May 9th, 2010

carole lombard 07
  • vp19

The largest, you say?

As you might guess, the movie fan magazines of the 1930s had a keen rivalry. There were quite a few taking up space on the newsstands, so their publishers made all sorts of claims about the influence they wielded.

Modern Screen isn't as well remembered today as, say, Photoplay; you won't find it on microfilm at the Library of Congress, and it wasn't among the first of the fan magazines to be chosen for PDF reproduction on the Internet Archive. But it did make the claim that it had the "largest circulation of any screen magazine":

That's the September 1936 issue, with a Carole Lombard cover designed by Earl Christy, arriving at roughly about the time "My Man Godfrey" was to be released. I don't believe there's anything about her inside, but there are stories about Clark Gable, as well as Margaret Sullavan, Marlene Dietrich, Jean Harlow, Joan Bennett, Bing Crosby, Fay Wray and Fred MacMurray. There's also info on the filming of "Romeo And Juliet," starring Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer, and "The General Died At Dawn," with Gary Cooper and Madeleine Carroll. In addition, you can see fashions modeled by Madge Evans and Jeanette MacDonald.

The magazine is in mint condition, according to the seller; it's available for $84.95 under eBay's "buy it now" option, but the item will be off the table at just after 8:30 p.m. (Eastern) tonight, so don't dawdle if you want this. For more information, go to

Oh, and happy Mother's Day to all.

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