"My story is much too sad to be told,
But practically ev'rything leaves me totally cold
The only exception I know is the case
When I'm out on a quiet spree
Fighting vainly the old ennui
And I suddenly turn and see
Your fabulous face..."
-- "I Get A Kick Out Of You," Cole Porter
That last line (notably in Frank Sinatra's 1953 version of the standard) invariably conjures up thoughts of this book, among the first books I purchased after I developed an interest in Carole Lombard:
It's called "More Fabulous Faces," and it was written by Larry Carr in 1979 as a followup to his successful "Four Fabulous Faces," which had been issued nine years earlier:
That first book examined Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and Gloria Swanson; in the sequel, Lombard gets similar treatment, along with Bette Davis, Dolores Del Rio, Katharine Hepburn and Myrna Loy. (When the books were issued, Carole was the only one of the nine stars no longer living.)
Each profile features dozens of photos of the actress (the Lombard segment has 154 pics of her), along with detailed discussions of how her look evolved over the years. (Carr interviewed Loy, and her thoughts are particularly illuminating.)
As one reviewer to amazon.com wrote in 2005:
I've always felt Davis and Hepburn may have been included for their still being household names and good selling points for the book, though they certainly deserve to be in here, Carr is clearly not as enthusiastic about them as the other ladies and Davis particularly gets a bit of criticism that is sound but seems a little inappropiate given the way he praises Del Rio, Loy, and Lombard to the skies.
Since Lombard and Loy are my two all-time favorite actresses, I'm not complaining.
Now, you can get "More Fabulous Faces," as it's available at eBay. Bids start at $8.99 (none have been made as of this writing), and bidding closes at 8:16 p.m. (Eastern) Wednesday. The 265-page book is considered to be in very good condition. To bid, or learn more, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/MORE-FABULOUS-FACES-BETTE-DAVIS-CAROLE-LOMBARD-1ST-BOOK-/330508951811?pt=US_Nonfiction_Book&hash=item4cf3de6103.