Imagine, for example, a film where Carole and Myrna are rivals for the same man. We'll set this hypothetical film at MGM, Loy's home studio, and Metro officials would understandably want that man to be one of their stars. William Powell? An obvious candidate, but let's go in a different direction and choose another Metro luminary with links to both Lombard and Loy -- Clark Gable:
From the way this scene is positioned, it appears Myrna has the inside track on winning Clark's heart (or, should I say, the heart of Clark's character). No surprise there -- did you actually think Louis B. Mayer would let an outsider, especially one from Paramount, beat out "the queen of Hollywood" for the love of "the king"?
Actually, this isn't from a movie, but is an actual photo of Gable, Loy and Lombard at the Los Angeles Tennis Club in late September 1937, and it ran in the Chicago Tribune:
Many thanks to Tally for working on the photo to eliminate the Tribune watermark and the crop marks. The result is the best picture I've ever seen of Carole and Myrna. Perhaps an MGM publicist had Lombard and Loy switch seats to put the two Metro stars together; by this time, most film fans knew Clark and Carole were an "item." (And I had no idea Myrna was a tennis fan.)
Here's the caption as the photo originally ran:
Film Stars Drop In at Tennis Matches
"Film Actresses Myrna Loy (center) and Carole Lombard showing they're no different from feminine film fans. While Clark Gable looks at a match at the Los Angeles Tennis Club, Myrna and Carole look at him, with no wire netting to obstruct their view."
Yes, and once the photo was taken, Lombard returned to concentrating on the match.
Tally also worked on two other photos of Carole from the Tribune archive, and here's the finished product on both, along with what is on the back of each:
The top photo was received at the Tribune in March of 1939, and I believe it was used to promote "Made For Each Other." About a third of a century later, in May 1972, the Tribune used the photo in its TV section to illustrate an upcoming telecast of "My Man Godfrey." The bottom photo has a somewhat similar history -- it's also from Selznick International Pictures for "Made For Each Other" (we learn it premiered in Chicago at the United Artists Theater on March 18), and the portrait was re-used in July 1974 to illustrate an installment from Warren G. Harris' new book "Gable & Lombard."
The three photos are among a group of seven Lombard pictures from the Tribune archive that are up for auction at eBay this week -- and none of the seven has been bid on as of this writing (the minimum bid for each is $24.99). I'm especially surprised the Gable-Loy-Lombard photo has received no bids, since all three stars have an array of fans.
For Myrna, Clark and Carole, where bidding ends at 8:19 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/CT-Chicago-Trib-Clark-Gable-Carole-Lombard-Myrna-Loy-/250699556316?pt=Art_Photo_Images&hash=item3a5edba5dc.
For the portrait of Lombard in a dark dress, for which bids end at 11:07 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday, visit http://cgi.ebay.com/CT-Chicago-Tribune-Photo-Carole-Lombard-/260666941515?pt=Art_Photo_Images&hash=item3cb0f5e04b.
For Carole in the light dress, check out http://cgi.ebay.com/CT-Chicago-Tribune-Photo-Carole-Lombard-/260666938489?pt=Art_Photo_Images&hash=item3cb0f5d479; bidding concludes at 10:57 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday.
(To see all seven, go to http://stores.ebay.com/TribunePhotos/_i.html?_nkw=Carole+Lombard&LH_SellerWithStore=1&LH_TitleDesc=1&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_sasi=1&_sop=1.)
Oh, and can anyone here conjure up ideas for a hypothetical movie starring Gable, Lombard and Loy?