vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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Carole Lombard...director

Throughout Hollywood history, there have been more than a few actors who eventually turned to directing, but the number of actresses who made the move has been comparatively small. Certainly during the Golden Age, the only one who made any sort of impact (commercial or artistic) was Ida Lupino.

Fate prevented us from learning whether Carole Lombard would eventually have taken that route. Perhaps not -- she might have been more interested in producing. However, Carole did get a chance to play director and turn the tables on one of the industry's greats.

It came during what would be her penultimate film, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," known in film history as the only romantic comedy ever directed by, of all people, Alfred Hitchcock. He did it as a favor to Lombard, who had rented her Bel-Air home to him after she married Clark Gable; one wonders whether, if Lombard had lived longer, she might have starred under his direction in fare more typical for the master of suspense.

Anyway, Hitchcock had a tradition of inserting himself into a brief cameo in all of his films, and he does likewise here, playing a man who is bumped on the street by Robert Montgomery's character. Carole asked to be the one to put Hitch through his paces, and he readily agreed -- knowing it would be good publicity for the production.

Lombard, the de facto producer of the film as the driving force behind it, had plenty of fun directing, as these pictures show.

And here's the finished product. As you can tell, the cinematographer used the "day for night" effect...

Tags: alfred hitchcock, directing, mr. & mrs. smith

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