"No" was the key word for Carole Lombard in December 1932...as in "No More Orchids," which Columbia had released late in November, and "No Man Of Her Own," which her home studio of Paramount issued that month. But never fear -- in some cities, Carole still had "Virtue" (the movie, that is, which was moving into the smaller towns and second-run theaters).
A lot was happening for Lombard on the screen that month, but in other areas Carole was pretty quiet. Then again, so was much of the film community, as it collectively held its breath over the ever-plummeting economy which by now had affected nearly every studio. As Christmas neared, Lombard and husband William Powell celebrated a low-key holiday; did either expect it would be their last together? They're mentioned in the Dec. 22 St. Petersburg (Fla.) Independent -- read this column and see how other film notables of the time planned to spend Christmas:
Carole was mentioned in passing in the Dec. 5 Spokane Spokesman-Review, though the segment was actually about the frequent work character actress Elizabeth Patterson was getting (she portrayed Lombard's mother in "No Man Of Her Own"):
On the 30th, Spokane's other newspaper, the Daily Chronicle, previewed the New Year's Eve offerings at local theaters in the Inland Empire, noting the Orpheum was showing "No Man Of Her Own":
The Orpheum began as a vaudeville house on the Pantages circuit in 1909, was renamed the Orpheum in 1930, and became a full-time movie venue in 1932. It was razed in 1958.
The trade paper Film Daily didn't have much on Lombard that month, but one tidbit was interesting. Read the cast assignments list from Dec. 23:
Carole cast opposite Maurice Chevalier in "The Way To Love"? Well, apparently Lombard saw it as the way to nowhere, turning down a role Sylvia Sidney had earlier rejected. Paramount eventually secured Ann Dvorak for the lead, and while it's a charming comedy, it was a comedown for Chevalier after his earlier triumphs at the studio. He supposedly left after Paramount wouldn't guarantee him leading man roles opposite Mae West(!), Marlene Dietrich (he reportedly was one of her many lovers)...or Lombard. (Remember that Carole unsuccessfully sought to play the Miriam Hopkins role opposite Maurice in "The Smiling Lieutenant," so her rejection of "The Way To Love" wasn't an indictment of Chevalier.)
And on the last page of the last issue of Film Daily, on the last page of the year, it reviewed both of her "no" films -- and generally replied with "yes":
Not a bad way to close out 1932, no?