Here, Lombard is definitely dressed in character as fibbing housewife Helen Bartlett, though the expression on her face is in more in line with an angry old man telling kids to stay off the lawn rather than anything Helen does during the movie. MacMurray appears more confused than bemused, and Merkel is simply glad she has Fred in between herself and Carole.
This is an original 8" x 10" photo, with a stamp of Dec. 28, 1937 on the back, not long after "True Confession" was released by Paramount. It's considered in excellent condition.
The photo will be up for auction through 4:32 p.m. (Eastern) on Tuesday; one bid, for $24.99, has been made as of this writing. If you'd like to win the bidding, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/Orig-1937-Carole-LOMBARD-Fred-MacMURRAY-Una-MERKEL-Pic-/190447491539?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c578e19d3.
And speaking of Merkel, here's an attractive postcard of her:
I bring this up because I found it among the Lombard items listed at eBay, even though it's 1) clearly not Carole, and 2) Merkel is identified on the postcard. Why this evaded the seller (not the same one selling the top photo, let me make that clear) is beyond me. One guesses they either never heard of Merkel, one of the great character actresses of classic Hollywood, or they thought it was a name of a character Lombard portrayed. Weird. (Perhaps on the top photo, Carole -- feeling sympathy for Merkel -- is giving those sellers a piece of her mind.)
If you're a Merkel fan and would like the postcard, you can buy it for $9.99. Go to http://cgi.ebay.com/B8434-Movie-Star-postcard-Carole-Lombard-Metro-goldwyn-/370405262960?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item563ddfc670.