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carole lombard 05

The Lombard stamp campaign is on!

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.22 at 14:32
Current mood: optimisticoptimistic

Facebook friend and fellow Carole Lombard fan Brian Lee Anderson announced today the 2019 U.S. postage stamp nomination for her has officially been submitted to an advisory committee for review and final approval.

Each of us can participate in the campaign. Send letters to:

Here's a sample letter, one Anderson himself sent:

Perhaps you have an angle or two you want to emphasize -- Carole as the queen of screwball comedy...

...her status as one of Hollywood's most beloved personalities...

...her work to aid America at the darkest time in its history:

No matter which angle you choose, please be positive. We're working on behalf of Carole Lombard, and she would want any campaign to be constructive. A stamp will honor Lombard's brief, but iconic life; let's hope we see it soon.

carole lombard 04

A 'little' more on Monroe from Morgan

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.21 at 18:45
Current mood: pleasedpleased

One of my favorite Carole Lombard books, "Carole Lombard: Twentieth-Century Star," was authored by British Facebook friend Michelle Morgan.

(Full disclosure: I aided Morgan in her research, and am one of two people the book is dedicated to.) Now she's back with a volume on a favorite subject of hers...

Morgan has built a reputation for integrity when it comes to Marilyn Monroe, and that's not always the case for the star's biographers. Many focus more on Marilyn as icon or legend than on Monroe the person (which she indeed was). Covers of several of Morgan's prior MM works reveal a far more human angle:

Like Lombard, Monroe inspires millions of women both for a style that transcends generations (Carole the 1930s, Marilyn the '50s) and for how her actions and approach to life resonate today. This guide to glamour is meant for Marilyn's legions of fans. According to promotional copy, "Thr Little Book Of Marilyn" includes:

* Tutorials on recreating the star's makeup looks
* Style advice and tips on where to find Marilyn-like fashions
* Decor ideas from Marilyn's own homes
* Everyday inspiration from her life that will let your inner Marilyn shine, and more

The first two cited might be important if you want to pose as a motionless Marilyn in front of the Hollywood/Highland Metrorail station, but all these are ways to capture Monroe's essence, come to terms with what the lady was truly all about.

The UK version will be out soon; it won't appear in the U.S. until July 9. Pre-order at https://www.runningpress.com/titles/michelle-morgan/the-little-book-of-marilyn/9780762466542/. This promises to be plenty of fun.

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A new, free way to Rom-Com Fest

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.20 at 11:11
Current mood: excitedexcited

We're officially three months away from the inaugural Rom-Com Fest in Los Angeles, a celebration of the genre Carole Lombard popularized with films such as "The Princess Comes Across." Part of the event includes a script competition, but after sending my feature "Stand Tall!" to them...

...I since have learned I'll need to reapply. No big deal, though -- I've been fully reimbursed. And this new entry format is free.

It's called scriptd.com.

Come April 1, I will forward a copy of "Stand Tall!" to this site, with hopes it leads to a table read by professional actors. As for other elements of the festival, learn more at https://www.romcomfest.com/. See you there...and welcome to spring.

carole lombard 02

Good morning, Iowa -- Clark and Carole are married!

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.19 at 17:48
Current mood: cheerfulcheerful

The somewhat secretive nature of the relationship between Carole Lombard and Clark Gable may explain why no photos exist from their wedding ceremony of March 29, 1939. (The photo above was taken the following day, when the couple met reporters.)

* First, they exchanged vows in Kingman, Ariz., far from the hubbub of Hollywood. (And much of the film colony and its press corps was up the coast in San Francisco, attending the premiere of "The Story Of Alexander Graham Bell.")

* Second, only a handful of people knew about their plans, including Clark's publicist and close friend Otto Winkler -- a later victim of the 1942 air accident that claimed the lives of Lombard and her mother. In fact, he helped drive the bride and groom to and from Kingman.

So while nearly everyone expected Clark and Carole to swap vows after Ria Langham agreed to divorce him, this particular time caught nearly everyone by surprise. It was front-page news for most U.S. papers.

Find proof on that day's front of one of America's best statewide dailies, the Des Moines Register:

Here's the entire front:

There's a pic of Carole in the lower right-hand corner:

And here's the lower left corner:

The Register reached all of Iowa's 99 counties -- prime reading material for many farmers who read it to discover economic trends that could affect agriculture -- and was renowned for its thorough coverage. Its publishing empire included Look magazine and other publications.

A few decades later it was bought by Gannett, which owned several other Iowa dailies; there have been major staff cutbacks, an unfortunate industry trend.

This is a complete copy of that day's Register. The seller says it's in "nice and unfolded condition" -- a wonderful gift for any Lombard/Gable fan. (The 80th anniversary of their wedding is a week from Friday.) It will be "shipped protectively in cardboard and plastic."

One bid has already been made, for $19.99; the auction will close at 9:02 p.m. (Eastern) March 28. You can learn more by visiting https://www.ebay.com/itm/Clark-Gable-Marries-Carole-Lombard-Movie-Star-1939-Des-Moines-Iowa-Newspaper/113691181689?hash=item1a7885c279:g:j8AAAOSwIelcj98i.

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The musical side of Carole in 'Jeopardy!'

