So, how did she do it? Just how did Carole Lombard bag one of Hollywood's major stars -- Clark Gable? (Okay, so technically he was married, but to borrow a title of one of Lombard's films, the public knew it was "in name only.")
The June 1939 issue of Movie Mirror supplies the answer, and thanks to Tally Haugen, I can share it with you. And that answer is: be multiple women.
No, Carole hadn't come up with a 1930s version of cloning herself. But depending upon the situation, she could make herself be a paragon of femininity at one time, show toughness the equal of any man at another.
Here's the story, "How To Get Your Own Clark Gable," by S.B. Mook:
(Isn't that a great photo of Carole with James Stewart, apparently in the same Selznick International office where Lombard played studio publicist for a week?)
As was the case with the fan magazine story in yesterday's entry, many, if not all, of the "quotes" attributed to Lombard are probably from the writer. At the same time, Mook (whom I believe to be male) does provide a more authentic "voice" for Carole than the earlier piece; you can actually imagine her saying some of these things. Such as:
"When we (women) go out at night we have to be strictly feminine. Our escorts expect it. They want to be flattered, to be listened to. They like to think we're helpless little things -- and so we play our parts. But we're only playing."
"It's up to every working girl, whether she earns ten dollars a week or a thousand, to be a regular businessman and she has to be prepared to face a roomful of men and tell them what's what. And with no masculine shoulder to lean on, either."
"The day of the clinging vine is gone and I, for one, don't mourn her passing. It's one thing to let a man teach you to swim or play golf or tennis, but can you imagine what would happen if girls started swooning all over the place as they used to do? Or uttering silly little shrieks and jumping on chairs every time a bug appeared?"
"The sporting sections of the papers are no longer written for and read exclusively by men. Women are just as interested in these things. They have to be in order to talk with even a semblance of intelligence to their boyfriends about the things in which the latter are interested."
"The only marriages today that last are those where the husband and wife have a community of interest and you can't have anything in common with a man if you've constantly to be taken care of."
Lombard the feminist, Lombard the feminine...some splendid advice that's applicable even if you're not a celebrity.
It's no wonder that in the next-to-last paragraph, Mook describes "Carole as a gallant modern girl who knows how to get her man -- because she has the qualities to hold him and make him happy." And without sacrificing her own happiness, either.