vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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Product we would see...and some we wouldn't

During Hollywood's heyday, studios normally put together a book sent to exhibitors with information on projects it planned to make during the upcoming production year. Even in the midst of the Depression, when studios were hardly awash in cash, these books were made.

Here's one from Paramount Pictures, probably printed in the spring or early summer of 1932, announcing the studio's productions for 1932-33:

This book measured 12 by 17 inches and was 110 pages long, chock full of items to get exhibitors excited about Paramount's roster of stars and its upcoming projects. Internally, the studio was struggling financially, but externally, its publicity department put up a good face.

We've previously discussed how the Carole Lombard film that eventually became known as "No Man Of Her Own" was initially titled "No Bed Of Her Own" (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/6840.html). I don't know whether that's the specific ad for the film used in the production book, but we do know it was then referred to with the "No Bed" title.

Paramount's big stars in 1932 included the Marx Brothers, with their upcoming film "Horse Feathers"...

...and the seductively ironic Marlene Dietrich:

Lombard also establishes a presence in the book. Here's her portrait (I wish I could decipher the wording of the copy at the top, but the photo is simply too small):

Ads for a few of Carole's upcoming films -- or, should we say, films Paramount at the time thought were upcoming -- are also included. One is for Dashiell Hammett's "The Glass Key," previously discussed here (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/153531.html), a film she had already been announced for in the spring of 1932:

The other one would have marked her first teaming with George Raft...and unlike their eventual co-starring assignments of "Bolero" and "Rumba," this apparently would not have been a dance picture. It was to have been called "Pick Up," and like "The Glass Key," it was derived from a well-known author, Vina Delmar. She wrote the story, "Bracelets," that was eventually adapted into the Lombard vehicle "Hands Across The Table." She also wrote "Make Way For Tomorrow" and "The Awful Truth," two of the best films of 1937 (both directed by Leo McCarey). "Pick Up" was the story of two married con artists, and the problems that befall them (including prison sentences) after one of their victims dies:

Raft would make "Pick Up," released in March 1933 -- but his co-star would be Sylvia Sidney. I have no idea why Lombard didn't participate; it could have been scheduling conflicts, a coolness toward the material, any number of reasons.

If you'd like this book, be prepared to pay a lot for it (http://cgi.ebay.com/Marx-Brothers-Carole-Lombard-Dietrich-Harold-Lloyd_W0QQitemZ280321985676QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item280321985676&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2%7C65%3A1%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318). Such as $275, and that's just for an opening bid. If you really want it, buy it now for $350. Bidding is scheduled to end just after 7 p.m. (Eastern) next Wednesday.

The irony is that the book contains relatively little, if anything, about the person who, more than anyone, would bail Paramount out of the Depression. That's because Mae West's first film for the studio, "Night After Night," in which she had a supporting role, wasn't released until late October of '32.

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