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.18 at 10:28
Current mood: hopefulhopeful

We send best wishes to Alex Trebek, whose "Jeopardy!" reverse-quiz show has been a constant site of Carole Lombard cultural references (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/44141.html, https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/859935.html). But look at that stunning photo above, Paramount p1202-681, then examine the back:

Find that snipe hard to read? We'll make it bigger:

Now let's convert it into a "Jeopardy!" entry (if its staff wants to borrow this, be my guest):

This 1930 musical helped Carole Lombard land a Paramount contract

The proper reply (in the form of a question, of course):

"What is 'Safety In Numbers"?"

I'm not sure what category this would fall into -- "Pre-Code"? "Early Musicals"? -- but it would certainly be in the highest-priced group on the board. Past Lombard-related "Jeopardy!" references can be found at http://www.j-archive.com/.

This photo is up for auction at eBay. It's from the George Smoots Collection and is in excellent condition. Bids open at $39.99, with the auction ending at 10:29 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday. Bid or learn more at https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-in-PENSIVE-POSE-Original-Vintage-1934-PARAMOUNT-PORTRAIT-Photo/143147988772?hash=item215448f724:g:dq8AAOSwBPxcbyUZ.

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For San Simeon, a centenary of sorts

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.17 at 13:33
Current mood: happyhappy

Neither Carole Lombard nor her two actor husbands, William Powell or Clark Gable, were strangers to the central California opulence in San Simeon popularly known as Hearst Castle. (Bill and Carole are shown near the main entrance in 1931.)

This year marks a milestone for the landmark, as it was 100 years ago, following the death of his mother Phoebe, that William Randolph Hearst began construction of what he called "La Cuesta Encantada," or "the enchanted hill."

His late father George built a huge empire from silver mining, and Hearst built an empire of his own through newspapers, magazines and other media (including film). By 1919, Hearst and architect Julia Morgan, designer of his Los Angeles newspaper office (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/931674.html), began work on the project, never the publisher's full-time home but a place where he could entertain many of the elites he knew -- whether they be from business, society or entertainment.

Above is Casa Grande under construction in the 1920s. Work would continue through 1947, when declining health forced Hearst to leave his castle.

Hearst died in 1951, and the family intended the complex be a gift to his beloved California. It's been a state park for more than 60 years, drawing millions of visitors (including me in June 1989). I still cherish the memory of that visit, where I took three of the four tours then offered. The architecture, the art (Hearst's taste was eclectic, to say the least), the beauty...it resonates with me nearly three decades later.

The castle has kept up with the times in these 30 years -- now, a dozen different tours are offered (some seasonally), including three designed for those in wheelchairs or who may have difficulty climbing stairs. The list and highlights from each can be found at http://hearstcastle.org/tour-hearst-castle/daily-tours/.

A tour I'm particularly interested in -- the "Hearst and Hollywood Tour" -- won't be offered until fall. It lasts two hours and focuses on the cinematic side of Hearst (which, contrary to popular belief, extended far beyond his star companion, Marion Davies). The theater where Hearst, Davies and other VIPs watched upcoming studio releases will certainly be part of it.

Another advantage from '89 is that visitors now can spend plenty of time on the grounds after a guided tour soaking up the atmosphere -- and there's plenty of it.

Plan your tour by visiting http://hearstcastle.org/. More on the tours, including an interview with a longtime guide, is at https://www.sfchronicle.com/travel/article/As-Hearst-Castle-turns-100-visitors-roam-freely-13691685.php?fbclid=IwAR3opkjgtfPKjal6H1Zu3Ex6RttYw3baOA2758uGDp5uBVIdrLdZcz6RhLU. (Hearst now owns the Chronicle after the chain sold his first newspaper, the crosstown Examiner, some years back.)

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The stamp campaign begins

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.16 at 12:30
Current mood: optimisticoptimistic

Has Carole Lombard ever been featured on a postage stamp? The answer is "yes," from some unlikely places. In 2007, we discovered she was on stamps issued in obscure former Soviet republic of Karakalpakia (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/53110.html), and two years later, we learned the tortured African nation of Sierra Leone did likewise (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/261841.html).

But as for her American homeland...crickets. However, some are trying to change that.

This illustration of Lombard was used on the cover of the November 1936 Photoplay, one of a series from the fabled James Montgomery Flagg (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/925994.html).

Three years, a 30" x 40" canvas print of that image, a possible design for the stamp, was created to bolster the campaign:

It'll be headed to the U.S. Postal Service Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee. Lombard fan and Facebook friend BrianLee Anderson has hope the committee will agree to issue a stamp in Carole's name, to join numerous classic Hollywood favorites similarly honored.

More on this will follow in subsequent months. Keep your fingers crossed.

carole lombard 05

Salmon and smiles 'Before Breakfast'

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.15 at 10:06
Current mood: amusedamused

Like Carole Lombard's "The Princess Comes Across" slightly later in 1936, "Love Before Breakfast" shows her in a capable comedy mood with hints of future greatness yet to come. (Such "My Man Godfrey" greatness would take place on the same Universal lot where "Breakfast" was filmed.)

To promote "Breakfast, Universal released this publicity still:

Here's the front, slightly magnified and focused on Lombard:

The good news is there's a stamp and a snipe on the back:

The seller ("the orchid lady," and thus a likely Lombard fan as that was Carole's label at Paramount in the early '30s) thankfully isolated and enlarged the stamp...

...and the snipe (which initially was upside down):

The outfit is salmon velvet with sable, designed by Travis Banton...indeed a fashionable way to breakfast.

This vintage still measures 7 5/16" x 9 7/16" and is in reasonable condition. You can buy it for $99.99. To purchase it, visit https://www.ebay.com/itm/ORIGINAL-1936-Carole-Lombard-LOVE-BEFORE-BREAKFAST-Photograph-w-Snipe-Stamp/192857547624?hash=item2ce734a368:g:XmwAAOSwws5cMoCg.

