History has not recorded the name of this Paramount worker who happened to be next to Carole Lombard and Clark Gable while they ate lunch at the studio commissary during production of "No Man Of Her Own" in late 1932, but there he is, adding a common touch to this publicity still. The caption reads, "Carole Lombard and Clark Gable, featured in Paramount's 'No Man of Her Own', aren't proud. They usually sit at the lunch counter with the rest of the hard-working studio employees."
Both Lombard and Gable developed reputations over the years for great relationships with crew members; I'm not certain whether it was part of their public persona at this time, but images like this certainly didn't hurt. And perhaps Paramount was trying to tweak MGM, Gable's home studio, where I'm guessing its star players' dining facilities were separated from that studio's rank-and-file.
As fate would have it, that Paramount worker's mug showed up in another publicity still, one that gives us a better glimpse of the commissary:
This one has a snipe on the back. although it's partially hidden by something played over it:
The snipe begins, "INFORMALITY REIGNS AT PARAMOUNT'S LUNCH --" I'm guessing "COUNTER" completes the headline, likely followed by how Lombard and Gable are eating amidst the hoi polloi.
It's this latter, comparatively rare original photo that's being auctioned at eBay. The minimum bid is $40 (no bids have been made as of this writing), and bidding closes at 3:30 p.m. (Eastern) on Sunday. To put in a bid or learn more, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/Carole-Lombard-and-Gable-Original-Candid-Photo-/270800317478?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f0cf4ec26.
Oh, and maybe it's me, but the guy in that photograph looks quite a bit like the man shown in Norman Rockwell's famous 1943 painting illustrating "freedom of speech," demonstrating one of Franklin D. Roosevelt's "four freedoms" that was the theme of a speech he gave to Congress in January 1941.