July 10th, 2008

carole lombard 04
  • vp19

A 'Brief Moment' with Carole

Carole Lombard's magic as a photographer's subject was her ability to easily create a "wow" reaction...and she could do it in several ways: through her incredible sex appeal, employing her iconoclastic sense of humor or merely displaying her sheer beauty.

The last of these qualities is definitely her calling card in this stunning photo, taken in the second half of 1933 by Columbia Pictures to promote her upcoming film there, "Brief Moment."

Take a look at this below -- then click twice on it to savor it at roughly the photo's original size, 11" x 14":

Fortunately, the back of the photo is available for us to see, providing all sorts of wonderful information. We learn it was taken by Whitey Schafer, probably a staff photographer at Columbia (who thus would photograph all sorts of stars when they were loaned out from larger studios to Harry Cohn's domain). And there's a caption that tells us more:

"Carole Lombard, caught by the cameraman in a slightly pensive mood, presents a picture that is exquisite. Carole is the photgrapher's delight, for her exquisitely modelled face, her sweeping forehead, and the effective frame of blonde hair, make a perfect combination for the portrait artist. Carole goes from one picture to another, always looking stunning and invariably turning in a fine characterization. She is now playing the leading role in Columbia's 'Brief Moment,' the part of Abby Fane, a night-club singer who marries into society and is forced with the delightful problem of turning a playboy into a worthwhile person. Gene Raymond, whom you'll remember in Columbia's 'Ann Carver's Profession,' is the lucky gentleman, David Burton is directing."

From the back, we also learn that this had once been in Photoplay's image library. It's marked "December 1933," but I'm not sure whether that refers to the month it was received or the month of the magazine it ran in.

Like the photo? You can buy it, but it'll cost you and you'll face some eager competition. The picture is being auctioned on eBay; at the time I wrote this, eight bids had already been placed, with the top going at $81.

If interested, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/CAROLE-LOMBARD-1933-Vintage-11x14-Portrait-by-SCHAFER_W0QQitemZ300239408144QQihZ020QQcategoryZ18824QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem. Bidding continues through Saturday evening, U.S. time.
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