And perhaps this outfit she wore for the movie was formerly used atop said breakfast table:

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Script girl

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.14 at 00:09
Current mood: ecstaticecstatic

Carole Lombard's 1934 film "Now And Forever" has a few interesting things going for it. For one thing, it teams her with Gary Cooper for the second (and last) time. For another, it's her only pairing with Shirley Temple, just before the moppet became the biggest child star in movie history.

And we learn Carole received a very special copy of the script, one that would fetch a princely sum today. Failing its recovery, we've got its image as the heretofore unseen Paramount p1202-812:

We learn even more since the snipe's on the back:

Want a larger version? Here it is:

Ah, part of the perks of being a star.

P1202-812 is up for auction at eBay; it's an 8" x 10" glossy single-weight in excellent condition. It's one of many images of Lombard and other stars from the George Smoots collection.

Bidding starts at $39.99, and the auction concludes at 10:40 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday. Want in on this rarity, or merely like to learn more? Then visit https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-HOLDING-SCRIPT-Original-Vintage-1934-CANDID-PORTRAIT-Photo/143140923749?hash=item2153dd2965:g:85kAAOSwYyVcbFNh.

And someday, we'll search for her script.

carole lombard 03

See you in court

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.13 at 14:36
Current mood: pleasedpleased

It's Aug. 18, 1933, and Carole Lombard -- now officially a Nevada resident following six weeks' time in the Silver State -- prepares to file for divorce from William Powell, her husband of little more than two years. Most celebrities going through the procedure dissolved the knots in Reno, but contrarian Carole, on the advice of her attorney, decided to divorce in Carson City, the much smaller state capital.

In retrospect, not a wise move. A hearing to reopen several state banks shut down since November was scheduled that day, crowding the courthouse. Lombard's divorce, held during the noon recess, took but six minutes. Read more about it at https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/277114.html.

Above is what she wore that day, a "smart grey traveling suit" with a blue beret. The picture measures 8" x 10", is in excellent condition, though it's not an original. You can buy it for $6.97 by going to https://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-8x10-Picture-Simply-Stunning-Photo-Gorgeous-Celebrity-64/303094206069?hash=item4691d28e75:g:dL4AAOSwkiZciAB3:sc:USPSFirstClass!90044!US!-1. (If you miss out, don't fret; the seller may have it available in other sizes.)

As for the courthouse, built in 1920, it's been restored and looks beautiful:

carole lombard 02

From the heartland to Hollywood heights

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.12 at 09:25
Current mood: excitedexcited

There probably are many reasons Carole Lombard and Clark Gable developed such a romantic rapport, even if sparks didn't immediately ignite during the lone film they made together, 1932's "No Man Of Her Own."

Lombard's roots were in Indiana, Gable's in adjacent Ohio and each carried a Midwestern sensibility into Hollywood. (It helped that Los Angeles between the world wars was home to huge colonies of former Iowans, Nebraskans and others who regularly held picnics and other social gatherings.)

Now the link of Hollywood and its heartland heritage is honored in a book from a writer who works at a newspaper from the hometown of one of the dozen stars honored (Lombard and Gable are among the others). Meet Sara Jordan-Heintz, holding a copy of her recently-published "Going Hollywood: Midwesterners in Movieland."

Jordan-Heintz, 28, is a features writer for the Marshalltown (Iowa) Times-Republican. Some movie buffs know Marshalltown as the home of Jean Seberg, who was discovered from 18,000 applicants in a 1957 talent search and briefly became a star in films such as Otto Preminger's "Saint Joan," the French New Wave gem "Breathless" and 1964's "Lilith," partially filmed in my former hometown of Rockville, Md. (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/473427.html).

Seberg moved to France, became involved in the anti-war movement and died of a barbiturate overdose at age 40 in 1979.

Other notables included are Jean Harlow, Spencer Tracy, Anne Baxter, Jane Russell, Dorothy Dandridge, Rock Hudson, Marilyn Maxwell, Jane Wyman and entertainment columnist Louella Parsons. Many of these profiles were written for her parents' magazine, Midwest Today.

More on the book is at http://www.timesrepublican.com/news/todays-news/2019/03/t-r-writer-publishes-book-on-midwesterner-movie-stars/, and you can order it (and request an autographed copy) at https://pageturner-books-international.myshopify.com/products/going-hollywood-midwesterners-in-movieland-publication-date-april-1-2016?. She'll have a book signing at 2 p.m. April 13 at the Marshalltown Public Library.

carole lombard 01

Clark and Carole as a couple

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.11 at 17:51
Current mood: optimisticoptimistic

It's mid-April 1936, and the romance between Carole Lombard and Clark Gable is heating up Hollywood. So what if Gable's already married to the much older Ria Langham? Their lack of passion is no secret to the public.

I'm not certain whether they're attending is a boxing match, a ballgame or whatever. (It looks to be a sporting event, perhaps at Los Angeles Wrigley Field, or midget auto racing at Gilmore Stadium in West LA.) Here's another shot of Clark and Carole that night, this one with Lombard flashing a smile:

Later in the '30s, there's talk Clark and Carole are cooling off, replaced by Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor as Tinseltown's top couple. This pic, from an unknown fan magazine, says that's not the case:

They don't look "washed up" to me.

