June 5th, 2009

carole lombard 05
  • vp19

What Paramount had planned

It's early May of 1932, and Carole Lombard's latest film, "Sinners In The Sun," is ready to hit theaters across America. (I believe that's director Alexander Hall watching Carole; a decade later, he directed "They All Kissed The Bride" for Columbia, the movie Lombard was to have made had she not died in 1942.)

But officials at Paramount are already planning the upcoming roster of films for 1932-33, and they let exhibitors know them through the trade press. The following was issued in the May 12, 1932 issue of the New England Film News, one of a series of regional publications printed by the people who ran Boxoffice magazine:

It's fascinating to examine, because it shows how much things changed between the initial announcement and what actually came to the screen. This is certainly true from a Lombard perspective; as all three of the films announced for Carole were ones she never made -- "Pick-Up," co-starring Geoege Raft, and an adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's book "The Glass Key," with an as yet unnamed co-star (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/190249.html), and "Hot Saturday," in which Nancy Carroll would get the part initially planned for Carole.

The movie that would become known as "No Man Of Her Own" is listed under its initial title, "No Bed Of Her Own," but whereas later trade ads had this teaming Clark Gable and Miriam Hopkins (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/6840.html), here the co-stars were to have been Raft and Adrianne Allen, a British actress who made a handful of films -- most notably "Merrily We Go To Hell" -- before returning to England. (She was also announced for a lead role in Cecil B. De Mille's "The Sign Of The Cross.")

To be fair, quite a few titles were made as initially advertised, including "Love Me Tonight" with Maurice Chevalier, "Blonde Venus" with Marlene Dietrich, "Horse Feathers" with the Marx Brothers and "The Big Broadcast" with Bing Crosby. So not every plan of Paramount's went awry.

One more interesting thing about this article, though: A relative unknown supporting player in "Sinners In The Sun" was announced in a few lead roles for upcoming Paramount productions. However, someone at the publication's copy desk must've thought the spelling of his first name was a misprint, so the New England Film News would up with this:

If the actor in question ever saw this item, he might have wondered whether he should've just kept his old moniker of Archie Leach. (Before 1932 was out, he'd end up working with Dietruch in "Blonde Venus" and with Carroll in "Hot Saturday.")

Finally, check this "brief" item next to the Paramount piece, about a play whose adaptation would serve as a Lombard vehicle some 16 months later:

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