In light of what was to come some years later, the teaming of Carole Lombard and Clark Gable so looms over the 1932 Paramount film "No Man Of Her Own" that it's sometimes treated as if they were the only two characters in the movie. They aren't, of course, and in fact while Lombard has fine on-screen chemistry with Gable, it's her work in some of the other scenes, particularly early in the film, that makes many believe it's one of her two best starring roles before "Twentieth Century" moved her up in the Hollywood hierarchy. (The other candidate often cited is Columbia's "Virtue.")
Wesley Ruggles, who directed "No Man Of Her Own," said as such to author Larry Swindell in the biography "Screwball," labeling Lombard's work in the film a "revelation":
"Somebody complained that she didn't seem to be acting, which was one hell of a complaint. Because it didn't look like acting, it was so damn natural. Look at the picture today. It's dated, but her work hasn't. She's very fresh. She's playing straight, but using comedy technique, too. Those idiots who'd taken over the studio -- they couldn't even see that. Well, the critics didn't see it either. She was wonderful, but it just passed by."
Here are two photos of Lombard, as small-town librarian Connie Randall, at home with her family; I don't recall whether this was before or after her character met Gable's:
Both of these photos -- each 8" x 10", in excellent shape, on heavy linen-backed paper -- are now available at auction. (According to the seller, there are no snipes or other information on the back of either photo other than "just hand written pencil notation of the movie title.") Bidding starts at $8.98, and somewhat surprisingly, no bids have been placed as of this writing; bidding closes at 12:13 p.m. (Eastern) on Wednesday. If this strikes your interest, or you simply want to learn more, visit http://cgi.ebay.com/Original-30s-young-Carole-Lombard-Movie-Still-photos-/250700711064?pt=Art_Photo_Images&hash=item3a5eed4498.
Finally, we mark the passing of Gloria Stuart, nearly three months after she became a centenarian (which we noted at http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/318284.html) -- and thankfully, her health remained strong until the end, enabling her to participate in a public centennial celebration of her life in late July.
According to one respondent at a Turner Classic Movies message board, "Sometimes, during her heyday in Hollywood, she would be mistaken for Carole Lombard by fans. In later years, Gloria often joked about this situation of her mistaken identity." Interesting. Here's a photo of Stuart (who I know was at a number of social gatherings Lombard attended, so they probably were acquaintances). Is there a resemblance? You be the judge:
I like to think that somewhere, Carole and Gloria are now sharing a laugh over that mistaken identity story.