December 23rd, 2013

carole lombard 01
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'Swing High, Swing Low' across the pond

carole lombard swing high, swing low 37d adolph zukor mitchel

"Swing High, Swing Low," Carole Lombard's third of four films made with Fred MacMurray, isn't particularly well-remembered today (perhaps because it's both lapsed into the public domain and no complete 35mm print has survived), but it was Paramount's biggest moneymaker for all of 1937. That was a professional advancement for director Mitchell Leisen (second from right) and good financial news for Paramount patriarch Adolph Zukor (right).

I've recently received a wonderful artifact from that film -- its 12-page British pressbook, and I thought I'd share its contents with you:

carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 00
carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 01
carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 02
carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 03

That last page has a few items that should be isolated and enlarged:

carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 03a
carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 03b
carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 03c

The ties between Lombard and Lamour were genuine; when Carole left Paramount at the close of 1937, she made certain Dorothy inherited her dressing room on the lot.

carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 04

On that page, Carole talks a bit about her recent change in personality:

carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 04a

Now we enter into exploitation, English-style:

carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 05
carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 06

And, of course, don't forget the advertising:

carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 07
carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 08
carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 09
carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 10

That 40" x 60" enlargement probably would rank as one of the most expensive items of Lombard film memorabilia...

carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 09a

...and that 27" X 41" item would be worth a few hundred pounds, too:

carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 10a

Then there are always the posters:

carole lombard swing high, swing low uk pressbook 11

All this was designed to make "Swing High, Swing Low" as popular with British moviegoers as it was on the other side of "the pond."

Lamour is so identified with wearing sarongs or being Bob Hope and Bing Crosby's romantic foil in the "Road" movies that her own vocal talents often are overlooked, but here's a delightful version of "Panamania," which she performed in "Swing High, Swing Low." This is from a overseas 78 rpm release, so there's a little surface noise, but it doesn't detract from the recording.



Carole's shown in a glimmering Christmas pose in our latest Lombard LiveJournal holiday header.
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