August 5th, 2013

carole lombard 01
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'Motion Picture,' February 1935: Get mad. Get famous. Get even.

carole lombard fox 00b

It's been said living well is the best revenge...but for those in movies, adding fame to the formula makes it all the better. Carole Lombard is among those said to have an "I'll show you" moment, according to a story in the February 1935 issue of Motion Picture, with Fay Wray on the cover.

motion picture february 1935 fay wray cover large

Carole's moment, part of an article titled "They Got Mad Enough To Become Famous," is said to have taken place about the time the above pic of her was taken, in the mid-1920s. Here's what writer Harry T. Brundridge said Lombard told him:

carole lombard motion picture february 1935ab

The "Clara Bow epic" most likely was "The Plastic Age," filmed in 1925 and released that December; the Internet Movie Database lists Lombard as having an uncredited part as a "co-ed," though I've never seen her in any stills from the film. (A young Clark Gable had a small role in the movie, too, but while the future spouses may have seen each other during production, it's doubtful they actually met.) However, Carole had signed with Fox early that year, and I don't know whether her contract allowed her to freelance when not appearing in a Fox production. (I have no idea who that assistant director may have been, but the head director was Wesley Ruggles, who would direct Gable and Lombard in 1932's "No Man Of Her Own" as well as a few other films of Carole's.)

Here's the entire article, so you can compare her "I'll show you" moment to those other stars supposedly gave:

carole lombard motion picture february 1935aa
carole lombard motion picture february 1935ba
carole lombard motion picture february 1935ca

Were vengeance only so easy for mere mortals such as us.

Lombard figured elsewhere in the issue, too...but first, try your hand at this 78-year-old Hollywood crossword puzzle. Whomever looked at this correctly filled in a few of the answers -- now it's up to you to take care of the rest. (We'll provide the answers at the end of this entry.)

motion picture february 1935aa

Now back to Lombard. Take this long-unseen pic of her and Chester Morris on the set of MGM's "The Gay Bride," taken from the perspective of director Jack Conway's chair:

carole lombard motion picture february 1935da

Carole's mentioned peripherally in this article on Jean Harlow; unfortunately, part of it has been cut, so I don't have the complete context. Harlow said someone created -- and published -- a composite photograph of her and William Powell by taking a photo of Bill soon after his marriage to Lombard and superimposing Jean's face on Carole's body. Paging Harlow expert Darrell Rooney: Do you know anything about this, and do you have a copy of said pic?

carole lombard motion picture february 1935eb

And Rudy Vallee, back in Hollywood after failing there a few years before, was asked to name the industry's 10 most beautiful actresses. He tactfully chose 12 -- and yes, Lombard was one of them:

carole lombard motion picture february 1935fa
carole lombard motion picture february 1935ga

As you may have noted from the cover, Motion Picture, the oldest fan magazine in the industry, had just incorporated the little-remembered Golden Screen. It had new ownership, too:

motion picture february 1935ba

OK, here's the answer to the puzzle above. How'd you do?

motion picture february 1935 puzzle solution large

It's from the March issue and is listed as "solution to last puzzle." And perhaps "last" was the key word, because no crossword ran in that month's issue.

It's on to Paramount p1202-159 for our latest Lombard LiveJournal header.
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