It's an 8" x 10" vintage original clipping, and you can buy it for $4.99. Interested? Than visit https://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-Clark-Gable-ORIGINAL-8x10-1pg-clipping-magazine-photo-X5461/401727296789?hash=item5d88d01515:g:I08AAOSwEaxchs3C.

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Stany stands up for writers

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.10 at 14:07
Current mood: enthralledenthralled

As far as I know, this is the only image of Carole Lombard and Barbara Stanwyck, taken on Thanksgiving 1936 at Barbara's ranch in the San Fernando Valley. They were friends, each at the time romantically linked to Hollywood heartthrobs they later married (Lombard to Clark Gable, Stany to Robert Taylor). In fact, Carole took this pic of Gable, Stanwyck and Taylor at a golf outing:

Stanwyck was a terrific actress, someone at home in nearly any genre and part of my classic Hollywood holy trinity alongside Lombard and Myrna Loy. Like the other two (and contemporaries such as Fay Wray), she respected writers. This became evident recently when a letter Stanwyck wrote to the University of Wyoming in October 1986 surfaced. (The Brooklyn-born Barbara fell in love with the West, starring in her share of Westerns -- frequently doing her own stunts -- and was an inductee into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.)

Yep, Stany -- who regularly spoke her mind -- was no fan of "The Colbys" or its writing. (The "Dynasty" spinoff lasted only a few seasons.) But the letter was not meant to belittle the writers, as she emphasized, noting several of the other scripts she'd donated to the university. (They include two gems she made with Fred MacMurray, 1940's "Remember The Night" and 1944's "Double Indemnity," as well as "The Lady Eve" and "Stella Dallas.")

She concluded with "So, dear students -- be kind to us poor actors -- Good dialogue."

If her inveighing against the "Colbys" scripts sounds like a prima donna, then you don't know Stany. Show creator Aaron Spelling conceded the writing on the series wasn't up to the standards of some of his other productions, and co-star Stephanie Beecham called Barbara "a stand-up dame."

As a writer myself, I hope I'm providing my potential actors with worthy dialogue. You can judge by checking out the latest versions of my scripts, both romantic comedies -- first, "Stand Tall!" (https://filmfreeway.com/projects/476988)...

...and then "Fugitive Sweetheart" (https://filmfreeway.com/projects/1539874):

carole lombard 06

Carole packs a punch in Danish (again)

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.09 at 18:55
Current mood: amusedamused

"Nothing Sacred," Carole Lombard's Technicolor laughfest, was popular across the globe, no matter what language audiences spoke. One of those languages was Danish, as we discovered two months ago when a program that may have been from a 1948 re-release was advertised on eBay (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/966564.html).

Apparently, another program was issued for its initial Danish release in 1938, with this delightful illustration of Carole fighting Fredric March:

The United Artists logo in the lower right-hand corner pinpoints when it was first released; a decade later, the film was in the public domain.

There are several other pages, all in Danish of course (a language I didn't know two months ago and don't know now), along with photos from the movie:

It's in good condition, with all pages present.

This vintage program sells for $11.39; if you want it, go to https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nothing-Sacred-Carole-Lombard-Fredric-March-1937-Vtg-Old-Danish-Movie-Program/183722534865?hash=item2ac6b767d1:g:O7QAAOSw~Shcg~rz.

And a reminder for those of you in most American states -- set your clocks ahead one hour tonight for Daylight Saving Time.

carole lombard 05

'Twentieth Century' as the comedy of life

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.08 at 18:54
Current mood: impressedimpressed

Carole Lombard's only overlap of pre-Code and screwball comedy, "Twentieth Century," enabled her to evolve from featured player to bona fide star. But this sophisticated Broadway satire had different titles in other countries whose citizens didn't know the Twentieth Century was the name of a fabled American passenger train.

In Spain, for example, the film was known as "La Comedia de La Vida," aka "The Comedy Of Life." Sort of generic from a U.S. perspective, but it conveys the movie's absurd comedic tone.

That's one side of a Spanish-language herald for the film. This rendering of Lombard and leading man John Barrymore is the other:

This herald measures 4.5" x 6.1", folded. It's in very fine to near mint condition and is said to have been issued for its first Spanish release. That specific date isn't shown at the Internet Movie Database, but other premiere dates in Europe range from mid-September 1934 (Sweden) to May 1935 (Portugal).

This rarity is offered from a seller in Barcelona for $178.99. If you're interested, check it out at https://www.ebay.com/itm/PTEB-057-TWENTIETH-CENTURY-CAROLE-LOMBARD-HAWKS-SPANISH-dbl-HERALD-MINI-POSTER/153406900007?hash=item23b7c38727.

carole lombard 04

Bob and Fay, part 2: Wray and Riskin go West(wood)

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.07 at 11:21
Current mood: ecstaticecstatic

Of late, it may seem as if this Carole Lombard site has been hijacked by Fay Wray and Robert Riskin. If so, we're willing accomplices, since their daughter, Victoria Riskin, recently released a well-reviewed biography of her actress mother and screenwriter father.

Tuesday night, I met Victoria at a Writers Guild Foundation event honoring the book; she's a talented lady in her own right (a former TV producer). Tonight at 7, she'll be at Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, for a book signing:

Earlier this week, we noted Film Forum, the fabled repertory theater in lower Manhattan (where Fay was a member for many years) is holding a retrospective of their films (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/980980.html), and I privately bemoaned that I'm on the other coast. But little did I know that UCLA had scheduled a similar, if smaller-scaled event -- and Lombard's "Virtue" (shown above) also will be part of it.

