A bit of good news for Carole Lombard fans: "The Eagle And The Hawk," the 1933 movie about World War I pilots in which she has a relatively small role, will be available on DVD for $19.99 on Jan. 26 (http://turnerclassic.moviesunlimited.com/Product.asp?sku=D05284). It's part of a collection of Cary Grant films Turner Classic Movies is releasing...although you'll only see Carole paired with Fredric March, not Cary. As it is making available much of the Warner archive of classic Warners, MGM and RKO product, Turner is now doing likewise with films from the Universal and pre-1948 Paramount catalog.
The news got me thinking about this:
Most of you are probably aware of this, the 6-film, 2-disc "Carole Lombard: The Glamour Collection," issued more than 3 1/2 years ago by Universal. Many of you probably own it. Well, since TCM has just put out a second volume of Esther Williams films (the lady deserves it; I heard her on the radio some years back when she was promoting her autobiography, and she was engaging and genuinely funny), why not a sequel for Carole?
And so, we are going to create a hypothetical "Carole Lombard: The Glamour Collection, Vol. 2." We'll use the same criteria as the first -- six films, all from the Paramount catalog (which Universal owns), none of which have officially been issued on DVD. Aside from one notable exception, I am pretty sure Universal holds the rights to these titles. Remember, you can only select six.
Here goes, listed chronologically:
"Safety In Numbers," 1930
"Fast And Loose," 1930
"It Pays To Advertise," 1931
"Ladies' Man," 1931
"Up Pops The Devil," 1931
"I Take This Woman," 1931*
"No One Man," 1932
"Sinners In The Sun," 1932
"From Hell To Heaven," 1933
"White Woman," 1933
(I put an asterisk beside "I Take This Woman" because Universal may not have the rights to this film -- to find out why, go to http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/45444.html. If you include this among your six, do list an alternate title were this not to be made available.)
There you have it -- 13 films, including "I Take This Woman." I honestly can't call any of them classics, but they provide insight into the pre-major stardom, pre-Code Lombard. (Only "Rumba" was made after the Code began to be strictly enforced in mid-1934.)
So choose your six. (What are mine? You'll have to check under the cut -- but decide on yours first.) And who knows...maybe Turner will heed our advise and team with Universal to issue a second Lombard collection. (We can dream, can't we?)
Not an easy decision, is it? Here's what I've come up with:
"Safety In Numbers" -- her Paramount debut.
"Fast And Loose" -- written by Preston Sturges, and the only film Lombard made in New York (at Paramount's Astoria studios).
"Ladies' Man" -- a complement to "Man Of The World," also with William Powell, in the first collection.
"I Take This Woman" -- a nearly lost film with Carole and Gary Cooper; perhaps the least-viewed Lombard film out there, simply because it was lost for so long.
"Supernatural" -- not one of Lombard's favorite film assignments, but an intriguing anomaly in her career.
"Bolero" -- the first of two dance films she made with George Raft. Its pre-Code sensuality can be compared with the other Lombard/Raft collaboration...
"Rumba" -- nowhere as interesting as "Bolero," though it has its moments.
(Were "I Take This Woman" to be unavailable, subsititue "Sinners In The Sun"; Carole and Cary instead of Carole and Gary, though Grant frankly has a small early role here and Chester Morris is Lombard's leading man.)
Now let's see your choices.