December 23rd, 2017

carole lombard 06
  • vp19

With a pop for publicity



When asked about "Marriage in Transit" -- her 1925 Fox feature with Edmund Lowe -- in later years, Carole Lombard criticized her performance as overemotional. (Alas, we can't make our own evaluation, since the original print was destroyed in a fire 80 years ago; like the several titles she made before her automobile accident, it has not resurfaced.) But thanks to the trade magazine Exhibitors Herald, a heretofore unknown photo of her during production has been found.



It's at the bottom of this picture page from the March 28 issue, and may well be the first still image of Lombard during production of a movie. (Directly above is a pic of President Coolidge with Olympic champion runner Paavo Nurmi; Carole's athletic character in the 1928 Sennett short "Run, Girl, Run" was named Norma Nurmi.) A slightly larger version of the Lombard photo is below:



The "feminine lead" (apparently the only woman in the cast according to reports, so she gained that honor by default) is shown having a bottle of soda (or "pop," if that's your preference) with Lowe, director R. William Neill and Lew Cody, a major star in those days. (His last film before unexpectedly dying May 31, 1934 at age 50 was "Shoot the Works" with Dorothy Dell, who at age 19 was killed in an auto accident in early July.)

On April 25, Exhibitors Herald reviewed "Marriage in Transit":



The reviewer said one of the film's highlights was the "charm of Carole Lombard," so her performance couldn't have that bad...unless said "charm" disguised incompetent acting. Let's hope one day we have a chance to judge for ourselves.
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