As is the case with its Film Forum showing, "Virtue" is paired with "Viva Villa," where Wray was leading lady to Wallace Beery's Pancho Villa. Both are in 35mm prints. They will run at the Billy Wilder Theater at 7:30 p.m. March 16.

Victoria Riskin will be on hand Friday ("King Kong" and "The Miracle Woman") and Saturday ("Meet John Doe" and "The Most Dangerous Game"). The final two twin bills in the series are March 22 ("It Happened One Night" and "The Richest Girl In The World") and March 30 ("The Wedding March" and "American Madness").

For more information, and a link to tickets, visit https://www.cinema.ucla.edu/events/2019/fay-wray-robert-riskin?fbclid=IwAR2an9sx4xZSs0rXDwcH_xigYnmKufL6UknT8aYDdZagBTMWM1Kjm7ctbeU.

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So, what did she think about Hollywood?

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.06 at 16:19
Current mood: curiouscurious

It's 1935 and Carole Lombard, a favorite of fan magazines for her blend of beauty and outspokenness, is a frequent subject for interviews. One of them has this tantalizing title...

..."What Carole Lombard Thinks About Hollywood." It's from someone named Marcella Burke and begins on page 40 of the August 1935 issue of Screen Play.

And therein lies the problem. Screen Play isn't among the fanmags available to the Media History Digital Library. There's Screenland, Silver Screen and even a limited run of Screen Mirror... but no Screen Play, alas.

Nor could I find it via checking on Marcella Burke, but I discovered she and Lombard apparently have something in common if this is the same Burke in question. Burke also was nominated for an Academy Award in 1938 for Best Writing, Original Story, for the Deanna Durbin vehicle "Mad About Music." (She co-wrote it with Frederick Kohner.)

As for that August 1935 issue, its cover subject was Ginger Rogers...

...and an ad for Chesterfield cigarettes ("They satisfy") was on the back:

The good news: This issue is available on eBay, it's fair to good condition (complete, I hope) and bidding opens at $16.39 US (12.50 in British currency). The bad news: Bidding ends at 10:56 a.m. (Eastern) Saturday, so you don't have much time. Go to https://www.ebay.com/itm/1935-Movie-Magazine-SCREEN-PLAY-JEAN-HARLOW-GEORGE-RAFT-CAROLE-LOMBARD/163574688340?hash=item2615cfaa54 to bid or learn more.

And if you're the winner, please copy the Lombard article to us so we can learn what she had to say.

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A Swede-looking cover

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.05 at 11:12
Current mood: artisticartistic

Carole Lombard's "I Take This Woman" wouldn't premiere in Sweden until Jan. 2, 1932, but eight months earlier she already was known there. For proof, check out the cover of this Swedish magazine from April 19, 1931 -- a stunning image of Lombard I've never seen anywhere:

The illustrated publication, Hvar 8 dag (Where 8 Day), had been around since 1899 but was in its declining years and would cease publishing in 1933.

This particular issue contains 44 pages, is complete and is in good condition, despite some aging; it's 8.5" x 11". While no other pages were printed, I understand the issue features cinema, stage and other information.

Bidding opens at $8.99, with the auction closing at 2:26 p.m. (Eastern) Monday. Want to bid or learn more? Go to https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-CAROLE-LOMBARD-Hvar8dag-Swedish-Mag-1931-Lovely-Star/312514899918?hash=item48c356efce:g:O8sAAOSw0VBcc0BU.

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Riskin-Wray: A blogathon past and a Film Forum future

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.04 at 21:20
Current mood: excitedexcited

Carole Lombard and Robert Riskin, a Hollywood couple that almost was, are shown at an event with a Hollywood couple that became legendary -- Irving Thalberg, left, next to wife Norma Shearer. Years later, screenwriter Riskin married a renowned actress, Fay Wray:

We've been discussing Riskin and Wray a lot lately, including a weekend blogathon honoring the couple over the weekend (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/980423.html). Their daughter, Victoria Riskin, recently wrote a book about her illustrious parents...

...and it's time you examined the blogathon in full. Day one is at https://aurorasginjoint.com/2019/03/02/fay-wray-and-robert-riskin-the-blogathon-day-one/, while day two can be found at http://www.classicmoviehub.com/blog/fay-wray-and-robert-riskin-the-blogathon-day-two/. There's plenty of good reading from many classic Hollywood blogs.

And if you're in New York this month, there'll be plenty of good viewing of Riskin and Wray at one of Manhattan's top repertory theaters.

Like Lombard and Clark Gable, the couple worked together but once -- on the 1933 drama "Ann Carver's Profession." But each made many memorable films, and they'll be shown from March 15 to April 2.

Lombard fans, take note: "Virtue" (1932), written by Riskin, will be shown March 27, in a 35mm print (hear that, Quentin Tarantino?). It will run three times as part of a double bill with "Viva Villa!" (1934), where Wray is the love object of Wallace Beery's Pancho Villa, also in 35mm.

Each of the couple's most iconic films, both crowd-pleasers, will be shown numerous times.

On March 16, "King Kong" and "It Happened One Night" will run for a single admission -- and Victoria Riskin will be on hand to introduce the 1:40 showing of "Kong" and the 3:40 airing of "IHON."

"Kong" will run at 11 a.m. March 23 and 24 as part of the "Film Forum Jr." program; on the 24th, kids 12 and younger can participate in a "scream-alike" contest. (Wray was a Film Forum member until her death at age 97 in 2004.) General audiences can catch "Kong" encores from March 23 to 25. with Fay's 1932 screamer "The Most Dangerous Game" on the first and third of those days. As for "IHON," its encore will be on April 1, no fooling.

