September 12th, 2019

carole lombard 04
  • vp19

You've got (snail) mail! An epistle history of Hollywood

Above is a letter Carole Lombard sent on Paramount stationery in February 1937 to a family in Maplewood, N.J., regretting that she could not accept their invitation to a daughter's birthday party because she was at work on her latest film, "Swing High, Swing Low." It's rather charming.

Now a new book explores an assortment of letters written by many filmland notables...

It's "Letters From Hollywood," edited by writer-director-producer Rocky Lang (son of esteemed producer Jennings Lang and my late Facebook friend, singer-actress Monica Lewis) and film historian Barbara Hall. It takes us back to a time when tweets were for birds and mail was sent via envelopes, not the ether.

Lombard isn't part of this edition; neither are the likes of Clark Gable and John Ford. (Maybe next time.) From the silent era through the 1970s, these examples of correspondence reflect on a more thoughtful era, something that went with the territory in those halcyon days.

The book, released Tuesday, features letters from Greta Garbo, David O. Selznick, Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, Jane Fonda, Errol Flynn, Marlon Brando and so many more.

You can order the book via at If you'd like to meet Lang and Hall, check out their schedule:

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