vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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The play's the thing (that could be a movie)

Those of us still irked by the mediocre biopic "Gable And Lombard" (and many would say "mediocre" is a generous description) have long yearned for a Carole Lombard biopic. Well, there's good news -- we may be getting one. But first, some background on the source it's coming from:

In the 1980s and '90s, veteran screenwriter and film historian Michael Druxman (he wrote the Charlton Heston volume in the Pyramid series of film-related paperbacks) wrote a series of one-person plays about Hollywood legends such as Spencer Tracy, Orson Welles, Clara Bow and Clark Gable. Such a play about Carole Lombard seemed appropriate after the success of the Gable work. Druxman's setting has Carole, following the success of her bond rally in Indianapolis, is back at her hotel room, awaiting word on whether she will be allowed to fly back to Los Angeles, where she suspects her husband is cheating on her. Lombard looks back at her personal life and profesional career with humor and determination.

"Lombard" has had three productions, according to Druxman, who directed all three. The Glendale News Press called it "an engrossing one-woman show." (This play should not be confused with another one-woman play called "Carole" that ran for a few days in Los Angeles in February 2001 and received a tepid review. I myself have never seen either play.)

On June 17, Druxman -- who moved to Austin, Texas, not long ago -- made this announcement on Twitter:

"I'm going to adapt my 1-woman play on Carole Lombard into a screenplay. Maybe we'll shoot it here in Austin."

Three days later, he issued this followup:

"Adapting my 1-woman Carole Lombard play into a movie is presenting an interesting set of challenges. I like challenges."

Those challenges include how much he'll expand the story, adding more characters and scenes. Assuming the story is still set at the time of the bond rally, does he add more about the Indianapolis trip? Do we see her mother, Bess Peters, and MGM publicist Otto Winkler, both of whom accompanied her on this trip? Do you do "flashback" scenes about Lombard's life, and if so, how many? Do you include Gable, Powell, Columbo?

Obviously financial constraints come to mind as well, although "Gable And Lombard" could have had a budget the size of "Cleopatra" and the script still would have sunk it. One would expect the actress who would play Lombard would be a relative unknown -- although with Druxman's decades of experience in the film industry, he might have a surprise up his sleeve.

Whatever, we wish Druxman well with his "challenge" in getting the job done, and await the finished product.

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