The session opens March 15 with "The Wedding March," featuring a post-film Q & A with Victoria Riskin.

See the entire schedule and order tickets at https://filmforum.org/series/bob-wray-a-hollywood-love-story. Fay, Robert and Victoria all thank you.

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Hollywood, Romanian style

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.03 at 21:21
Current mood: scaredscared

When it comes to Romania and classic Hollywood, it's hard not to think of horror a la Transylvania, such as Carole Lombard's genre spin in "Supernatural." But in the spring of 1938, when Lombard was at her global apex following "Nothing Sacred" and "True Confession," she was popular there, too.

A Romanian magazine titled simply Cinema featured her in its April 30, 1938 issue:

I'd love to explain what this piece is about, but I have absolutely no knowledge of Romanian. Since Clark Gable is headlined too, we can guess at least one angle.

The cover subject (both front and back) was Annabella. I believe this is the back cover:

Errol Flynn is featured too...

...as is a page with something on Joan Crawford and husband Franchot Tone:

There are 24 pages in all, uncut. It's in good condition.

This issue is up for auction at eBay. Bidding opens at $7.99, with the auction closing at 6:15 a.m. (Eastern) Friday. To bid or find out more, visit https://www.ebay.com/itm/Very-Rare-Joan-Crawford-Carole-Lombard-Errol-Flynn-Cinema-Magazine-1938/273741388396?hash=item3fbc421a6c.

And possessing this would give you a good reason to learn Romanian.

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Fay Wray and Robert Riskin, The Blogathon: 'Virtue' & 'The Wedding March'

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.02 at 16:48
Current mood: happyhappy

"Virtue," Carole Lombard's first loan-out from Paramount (made for Columbia in 1932), unveiled a tougher side to this 23-year-old ingenue than had heretofore been seen. Playing a former New York prostitute who hides her past from her cab-driving husband, Lombard shows a complexity not present in her previous characters. It was written by a man who'd also enter her romantic life for a while -- Robert Riskin.

This entry is part of "Fay Wray and Robert Riskin, The Blogathon," commemorating this iconic Hollywood couple and a book recently released about them written by their daughter, Victoria Riskin.

The Wray segment will follow, but first, let's examine "Virtue" -- a film we've written about several times (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/946397.html) -- in terms of what it meant for Riskin and his career.

In 1932, Riskin, already noted for his realism, was in his second year in Hollywood (and Columbia), having worked on several films directed by his frequent collaborator, Frank Capra (including dialogue for "Platinum Blonde" and the story and dialogue for the Walter Huston vehicle "American Madness"). "Virtue" came two films after "Madness," adapted from an Ethel Hill story; its director was not Capra, but Edward Buzzell.

While the subject matter, tame by our standards, probably prevented "Virtue" from becoming a huge hit among general audiences, it did reasonable business. For Lombard, it showed that "poverty row" Columbia and its coarse boss, Harry Cohn, gave her acting skills more respect than Paramount, where she was part of an actress assembly line.

It continued Riskin's steady ascent among screenwriters; In 1933, he and Capra teamed for the Runyonesque "Lady For A Day," and the year after that, they hit the jackpot, each winning Oscars for "It Happened One Night." By the end of '34, Riskin -- formerly the romantic interest of Glenda Farrell -- was seen with Lombard, the former wife of William Powell.

While that ultimately didn't work out, they remained friends and by the early '40s, Riskin and Wray became an item.

This is the only visual link I know of between Lombard and Wray, from Motion Picture in August 1931. I'm guessing they met a few times and were cordial; as far as I know, Carole and Fay never vied for the same role. But while the Lombard of 1928 was either in Mack Sennett comedies or playing supporting roles in features, Wray that year was a leading lady in an A-list production. And what a production it was.

The landmark series "Hollywood" proved once and for all that by the last days of silents, its sophistication had grown by leaps and bounds. Think of some of the films released in '28 -- "The Crowd," "Show People" (both from King Vidor), "Laugh, Clown, Laugh" (where a 15-year-old Loretta Young starred opposite Lon Chaney Sr.) and so many more.

"The Wedding March" was a sublime piece of cinema from the fabled actor-director Erich von Stroheim. He plays a Viennese army officer from a rundown noble family who falls for a commoner played by Wray. Class problems get in the way of romance.

It was a troubled production, something that was no stranger to von Stroheim. Shooting began in June 1926 and the film was shut down due to cost overruns in January 1927. After numerous re-edits, it finally was released in October 1928 as the first of a planned two-part film; the second part, called "The Honeymoon," was not issued in the U.S., and the only known surviving copy was lost to fire in 1959.

As for "The Wedding March," it's disjointed but exquisite. I saw it on video in the late 1980s, and Wray is wonderfully subtle, a far cry from her later "scream queen" image. Zasu Pitts -- part of von Stroheim's cast for his stunted 1923 epic "Greed" -- also is among the cast.

"The Wedding March" held a special place in Wray's heart, and she called it her favorite performance. (She gave many good ones, in all sorts of films.) I'm uncertain as to whether an authorized DVD or Blu-ray has been made available.

For more blogathon entries, visit https://aurorasginjoint.com/2019/03/02/fay-wray-and-robert-riskin-the-blogathon-day-one/.

