November 6th, 2011

carole lombard 07
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Looking back: November 1932

November 1932 was a fairly quiet month in the press for Carole Lombard, but one of the few things about her in the papers that month related to that picture. No, not that she was smoking (in 1932, few raised a fuss about that), but rather that she was wearing bangs, which suddenly were in fashion again. Two newspapers ran a syndicated story that month citing her as a bang-wearer, including the Pittsburgh Press on Nov. 16:

In Fredericksburg, Va., a town about 60 miles south of Washington, on Nov. 1 the Free Lance Star (which is still in business today, unlike the Press) ran the upcoming week's schedule for the Colonial Theater (with brief synopses of each movie), and one of them happened to be Lombard's first film for Columbia, "Virtue":

Research showed the Colonial opened in February 1929, showed films into the early '80s and was subsequently used as a church for a few years. Its auditorium was converted into a divided shopping area now known as the Galleria:

The New York Times did mention Carole in two of its columns that month, both dealing with cast changes. On the 6th, it noted that Mary Brian had replaced her in the James Cagney film that was eventually known as "Hard To Handle": on the 20th, it reported that Lombard had been taken off "Billion Dollar Scandal" that week to replace Miriam Hopkins in "No Man Of Her Own." The "grey lady" was a few weeks late with the news, as on Nov. 9, Film Daily had mentioned the Lombard-Gable pairing in a blurb about director Wesley Ruggles agreeing to a deal with Paramount after leaving RKO:

Three days later, Film Daily reported a cast addition:

Conlon, who played Willie Randall, kid brother of the Lombard character, was born in 1917 (and apparently is still alive, according to the Internet Movie Database). He appeared in 13 films, including "The Sign Of The Cross" and "Laughter In Hell," but only received credit for seven movies, none after 1933. (Among the other six were a pair of 1941 Gable films, "They Met In Bombay" and "Honky Tonk." His last appearance on screen came in 1942's "Reap The Wild Wind.").

Finally, the Nov. 23 issue reported that Carole's second Columbia movie, "No More Orchids," was to premiere in theaters on Nov. 25. (Remember, in those days films were rolled out gradually, from the big downtown houses to second-tier theaters to the "nabes" and small-town houses.)

What did Film Daily think of "No More Orchids"? You'll find out next month.
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