January 1st, 2018

carole lombard 01
  • vp19

Press-ing for a 'Confession'

As fate would have it, the first Carole & Co. entry of 2018 deals with the final movie I saw in 2017, Carole Lombard in "True Confession." (Carole is shown with leading man Fred MacMurray and her character's best friend, Una Merkel, who may or may not be faking her faint.)

"True Confession" has nearly the same title as a popular magazine of the era, True Confessions, so a tie-in between the two was a match made in marketing heaven (or an early example of product placement, if you prefer to see it that way). So the cover of the film's pressbook is strikingly similar to how the actual magazine appeared on newsstands. For proof, that pressbook cover, followed by Lombard on an actual True Confessions cover (from August 1934):

The pressbook, from Paramount, is on sale at eBay. The seller describes it as measuring 15" x 19", in excellent condition, and 32 pages long. Here are several of the inside pages, plus the back cover:

I think it can safely be said this was the biggest publicity push Paramount had ever given a Lombard starring vehicle -- although the first two films to put her on the map, 1934's "Twentieth Century" and 1936's "My Man Godfrey," were made at Columbia and Universal respectively, and "True Confession" was more or less shown concurrently with another top-tier Lombard movie, Selznick International's Technicolor "Nothing Sacred."

This folded, complete and uncut pressbook is being sold for $49.99 under eBay's "buy it now" policy, and will be available for purchase until 2:15 p.m. (Eastern) Jan. 31. If you'd like to add this to your collection or merely are curious, go to https://www.ebay.com/itm/TRUE-CONFESSION-Fred-MacMurray-CAROLE-LOMBARD-John-Barrymore-1937-PRESSBOOK/232604711370?hash=item36285239ca:g:H2EAAOSwi0RXx30w.

Incidentally, several other mock covers were created as film tie-ins, either as theater giveaways or as a cover to the title song's sheet music:

I hope your 2018 is off to a strong start.
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