For those of you out skiing -- cross-country or downhill -- over this Presidents' Day weekend in the U.S., a gift to those using a laptop at the lodge. It's Carole Lombard, dressed up for winter fun as her character Ann Smith, in a publicity still for "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," a testament to the deceptive power of studio snow. (This was almost certainly taken on the RKO lot.)
It's an 8" x 10" original, in very good condition, and the seller says it includes a seven-line snipe on the back. (Unfortunately, the snipe is not shown nor its exact wording stated.) You can buy it straight up for $20, although the sale will end at 12:53 p.m. (Eastern) on Monday. To purchase, or learn more, visit http://cgi.ebay.com/Carole-Lombard-41-Hitchcock-Original-Photo-/260697385170?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cb2c668d2.
The seller, the Motion Picture Arts Gallery, is located in East Rutherford, N.J., best known to the world as home of the sports complex where the NFL's Giants and Jets play (and, not long ago, the NHL's Devils and NBA's Nets). It's owned by the former chairman of the Film Society at Lincoln Center (which did a Lombard retrospective back in 1987), and prides itself on selling strictly original material -- no reproductions.
The eBay sale site links to the gallery's website, and a quick search for Carole Lombard leads to all sorts of fascinating things. Perhaps the most exciting, from my perspective, is this lobby card from 1925's "Hearts And Spurs," a Fox western now deemed lost (as is the case with all the films Lombard made before her 1926 automobile accident):
Lombard, then all of 16 (this film was released in June 1925), is probably the woman standing in the white outfit; she and Jean Lamott are the only women listed in the cast. This Buck Jones vehicle (the movie, not the car!) was directed by W.S. Van Dyke, who would become an MGM stalwart in the 1930s for "Trader Horn" and the first two teamings of William Powell and Myrna Loy, "Manhattan Melodrama" and "The Thin Man."
The price on that lobby card is $300, also the same price as this lobby card rarity from Carole's first film at Columbia, "Virtue":
Superb art work, with a lovely rendering of Lombard in a red dress as she meets Pat O'Brien and his fellow New York cabbies. It's a still image I've never seen before -- either as a lobby card or as a publicity pic -- and in very good condition.
We've previously run a photo of Lombard, co-star Fred MacMurray and director Mitchell Leisen meeting Paramount mogul Adolph Zukor on the set of "Swing High, Swing Low." Here's another one from that shoot; here, all four are seated:
This 8" x 10" still is being sold for $75. So is this still, inadvertently credited from the website as being from "Nothing Scared":
Hey, the idea of a squirrel on my shoulder would've made me "scared," too...especially if I had been previously injured by a wild animal (as Lombard was a few years earlier, when a monkey scarred her arm during the filming of "White Woman"). Aside from that incident, Carole must have had an almost supernatural rapport with animals. A snipe from Selznick International is attached to the back, and perhaps publicist Russell Birdwell can explain just why this rodent is perched on her shoulder.
To learn more about the Motion Picture Arts Gallery, go to http://www.mpagallery.com/intro/index.asp.