March 28th, 2009

carole lombard 06
  • vp19

Now, er, then in theaters!

Came across this recently in the Los Angeles Times fine local history review, "The Daily Mirror," as part of the paper's movie listing page for March 27, 1976:

Some thoughts:

* Note that the word "terrific" is misspelled. The film most associated with the word in its advertising, "Citizen Kane," at least got the spelling right (and, compared to this film, many, many other things).

* The Miami News, which referred to the film as "totally delightful," went out of business several years later. I'm not necessarily saying the review had anything to do with its demise -- the News was an afternoon paper, a form that began to fall out of favor in most major metropolitan areas in the late 1970s -- but you never know.

* Art Murphy's plaudits for Jill Clayburgh as Carole Lombard in Variety may well have been the only compliments he gave the film. Certainly Clayburgh, who became an A-list actress for several years, was far less villified than cohorts James Brolin (as Clark Gable), director Sidney J. Furie or screenwriter Barry Sandler.

* The film played the fabled Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, as well as another important cinema site, the Bruin Theater in Westwood. Thankfully, both venues survived.

* Above the ad, Universal promoted its theme park studio tour, which probably received more tender loving care than "Gable And Lombard."
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