September 10th, 2013

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Lombard and Loy, at their 'Worst'?

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I've often lamented that my two favorite actresses of classic Hollywood, Carole Lombard and Myrna Loy, never made a film together, as their styles (intense Carole, subtle Myrna) would have complemented each other's perfectly. But believe it or not, once they were advertised as cast in the same film...and I have proof. It's from the Film Daily of July 13, 1933:

carole lombard film daily 071333ca

So what's going on here? Why is Lombard listed in a starring role and Loy -- then and later a star of comparable stature -- buried in the body copy? Moreover, would Carole dye her hair brunette for the film, as shown in that illustration? (Hey, Myrna occasionally performed as a blonde.)

Well, actually both weren't cast in this film. What happened? A week earlier, on July 6, Film Daily provided the answer, along with some other cast info:

carole lombard film daily 070633aa

So whomever came up with the copy at Fox forgot to remove Myrna. As part of the July 13 color spread promoting its upcoming releases, it's listed as a Lombard vehicle:

carole lombard film daily 071333ba

But as it turned out, that was a mistake, too. Here's Film Daily from July 10:

carole lombard film daily 071033aa

All this perhaps is indicative of the state of Fox in 1933, and why the struggling studio agreed to merge with Darryl F. Zanuck's upstart Twentieth Century Pictures a few years later.

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Hume indeed took the role, and the film was released that December. Despite its title, "The Worst Woman In Paris?" (note the addition of a question mark) is an okay romantic comedy, albeit one few have been able to see in recent years. It reportedly drew praise at the 2003 Cinefest in Syracuse, drawing this question: Could "Worst" have been even better with Lombard or Loy as the lead?
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