vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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Tom, Dick and Harry as Carole, Jean and Lucy!

That's a poster for the 1941 Ginger Rogers romantic comedy "Tom, Dick And Harry" (directed by Garson Kanin), in which Ginger portrays a lady who has to choose among three suitors. How'd this come to mind? Credit (or blame) the message boards at the Turner Classic Movies website.

A recent topic at "general discussions" was "film pairings that never were," so I put my two cents in with some comments about Carole Lombard (who heretofore hadn't been included in the conversation):

As a Carole Lombard fan, I can think of several stars she should have been teamed with, and indeed might have had she not left us at a relatively young age. For male co-stars:

James Cagney
Humphrey Bogart
Edward G. Robinson
Errol Flynn
Henry Fonda
Tyrone Power
Paul Muni
Cary Grant*

*Grant and Lombard appeared in several films, and even co-starred in "In Name Only," but the acknowledged top stars of the screwball genre never made a comedy together.

There weren't many co-star pairings of actresses in those days, but it would've been fun to see Lombard work with Myrna Loy (their comedic approaches were quite different, but they might have complemented each other) or her good friend Jean Harlow (imagine them cast as sisters).

Well, that last comment triggered this response, from someone known there as "ClassicViewer"...

I think a movie with Carole Lombard, Jean Harlow and Lucille Ball as sisters competing for the same man would've been a scream. Of course, that man would have to be Cary Grant!

Intriguing idea, that...

In effect, you'd be giving the aforementioned Tom, Dick and Harry the same cinematic estrogen that transformed "The Front Page" reporter Hildy Johnson into "His Girl Friday's" Rosalind Russell:

Two responses brought up Clark Gable as a substitute for Grant. My response to that, and some more insight on what this movie might have been like (though I didn't necessarily view the three ladies as sisters), was as follows:

This could be sort of a distaff version of "Tom, Dick and Harry." Trying to imagine this film; we'll set it in 1936, while Harlow was still with us (although Ball hadn't really made her mark yet), but who ends up getting Cary? (Since Carole was already involved with Clark in real life, he'd be disqualified from the male lead.)

* They agree to face each other in tennis, which means Lombard easily wins (unless Harlow gets Ginger Rogers to fill in for her; Ginger was nearly as good at tennis as Carole)

* They agree to a round of golf (edge to Harlow -- that was her game).

* They agree to a sport that Ball was good at (and I have no idea what that would have been, although I'm sure Lucy was quite athletic).

* Cary gives them a test, which he grades (and Lombard had better hope he doesn't grade on spelling -- while Carole was a bright lady, spelling was her weak link).

* Cary pulls a twist at the end, ditching them all for...Myrna Loy. (Hey, she is the "perfect wife," right?)

Boy, that movie would have been fun...

Imagining Lombard, Harlow and Ball vying for the same man is pretty tantalizing, isn't it? (Especially if you were the man they were vying for.) Fill out this hypothetical film. Give me a setting, more background on the characters, some of the things they might do, etc. And, most important, who comes out on top?

Put your thinking caps on, play imaginary screenwriter circa 1936, and create some scenes (and gags). At the very least, it will get you through what here in the eastern U.S. is turning out to be a scorcher of a weekend.

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