Carole Lombard may not have deemed "Fools For Scandal" the worst movie she ever made (she reportedly gave that dishonor to "The Gay Bride"), but in terms of promising much and delivering (relatively) little, it would be hard to beat "Fools." While "Bride" was an MGM production and had some of that studio's fabled sheen, it was a second-tier production, more or less a programmer from the lion of Culver City. "Fools" was meant to be much more, made at a time when Lombard was arguably the hottest actress in the industry. There was even talk that Warners was aiming to make Carole its comedic queen of the lot, now that Marion Davies had unofficially retired from the screen and Bette Davis -- who could do comedy when called upon -- was wrapped up in dramas.
Things didn't turn out quite that way. Warners, which made some excellent pre-Code comedies (check out James Cagney's "Hard To Handle" for proof), never quite acclimated itself to the screwball genre; writing was the key to screwball, and there was no Ben Hecht or Norman Krasna in Burbank. Lombard makes every effort to enliven "Fools," but a mismatched leading man (Fernand Gravet) and a lackluster story results in a comedy with little, if any, spark.
We don't know if Carole realized she was taking part in a cinematic misfire, if pictures taken during production are indicative. Take this one, for instance:
Looks like she's having a fun time. (Would that the film have been as charming as this candid.) As it was, Warners used this as a publicity photo (the "FS" in the lower left-hand corner is proof). Here's a close-up of Carole:
This picture only measures 4" x 5 (listed in fine condition)", but it's already making a big impact at eBay; three bids have been made as of this writing, topping at $6.50. Bids will close at 9:40 p.m. (Eastern) July 31. If you want to place a bid, visit http://cgi.ebay.com/1938-CAROLE-LOMBARD-FOOL-SCANDAL-POSED-CANDID-PHOTO-/230649573379?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b3c93003.