No, this entry is not about "Plan Nine From Outer Space" -- I doubt Carole Lombard had any influence on Ed Wood, since she likely never owned any angora sweaters -- but it does deal with something Criswell was famous for: predictions. Not by Criswell, mind you, but by someone Lombard knew and in fact acted with...
...Hedda Hopper, shown here with Lombard in the 1929 Pathe film "The Racketeer."
By the end of the following decade, Hopper had given up acting to become Hollywood columnist for the Los Angeles Times, giving the city's most prominent newspaper a rival to Louella Parsons of the Hearst press. And a few days into 1941 -- Jan. 3, to be exact -- Hopper decided to make her predictions for the coming year: And not just for the film industry but the war-torn world as a whole.
Actually, these predictions didn't come from Hedda herself, she said, but from a friend of hers named Darcos, whom she said had "been taking care of Hollywood folk for years."
So what did he see for a certain couple from Encino?
"A good year for Gable. There shall be many rumors of speculation, it will be gossip, and Carole is due for a baby."
As we sadly know, that last prediction was inaccurate. In fact, at the time this was published, the Gables were at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, publicly for an old nagging injury of Clark's but actually to determine why the couple couldn't conceive (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/86196.html). Perhaps they heard about it once they returned to the Coast a few days later.
Other Hollywood predictions, some right...
* "Hollywood will have an active picture year." (Indeed it was; some observers rate '41 right up there with 1939 for excellence of output.)
* "Norma Shearer's light will begin to dim." (It did, as she would make her final film the following year.)
* "No marriage for Garbo. She'll have a quiet year, except for one picture." (And her last -- "Two-Faced Woman.")
...some, not so accurate:
* "Myrna Loy and Arthur Hornblow shouldn't divorce; results bad for Myrna's career." (They wouldn't divorce until 1942, and it didn't hurt her popularity any, though war work limited her film output.)
* "Rumors about Paulette (Goddard) and Charlie (Chaplin), but they won't divorce because they are well mated." (They would divorce the same month Loy and Hornblow did.)
There were other predictions, too. A split between Russia and Germany was predicted "within 120 days" (it took a little longer, until June), but immediately preceding that was a prediction that in 1942 "Germany and Italy will turn communistic," the latter after Mussolini's fall from power in August or September. Winston Churchill's passing was forecast for 1942. As for U.S. involvement in what already was being called World War II:
* "We will not send troops to Europe, although in six months Germany will blow up some of our ships, hoping that will get us into war with Japan."
Here's hoping your predictions for 2010 are accurate...provided they're nice ones. (And you can find the column at http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/2010/01/a-kinder-simpler-time-dept-your-movie-columnist.html.)