This is the portrait of Carole Lombard the British Film Institute is using to promote its month-long tribute to her (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/1049699.html). My UK Facebook friend Sheila Bryans went to Southbank the other night to take in one of her films, and well, let's let her explain what weird thing happened:
Isn't that bizarre? A larger version of the Lombard cover:
This paperback version of the Dashiell Hammett classic is printed by the British firm Orion Publishing; why Carole was chosen to grace this cover eludes me, since she was in none of the three film versions released during her lifetime (1931; 1936 as "Satan Met A Lady"; and the best-known version, in 1941).
Did Lombard ever read "The Maltese Falcon"? I'm guessing yes, at one time or another. Did she ever meet Hammett? That I don't know; his book "The Thin Man" led to a hugely successful film franchise for William Powell as detective Nick Charles, but the first movie in that series didn't hit theaters until mid-1934, nearly a year after Powell and Lombard had amicably divorced.
However, Carole was up for a lead in another adaptation of a Hammett novel...
..."The Glass Key," announced in Paramount's 1932-33 annual of upcoming releases.
The book would be adapted into a film twice -- in 1935 with George Raft, Claire Dodd and Edward Arnold...
...and a better-known 1942 version with Brian Donlevy, diminutive Veronica Lake and equally height-challenged Alan Ladd:
If you want a copy of the "Falcon" with the Carole cover, go to https://www.bookdepository.com/Maltese-Falcon-Dashiell-Hammett/9780752865331. Oh, and make sure you read the book, too.