the ill-fated Otto Winkler:

The clipping is in good condition. Bidding begins at $10, with the auction closing at 11:08 p.m. (Eastern) Friday.

Interested? Then go to https://www.ebay.com/itm/Feb-16-1936-Los-Angeles-Newspaper-Clipping-Carole-Lombard-Paula-Stone-Movie-Star/401798924725?hash=item5d8d1509b5:g:mWYAAOSw3u5dFtUX.

carole lombard 05

For the Formosa, forward into the past

Posted by vp19 on 2019.06.28 at 00:51
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

For Carole Lombard, making "To Be Or Not To Be," a smart if dark comedy directed by Ernst Lubitsch (whom she had long admired, and vice versa), was a dream come true. It was made for United Artists on its one-time lot, in what's now known as West Hollywood, and then known as the Samuel Goldwyn studio.

Today, the area will be jumping, because a fabled restaurant nearby with ties to classic Hollywood is making a triumphant return.

It's a happy ending for the Formosa Cafe, which Lombard would have known as the Red Post Cafe. Its proximity to the studio makes it likely she ate there during the several weeks "To Be Or Not To Be" was in production in late 1941. The luncheonette used part of the interior of this 1902 Pacific Electric streetcar no longer in service:

Restauranteur Lem Quon became a partner in 1945, and the Red Post was renamed the Formosa Cafe for nearby North Formosa Avenue (but serving Chinese food, natch), although its actual address is 7156 Santa Monica Boulevard. Its noir-ish ambience made it a favorite with the film set.

While we aren't certain Lombard ever ate at the site, it's known Clark Gable did. Other notable patrons included Marlon Brando, Humphrey Bogart, Judy Garland, Grace Kelly, Dean Martin, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and John Wayne. Now that's star power! The cafe was used for two sequences in the 1997 thriller "L.A. Confidential," set in its heyday of the early 1950s.

So what happened? Several years ago, new owners decided to modernize the place, shredding its ambience, and the venue closed in December 2016. New owners painstakingly restored the Formosa's retro look to something Gable, Sinatra or Presley would have appreciated, along with the classic Chinese cuisine.

Facebook friend Alison Martino (Al's daughter) of Vintage Los Angeles fame is second from right, part of a recent private opening with, from left, decorator Kimberly Biehl Schmidt, chef George Geary, musician Greg Boaz and DJ Rodney Bingenheimer. Alison also received a pleasant surprise, as her father's photo has joined the list of notables pictured at the Formosa.

This promises to be a fun foray for any classic Hollywood fan.

carole lombard 04

Put some English on that serve

Posted by vp19 on 2019.06.27 at 08:36
Current mood: bouncybouncy

Photographing Carole Lombard in the 1930s -- and getting paid for it -- must have been a wonderful job, even in casual shots such as this one, Paramount p1202-1355. Fortunately, we also have the back of the pic, which not only tells us more about it, but who took it as well:

Don English (1901-1964) was a Paramount staff photographer for many years, best known for his pictures of Marlene Dietrich, including this iconic image for her 1932 classic "Shanghai Express":

English didn't regularly work with Lombard until the mid-thirties. Some months before photographing her at the Paramount commissary, he snapped Carole at one of her favorite spots -- the tennis court. We've seen many an image of her in that context, but this one's new to me:

Here it is without the borders and slightly larger:

The back of the photo includes both English's studio stamp and a snipe, which reads

THROUGH THE NET -- Carole Lombard's blonde beauty is still Paramount (pun) as she waits her partner's serve. Miss Lombard, soon to appear in "Hands Across The Table," rates as one of Hollywood's best women tennis players.

This vintage pic is oversize, 10" x 13 1/2", with some creasing and a little toning at the top. But with Lombard's leggy athleticism, who cares?

You can buy this photo for $349.95 (with the option of paying $31 monthly for 12 months) or you can make an offer. Find out more at https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-sexy-vintage-oversize-leggy-1935-Don-English-cheesecake-photo/372696612418?hash=item56c672fe42:g:hXoAAOSwQCBdEuAE.

A bit beyond your means? The same seller has this original promo still from "No One Man," Carole's first top-billed vehicle at Paramount:

Carole is shown with Ricardo Cortez, everyone's favorite pre-Code gigolo. Cortez, in real life the antithesis of the smarmy characters he frequently played on screen (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/162206.html), is the subject of Dan Van Neste's well-reviewed 2017 biography "The Magnificent Heel."

The "No One Man" pic goes for a mere $49.50, though you can make an offer. Learn more at https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-VINTAGE-SEXY-PRE-CODE-1931-PHOTO-NO-ONE-MAN/223554482028?_trkparms=aid%3D1110001%26algo%3DSPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20190129125700%26meid%3D650bd1a5eb0f4d6d8341dc0259f3210d%26pid%3D100752%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D12%26sd%3D372696612418%26itm%3D223554482028&_trksid=p2047675.c100752.m1982.

carole lombard 03

An Atlanta advancement

Posted by vp19 on 2019.06.26 at 08:57
Current mood: excitedexcited

Carole Lombard was a peripheral figure when "Gone With The Wind" made its world premiere in Atlanta in December 1939. But as wife of star Clark Gable and as someone with a keen sense of the film industry, she understood the importance of this epic.

Nearly eight decades later, Atlanta is playing a key role in my personal cinematic history -- not as an actor, but as a screenwriter. That's because of news I received last night from the Atlanta Comedy Film Festival, where a screenplay of mine was earlier named an official selection.

Now that screenplay, "Stand Tall!", has climbed another mountain:

As one might guess, I'm thrilled. (And if by now some of you are tired of my script hyping, I apologize.)

This version of "Stand Tall!" has some differences from its predecessors, including the one that was submitted to the recent Rom Com Fest but not selected for a table read. Upon advice from script readers, I made the story more family-friendly -- this time, heroine Colleen Cossitt wants to join a showgirl troupe, not undergo a breast enhancement in order to moonlight at a gentlemen's club -- and the comedy is ramped up with the addition of enlarged pets and far more physical humor. I believe this is the most marketable version of my tall tale yet.

(Meanwhile, my other screenplay, the comic thriller "Fugitive Sweetheart," is under consideration for foreign-language film rights, although such a version set outside the U.S. would by its very nature be considerably changed.)

Find out more on the festival, set for July 19-21, at https://info.filmfestivalcircuit.com/atlanta-comedy-film-festival. To view the most recent iteration of "Stand Tall!", go to https://filmfreeway.com/projects/476988. The 16-foot-1 1/8 Colleen Cossitt and her six-foot scientist boyfriend Keswick Fletcher eagerly await your visit.

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