November 30th, 2011

carole lombard 03
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Getting closer and closer



Considering they weren't married (well, one of them was, but to borrow the title of a future movie by the other, in name only), Carole Lombard and Clark Gable made little effort to disguise their relationship to the public, frequently being seen together, such as this June 1938 photo of them at the Northridge Horse Show.

However, as 1938 wound down, the tension moved up, and in mid-December, Clark threw down the gauntlet to his second wife, Ria Langham. It was banner news:



That's the Dec. 14, 1938 Los Angeles Examiner, a Hearst morning paper, spreading the word. Whose side was the public taking? Look at the picture of Gable and Lombard, read the caption, and the answer will be evident:

"LAUGHING LOUDLY, Carole Lombard and Clark Gable display sense of humor that drew them together. They are expected to marry as soon as Gable is divorced."

Oh, and the photo was taken in July of '38, while Clark and Carole were attending a party following the premiere of "Marie Antoinette":



I'd like to tell you what the story is about, but it's unfortunately below the fold. However, someone will find out, because this newspaper is available through eBay. You can buy it straight up for $40, or make a bid starting at $19.99. Bidding would end at 11:38 p.m. (Eastern) next Tuesday.

In addition to Carole and Clark, you can get a feel for the storm clouds hovering over Europe, learn about FBI officers arresting two Russians in Los Angeles for being Soviet spies; the latest on the trial of "the Gimp" for shooting singer Ruth Etting's piano player and likely much more.

For more on this item (it's listed in fair condition), go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/1511104WQ-HOLLYWOOD-DECEMBER-14-1938-GABLE-DIVORCE-CAROLE-LOMBARD-NEWSPAPER-/260905735145?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cbf3193e9.

During the day Tuesday, Turner Classic Movies commemorated the birth anniversary of Busby Berkeley with several of the films he directed (or co-directed), including two of the musical classics he's best known for, "Dames" and "Gold Diggers Of 1935." From the latter comes what may be Berkeley's greatest gargantuan dance sequence, "Lullaby Of Broadway," which would win the Academy Award for best song of 1935. Here it is in its full 13 1/2-minute majesty, with Winifred Shaw and Dick Powell, hundreds of tap dancers, even a housecat. Like many of Berkeley's imaginative extravaganzas, it stands alone, since it really doesn't advance the plot of the movie, so it won't spoil a future viewing. Enjoy.

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