May 7th, 2008

carole lombard 03
  • vp19

An early visit to the lobby

From our perspective, Carole Lombard's film career prior to her 1926 automobile accident is, unfortunately, largely a matter of conjecture. None of the handful of films she made from this era apparently have survived, so any items uncovered from this period have value.

And one of them has shown up, on eBay.

It's from a 1925 Fox western called "Hearts And Spurs," her third film and second starring role. Carol Lombard, all of age 16, played Sybil Eastbrook, a wealthy girl who travels west to see her brother -- not knowing he's now robbing stagecoaches under duress to pay off a gambling debt. But she meets a man (played by Charles "Buck" Jones) who falls in love with her, assists her brother, and exposes the villain.

"Hearts And Spurs" was directed by W.S. Van Dyke, a one-time assistant to D.W. Griffith who directed 90 films of his own. Van Dyke, a quick worker who was nicknamed "One Take," achieved his greatest success at MGM in the 1930s, where his films included "Manhattan Melodrama," "The Thin Man" and "San Francisco." He even served as a California delegate to the 1940 Democratic national convention.

But that was well off in the future when "Hearts And Spurs" hit movie theaters in June of '25. And in those theaters, people may have seen this lobby card:

That's Lombard administering to Jones. Want to see it in closeup? Here it is:

Jones was a major western star for much of the 1920s. Like Lombard, he died violently in 1942 -- in the Coconut Grove nightclub fire in Boston that November that claimed more than 500 lives. (Aside from the name, the Boston Grove had no ties to the Grove at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.) Not long afterward, in February 1943, a month before his 54th birthday, Van Dyke -- who was dying of cancer -- ended his suffering by committing suicide; the method he chose remains unknown.

If you're interested in this item, check it out at Bidding continues through May 16, and starts at $99.99.

Now if we could only find the film.
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"Chasing Carole" A small review...

Hi all, first I want to thank vp for all his great stories, photos & all on Lombard, I vist often to read all the new & exciting news & things I didn't know about-thanks to you vp, Im learning more & more on this great lady!
Well I rec'd my book on Monday, after doing some things around the house, I was able to finally sit & relax & get to the book! Well  to put it this way...I read all through the day & into the night, I was very deep into & couldn't put it down, except for the occasional visit to the fridge to get my can of Coke-which was also one of Carole's favorites! I had got so lost into the book, it was 11pm!  I am enjoying this & find it to be a "different" look into Carole's life & find the story line to be very moving & as it says on the back of the book, as close as you can get to know the  real Carole" we all knew & loved & still love. Authentic Lombard! If you are looking for a good read this Spring, go pick up this book & enjoy the beautiful sunshine & see Carole & "get to know her!" Im sure you will not be disappointed. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I am right now! I give it 5 stars*****