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Lombard as best dressed, and stellar screenwriting feedback

Posted by vp19 on 2019.03.01 at 22:44
Current mood: ecstaticecstatic

"I can't imagine a duller fate than being the best-dressed woman in reality. When I want to do something, I don't pause to contemplate whether I'm exquisitely gowned. I want to live, not pose!"

That's among Carole Lombard's best-known quotes... but one nevertheless guesses she secretly felt honored in December 1936, when a group of the film industry's best-known designers named her Hollywood's best-dressed actress. And we have proof of that honor, if not necessarily her reaction to it.

In the lower left-hand corner of this page from the New York Daily News, you can see a headline about the award. It's difficult to read, but not to worry; David Noh, in his Facebook site Hollywood Costume Design, reprinted it in full from the Associated Press...and here it is.

Noh opened the entry with "In the 1930s, there was actually an award for the best-dressed actress - off the screen...can you imagine the s---storm today if one of these were held?

"The list is interesting for the omission of Adrian and Howard Greer as a designer voter."


Carole Lombard Voted Best Dressed Actress -- On and Off the Screen

Associated Press Writer

HOLLYWOOD, Dec. 12 -- On and off the screen, blonde Carole Lombard was the best-dressed motion picture actress of 1936, a tabulation of the votes from 10 studio style designers showed today.

She received seven votes out of the possible 10.

Each designer submitted a list of the 10 women he considered the 'best-dressed." The final total, however, brought 13 rather than 10. They were:

Carole Lombard, 7; Kay Francis, 6; Marlene Dietrich, 6: Norma Shearer, 6; Claudette Colbert, 5; Constance Bennett, 5: Dolores Del Rio, 5; Joan Crawford, 5; Verree Teasdale, 3; Gloria Swanson, 3; Madeleine Carroll, 3; Myrna Loy, 3; Joan Bennett, 3.

A total of 42 names was returned by the stylists. The only non-actress named was Rita Kaufman Lowe, wife of Edmund Lowe. She is a designer, herself, but she did not vote in the poll.

Claudette Colbert, who finished in fifth place in the poll just taken, was the winner in 1935.

Miss Lombard was fourth in last year's voting.

The designers' lists were unsigned.

None made any comment on the reasons for their 10 choices.

Among the surprises of the voting was the fact that Gladys Swarthout failed to qualify for this year's "13 best." She formerly was known as the best-dressed opera singer, and was on last year's list of 10 in the movie colony. She received two votes. Others whose names appeared on two lists were Olivia De Haviland, Virginia Bruce, Irene Dunne, Loretta Young, Hedda Hopper, Rosalind Russell, Merle Oberon and Ann Sothern. Greta Garbo received one vote.

The name of Mary Rogers, daughter of the late Will Rogers, appeared on the lists for the first time.

The designers were asked to base their judgments by consideration of the clothes worn in private life as well as on the screen. the clothes worn in private life as well as on the screen. The ability of the players to wear clothes and the correctness for different occasions were other points of judgment.

Those who voted were Ernest Dryden (Selznick International); Helen Taylor (Wanger pictures); Orry-Kellv (Warner Bros.); Jon Harkrider (Universal); Robert Kalloch (Columbia); Travis Banton (Paramount); Gwen Wakeling (Twentieth Century-Fox); Royer (Independent); Omar Kiam (United Artists); and Edward Stevenson (R.K.O.-Radio).


There are some '30s fashion heavyweights on that list -- Francis, Dietrich, Shearer, Colbert, Bennett, Del Rio and Crawford all got at least five votes. An impressive triumph for Carole, shown below with Paramount's Travis Banton:

Banton designed her outfits for Universal's "My Man Godfrey," including this legendary gown:

I received some good news today regarding my romantic comedy script "Stand Tall!", and wanted to share it with you:

I submitted a two-page written pitch for review to a producer (who shall remain anonymous, but he's helped produce several notable comedy features) through the Roadmap Writers program. It's designed to help inexperienced screenwriters hone their pitching skills when it comes time to do the real thing.

Five criteria are used, grading at excellent-good-average-fair-poor. I received "excellent" grades for "hit major plot points" and "kept it succinct," and "good" for "logline," "presentation" and "writer's unique style." He said "what worked" about "Stand Tall!" was:

* Very unique story rarely heard, adds an adult and more serious tone to stories like "The Nutty Professor" or "Honey I Blew Up The Kid" without losing the fun.
* Strong protagonist that you sympathize for and goes through an arc where she becomes a more serious, strong person by the end.
* Diverse and interesting cast of characters going from large to small that come together to help each other out and result in a happy ending.

He also suggested three things that would be improved, and I can implement this constructive criticism with minimal difficulty to make "Stand Tall!" stronger and more marketable. We'll see where this takes gentle giant Colleen Cossitt, scientist/love interest Keswick Fletcher and their friends (as well as a few foes).

carole lombard 04

This feline actor was the cat's meow

Posted by vp19 on 2019.02.28 at 11:21
Current mood: ecstaticecstatic

Carole Lombard, cat lover, posed with an unnamed black feline in a publicity still for "Supernatural" (1933). Two years later, a white cat (named Whitey, natch) was her character's pet in "Hands Across The Table" (below).

But did you know that one cat appeared in four of Carole's movies? I didn't until doing some research today. Its name was Puzzums (or Pussums), and I use "its" because as with its spelling, we aren't clear which gender it was. The Internet Movie Database believes it to be female, while the Cinema Cats site (yes, one actually exists!) labels it as male for one entry, female for another. Whichever, the kitty was seen in movies Lombard made for silent comic master Mack Sennett: "The Girl From Everywhere" (1927) and "Run, Girl, Run," "The Girl From Nowhere" and "His Unlucky Night" (all 1928).

