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'Made For Each Other,' just a bit differently



This photo of Carole Lombard was taken in her dressing room while she worked on Selznick International's "Made For Each Other," It was an important transitional film for Lombard, as she temporarily bid adieu to her throne as "queen of the screwballs," something the snipe on the back seemed to indicate:



"REFLECTION -- Carole Lombard as a serious-minded bride in Selznick International's 'Made For Each Other,' in which she is starred with James Stewart in a domestic drama of young married love, her first straight role since she reigned as the queen of 'screwball' comedy in the screen era just closed. Picture also presents Charles Coburn and Lucile Watson, directed by John Cromwell."

Selznick publicity genius Russell Birdwell was giving the screwball genre a premature burial, however; several good films were still on the horizon, including one made by Carole roughly two years hence ("Mr. & Mrs. Smith").

Here are two posters from "Made For Each Other," using an identical picture, but with several notable differences. First...



...a film that bills Carole ahead of Stewart (and don't you like that safety pin "attachment"?). Now, a poster that uses the same artwork, but changes things around a bit:



Here, Stewart is top-billed, Lombard second and Coburn is added. So what gives?

Look at the smaller print and you may have a hint. The first photo correctly lists the screenplay as being by Jo Swerling, the second by "Joe" Swerling. A check of my "Made For Each Other" online inventory shows the same misspelling for this lobby card:



Underneath "Joe" is the line "Released thru Film Classics." We know that in 1943, this firm acquired reissuing rights to several Selznick International films, including "Nothing Sacred" and "Made For Each Other." By this time, Lombard was dead, Stewart an Air Force pilot and Coburn was not only working, but would win a best supporting actor Academy Award for "The More The Merrier." So it would make sense that Film Classics would want to play up Coburn's involvement. (As with its spelling, its rendering of the Lombard-Stewart photo is also demonstrably inferior to the earlier version.)

No matter which of these posters you may prefer, you can obtain 11" x 17" reproductions on eBay. Nine copies of each poster are available as of this writing; you can buy one straight up for $6.99 or make a bid. This will last through 12:09 a.m. (Eastern) on Feb. 8, so you have some time.

For the first, the original from Selznick International, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/Made-Each-Other-POSTER-Movie-11x17-Carole-Lombard-/180610429725?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a0d38731d. As for the second poster, the one that lists Coburn, visit http://cgi.ebay.com/Made-Each-Other-POSTER-Movie-11x14-Carole-Lombard-/170588520146?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27b7de3ed2.
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