January 21st, 2010

carole lombard 04
  • vp19

Lombard in lace, plus Connie's colorful cosmetology

"Safety In Numbers" is an important film in the career of Lombard (even if she was still known as "Carol" Lombard at the time). For one thing, it was her first picture at Paramount, and the response she received from the public for playing a supporting role enabled her to parlay this one-shot into a seven-year contract with this top-tier studio. For another, it showed that though she was no longer the "Carol of the curves," she still possessed plenty of sex appeal.

For proof, here's a publicity still from the film I've never seen before. It's nothing we haven't seen before from "Safety" -- Lombard and Josephine Dunn, cavorting in lingerie -- but it's a slightly different pose:

The back of the photo lacks a snipe, but still is of interest.

First, the stamped "Safety In Numbers" and "Paramount Pictures" make it evident the photo is an original. However, the markings for "Carole Lombard" are from a later time; whether it was during, or after, her lifetime is uncertain. (And poor Josephine Dunn isn't even recognized.)

The seller noted Eugene Robert Richee took this portrait (good), but says the photo dates from 1929 (nope, 1930). As for the price, it's $279 under eBay's "buy it now" option; I'll let you choose your own reaction.

The photo's listed in "very good" condition, and will be up until 2:25 p.m. (Eastern) on Friday, or until someone buys it. If you've really got a hankering for Lombard in lingerie and have the money, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/Sexy-1929-Vintage-CAROLE-LOMBARD-8x10-Rare-BLACK-LACE_W0QQitemZ170432849735QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item27ae96e747.

We'll leave you with something from the lady who indirectly moved Lombard to Paramount in the first place -- Constance Bennett, whose arrival at Pathe in the fall of 1929 spelled the exit for Lombard and fellow blonde Diane Ellis. But this comes from many years later, specifically 1937, by which time Carole was a bigger star than Connie (whose peak era of popularity came in the early 1930s).

Anyway, this is a short from Bennett discussing beauty tips, while also plugging her own line of cosmetics -- sort of an infomercial of its day shown in theaters. Best of all, you see Connie in color (albeit the less vibrant Cinecolor instead of Technicolor). Turner Classic Movies has shown this as between-film filler, and it's fun to watch. And who knows -- maybe some of you women will learn something. Take some time out to enjoy tips, from one of cinema's great beauties. (It's interesting to hear her comment about her "temperamental skin"; many in the industry would've told you that wasn't the only part of her that was that way.) Loads and loads of loveliness, ladies!

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