July 17th, 2008

carole lombard 04
  • vp19

And they'll be swingin'...

"Swing High, Swing Low," the title of Carole Lombard's third film with Fred MacMurray, was a reference to this new "swing" music that Benny Goodman's orchestra began popularizing in the summer of 1935. It wasn't referring to something children did in the local park or backyard.

Nevertheless, Paramount got Lombard and MacMurray to sit together on an oversized swing set, got it moving up and down, and took a photo of them enjoying the movement. They then ran it as part of a trade ad; this reportedly ran on March 17, 1937, although I don't know whether it's from the Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Film Daily or the Motion Picture Herald. (I'm tempted to think it's the Reporter because that's where the quote comes from.) Wherever it ran, it was what people on the industry call a "double-truck" -- two facing pages creating one 12 1/2" x 18 1/2" ad, specifically this one:

Like it? Well, the ad, suitable for framing, is up for auction at eBay, with a beginning price of $9.99. Bidding continues through next Wednesday, although to date no bids have come in yet. If interested, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/37-RARE-CAROLE-LOMBARD-SWING-HIGH-SWING-LOW-AD_W0QQitemZ190237526409QQihZ009QQcategoryZ60278QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem.

Here are two more items from that film which aren't currently up for auction, but are fascinating artifacts just the same. First, an ad from Paramount promoting "Swing High, Swing Low" in Life magazine (and cleverly designed to resemble one of its news items), with comments from leads Lombard and MacMurray, director Mitchell Leisen and supporting player Charles Butterworth.

Second, sheet music from one of the two songs Lombard performed in the film, "I Hear A Call To Arms":

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