"Run, Girl, Run," among the most accessible of Carole's Sennett films, features a scene where college track coach Daphne Pollard puts bunion pads on her feet as the feline lies on a bed:

Adhesives from the pads fall to the floor as the cat jumps off the bed...

...and hilarity ensues. Learn more at http://www.cinemacats.com/?p=9928 and see the scene at http://www.cinemacats.com/wp-content/uploads/gifs/rungirlrun.gif.

In "His Unlucky Night," it proves its prowess at checkers (aided by some smart editing and camera work) in a scene with Andy Clyde:

No doubt about it, the cat had charisma.

More info and additional screenshots are at http://www.cinemacats.com/?p=13122, and check out the GIF at http://www.cinemacats.com/wp-content/uploads/gifs/hisunluckynight.gif.

Pussums' only six IMDb listings were for Sennett, but it survived into the talkie era (whether it actually mewed on screen is another question entirely). It apparently "followed" Carole to Paramount, and is seen alongside Jeanette MacDonald, wearing feline spectacles...

...as well as one of Jeanette's frequent co-stars, Maurice Chevalier:

Heck, it even got its own close-up (take that, Norma Desmond!):

Not much else is known about Pussums, or Puzzums, who apparently was discovered by movie extra Nadine Dennis in 1925. Here's one account:

"Puzzums was raised by hand when his mother deserted him on the day of his birth, but went on to develop abilities to do more tricks than the average dog. He could cross his eyes, 'laugh' at the command of his owner, and even feed himself from a baby’s bottle."

At Puzzums' peak, it was loaned out to studios and was making $250 a week as a feline freelancer. Alas, an ulcerated tooth led to its death in 1934. Puzzums is interred at the Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park & Crematory.

If you're a feline cinephile, you will fall in love with http://www.cinemacats.com/. It hosts thousands of movie, TV and video kitties, shown from the silent era to recent fare such as last year's "Book Club." Meet legendary cat actors, such as Orangey from "Breakfast At Tiffany's."

Another marmalade soon will make a big splash on the big screen, as Goose the cat will reportedly play a significant role in next week's "Captain Marvel," starring Brie Larson. Kitty even got its own poster:

carole lombard 03

A set where 'Nothing' was 'Sacred'

Posted by vp19 on 2019.02.27 at 10:20
Current mood: crazycrazy

Was the set of "Nothing Sacred" the wackiest of any Carole Lombard feature? You can make a good argument on its behalf. Lombard, now with the rep as the queen of screwball following her triumph in "My Man Godfrey" the year before, was back for more. This time, she was directed by fun-loving "Wild Bill" Wellman in Hollywood's first three-strip Technicolor comedy feature.

Moreover, we have three examples of visual proof -- vintage proof you can purchase and have for your own.

A famous still from "Twentieth Century" three years earlier showed Lombard's lovely leg kicking John Barrymore. Perhaps on behalf of males everywhere, Wellman decided to give Carole a taste of her own medicine...

...as the director "choreographed" the fabled fight scene for co-star Fredric March:

Lombard's not in this photo, but a bare-chested Wellman is, for those of you into that sort of thing:

Note the stamp of approval from the Breen office -- something pics from Lombard films didn't always get (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/448257.html).

Finally, some stars may drive directors crazy, but never quite like Carole. At the wrap party, she and March gave Wellman a little gift for his post-filming recuperation:

As you can tell, shooting this feature was plenty of fun. And all these are vintage originals.

The kicking photo is $69, and is at https://www.ebay.com/itm/William-A-Wellman-kicks-Carole-Lombard-in-the-tush-VINTAGE-Photo-Nothing-Sacred/362520379931?hash=item5467e6021b. For bare-chested Bill, a pic that goes for $94, visit https://www.ebay.com/itm/Director-William-A-Wellman-barechested-Nothing-Sacred-VINTAGE-Photo-candid/372519653932?hash=item56bbe6d22c. And the strait-jacket photo? It's also $94. Find out more at https://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-Director-William-A-Wellman-Fredric-March-VINTAGE-Photo/362567838261?hash=item546aba2a35.

carole lombard 02

Book it, Victoria!

Posted by vp19 on 2019.02.26 at 14:50
Current mood: accomplishedaccomplished

It's a very special day for the daughter of the man Carole Lombard dated, Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert Riskin...

...and the noted actress he eventually married, Fay Wray.

Today, Victoria Riskin's book about her pair of famous parents is released:

It's already received rave reviews from the likes of the Wall Street Journal as well as the Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/fay-wray-and-robert-riskins-daughter-revisits-a-hollywood-love-story/2019/02/21/e3ab9776-3484-11e9-af5b-b51b7ff322e9_story.html?utm_term=.19217b2b9c52).

On March 5, Riskin will discuss the book and her parents at the Writers Guild Theater, 5757 Wilshire Blvd. Copies of the book will be available. RSVP and learn more at https://www.wgfoundation.org/events/all/2019/3/5/fay-wray-and-robert-riskin-a-hollywood-memoir-book-signing-amp-reception.

And this weekend, I'll be among those participating in a blogathon dedicated to the famed couple. More on that can be found at http://www.classicmoviehub.com/blog/fay-wray-and-robert-riskin-a-hollywood-memoir-autographed-book-giveaway-now-through-mar-30/.

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