vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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Lombard, in any language

There were numerous reasons why the major American studios initially resisted sound films; one of them was the fear that with dialogue, much of their overseas revenues would be lost. As it turned out, the industry lost little of its luster internationally. The Hollywood product's sheen still had plenty of appeal, and subtitles or dubbing proved a worthy substitute for title cards. It wasn't until the late 1930s, first when Germany barred output from American studios and then when war clouded Europe, that U.S. studios' revenues on the other side of the Atlantic sharply declined.

Carole Lombard probably never received any formal schooling in a foreign language, although like most southern Californians of her time she likely learned a smattering of Spanish for her occasional forays into nearby Mexico. And she never made any foreign-language versions of her films, an occasional practice in the early days of sound. (Maurice Chevalier's "The Big Pond" was also made in French, while a few Laurel & Hardy films were made in several languages, with Stan and Ollie speaking phonetically. It worked on the other side of the pond, too -- think of the English and German-lauguage versions of Marlene Dietrich's breakthrough film, "The Blue Angel.")

Carole was not only a popular actress in America, but also in other countries, even those where English wasn't spoken. Proof dates back to the start of her Paramount tenure, when her looks must have won the admiration of some Portuguese editor. Witness this cover, from September 1930:

That same magazine, Cinefilo, ran another Lombard cover the following May (and apparently hadn't received word that she now had an "e" at the end of her first name):

Spanish-language fans also liked Lombard. Here's the magainze Continental in 1938:

And the Mexican magazine Cinelandia from April 1939:

Finally, some foreign-language Lombard film posters, first for "Bolero" (in French, then Spanish)...

...and for "Nothing Sacred."

Muy bueno!
Tags: bolero, cinefilo, cinelandia, continental, nothing sacred

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