vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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One immaculate lady, man

In purely artistic terms, "Ladies' Man" was a programmer, little more. But it was Carole Lombard's second film with William Powell, whom she'd marry in late June 1931, not long after its release. Powell had already made a few films with Kay Francis, although their splendid chemistry would reach full flower when both went to Warners in 1932. (And, of course, Lombard and Francis would work together in the 1939 drama "In Name Only.")

When I saw "Ladies' Man" at the old Theater 80 St. Marks in lower Manhattan in the late 1980s, I didn't think much of Lombard's performance. Based upon the lone comment made about the movie at IMDb, perhaps I should give it another look, though it's difficult to track down. (Unlike Powell's first film with Carole, "Man Of The World" -- made earlier in '31 -- it has received no official DVD release.)

I thought about "Ladies' Man" after coming across a publicity still made by ace Paramount portrait artist Eugene Robert Richee (1896-1972), who took plenty of magnificent pictures of Carole. Richee, for several years head of Paramount's still photography studio, captured her glamour as well as any photographer of his era. The photo below makes that evident:

That is the type of portrait that dares you not to double-click it to view at its full, glorious size, just to examine Carole's stunning face. (Also note two "tricks" she uses to disguise the slight scar from her automobile accident five years earlier -- she's photographed at a slight angle away from the scar, and she's also placing her fingers over the scar, simultaneously giving the impression she's deep in thought. Which she may well be.)

This solo shot could well be part of Paramount's p1202 collection of Lombard images...but it isn't. Instead, it is marked 828-65, "828" being the code number for "Ladies' Man." It's a 7 1/2" x 9 1/2" original, slightly trimmed and in excellent condition.

And if you want it, prepare to pay. Bidding for this photo begins at $294.95, and as of this writing, no bids have been made. There's plenty of time, though, because bidding ends at 11:30 p.m. (Eastern) on Wednesday.

If you'd like to place this in your collection, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Carole-Lombard-31-GORGEOUS-Portrait-RICHEE-/380317415563?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item588caf388b.

Just as a point of comparison, here's another Richee portrait from that session, also released as part of the "Ladies' Man" issue:

Maybe it's me, but I prefer the first picture, the one being auctioned. In the second one, she appears less sure of herself, almost seeming vacant upstairs.

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