January 6th, 2011

carole lombard 04
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A freaking great site



When it comes to Carole Lombard on the World Wide Web, I like to think I'm a pretty good authority. But on Wednesday, I discovered a remarkable site for any Lombard fan...and it's been up for four months without my knowing of it.

It's from rapidly growing Tumblr, and I love its URL: http://carolefreakinglombard.tumblr.com/. That's right, carolefreakinglombard -- a salute to both her awesomeness (OK, so that's not an adjective I frequently use to describe her, but it's nonetheless true!) and a nod to her often inventive invective. (Truth be told, the "profane angel" angle does Carole a disservice, giving the impression her vocabulary was limited to that of a stevedore. Not the case at all -- she was a bright woman who could intelligently converse on a variety of topics. At the same time, if people she was with were comfortably exchanging blue banter, she could hold her own with any of them.)

Getting back to this site; it presently comprises some 70 "pages," which on Tumblr equates to about 700 images. A handful are duplicated throughout the site, uploaded by several different contributors, but among the many others are things I've never seen before. For example, take the photo at the top, Paramount p1202-216, which I'm guessing comes from late 1931 or early '32. Carole had beautiful eyes, and this portrait shows them off about as well as any I've seen.

Or how about this shot, taken from "Made For Each Other," showing Lombard with Louise Beavers:



There aren't very many stills showing Carole with black actors, and here she's with one of the best (although, alas, the stereotypical roles Beavers received often prevented her from showing her full ability on screen).

One of the nice ideas here is something called "The Many Faces Of" -- eight images of Lombard from a particular film. Eight of Carole's movies have received such an honor, and here they are (double-click to view them at their full, glorious size):










Very impressive.

As stated, this site gets the "Carole & Co." seal of approval (remember to feed it fish daily!), and I think any Lombard fan worth his or her salt should make it a regular cyberspace destination. With all the images, you can feel as close to Carole as director Garson Kanin did here:



Kudos to the contributors at carolefreakinglombard.tumblr.com -- though I won't say it's for "a job well done," because it's not anywhere close to being "done." I fully expect we'll see hundreds more lovely Lombard images put up for our viewing pleasure in the future.
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