The year of 1936 solidified Carole Lombard's ascent in the film firmament. She had unveiled her comedic chops in 1934 with "Twentieth Century," then the following year proved it wasn't an aberration by making "Hands Across The Table," a first-class comedy at her home studio of Paramount. Suddenly, Lombard was big box office in a way she had never been before...and it's indicated by the way her movies now were marketed by the studios making them.
Let's examine The Film Daily, one of the industry's leading trade papers, for proof. On May 14, it ran a two-page ad from Paramount promoting Lombard's latest vehicle, "The Princess Comes Across":
Universal, a smaller studio in a state of flux as founder Carl Laemmle was on the verge of selling his property, released two films from Carole that year. The first, "Love Before Breakfast," received next to no promotion in Film Daily...but come Aug. 18, it was under new management and sought to push her second Universal movie, "My Man Godfrey":
Trade publications regularly ran multi-page sections from studios promoting their upcoming season. Here are a few Lombard-related pages from Paramount's 1936-37 season announcement on July 16:
Note that Carole was initially cast in "Spawn Of The North," opposite Cary Grant and Randolph Scott in an outdoor Technicolor production; she fell ill and eventually withdrew from the movie, which would be released in 1938 with Henry Fonda, George Raft and Dorothy Lamour (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/137095.html). And "Panama Gal" is obviously an early version of what would become "Swing High, Swing Low" -- though it appears more lighthearted than the finished product.
In that July 16 issue, Lombard briefly commented on the "Topics of Timely Interest" page about Hollywood's revival as a party mecca compared to Broadway:
It's fun to look back at publications of the time and examine their advertising campaigns, especially since they are now online and you can see things not only in spot color, but full color. How about this ad from the Jan. 7 Film Daily, a gorgeous rendering of Myrna Loy from MGM on behalf of her latest film, "Whipsaw":
"Spawn Of The North" was planned to follow in the footsteps of "The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine," whose status was colorfully promoted in the Feb. 3 issue:
MGM was excited about its upcoming "San Francisco," and proved it on May 28:
20th Century-Fox went all out in the Sept. 16 issue on behalf of its color production "Ramona," starring Loretta Young in the adaptation of Helen Hunt Jackson's famed tale of old California:
Even the occasional re-release could warrant promotion, albeit on nowhere as lavish a scale. On May 26, Warners ran an ad noting a reissue of 1932's "Taxi!", starring James Cagney opposite Young (who took over when Carole refused a loanout in late 1931), had done well in a New York run and encouraged theaters in other markets to give it a try:
It's another Lombard profile shot in Paramount p1202-131, our latest LiveJournal header.