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The proof is in the portrait

Today's entry examines four items from three different Carole Lombard movies. We'll begin with the one that's most fascinating to me, a rare publicity photo from her Paramount film "Now And Forever":



This shows Carole's character in Paris. It's a rare photo, and in fact, according to the seller, "We believe this to be a studio proof due to the editing/re-touch pen markings, on the image." Here's how the item looked before Tally Haugen did some touch-up work on it (thank you, Tally):



Aside from the proofer's "blemish," this 8" x 10" is in very good to very fine condition, with slight toning and creasing. If you can get past the marking, it's a genuine rarity.

The minimum bid for this is $9.97, and as of this writing, no bids have been made (I'm certain without the mark-up, this would probably be bid on for much more than that price.) Bids are slated to close at 5:07 p.m. (Eastern) Thursday. To learn more, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-1934-Paramount-STUDIO-PRESS-PHOTO-RARE-/270802696852?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f0d193a94.

Next, let's go back to Lombard's Pathe days, and a publicity still from her first all-talking picture, the otherwise creaky "High Voltage":



This is an original 8" x 10" photo, with a snipe on the back reading, "The detective (Owen Moore) shows William Boyd and Phillips Smalley the official papers which give him full right to bring his prisoner (Carole Lombard-left) back to the penitentiary. Scene from 'High Voltage,' a Pathe production."

It's similar to another still from the film in which Diane Ellis is shown below them, sleeping (an image that can be found in the book "The Films Of Carole Lombard"), but Lombard's head is tilted at a slightly different angle. This photo is rated in near mint condition, and is being sold for $12.50. Purchase it by going to http://www.ebay.com/itm/1929-CAROLE-LOMBARD-WM-BOYD-HIGH-VOLTAGE-ORIG-STILL-/380363162277?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item588f6942a5.

Lastly, an ad (actually two) for Carole's final film, "To Be Or Not To Be," from the New Haven (Conn.) Journal-Courier of March 11 and 12, 1942:



Marketing this film presented a challenge for United Artists, not only because of Lombard's passing nearly two months earlier, but the public's sudden wartime mood probably didn't leave many of them interested in a comedy where Nazis were lampooned. So UA tried to promote as "the film everyone wanted to see." It may have done good business in New Haven, where Ernst Lubitsch's films were likely a favorite with some sophisticated Yalies, but nationally its success was muffled. Only after the war did it begin to be regarded as a masterpiece of black comedy, a status it holds to this day.

Each of the ads is in fair condition; both can be bought straight up, or bids can be made. For the March 11 ad, which can be bought for $12, check out http://www.ebay.com/itm/1808150WQ-ADVERT-NOT-CAROLE-LOMBARD-1942-/260837887526?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cbb264e26, while the March 12 ad, which has an $18 price, is at http://www.ebay.com/itm/1808151WQ-ADVERT-NOT-CAROLE-LOMBARD-1942-/290600899736?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a929d498.

Note: On Monday, the seller of the "To Be Or Not To Be" ads made another Lombard newspaper ad available, this for "Vigil In The Night" from the Feb. 7, 1940 Des Moines Register:



(The pages advertising both films have been adjusted for optimal viewing and are somewhat faded and yellowed.)

The "Vigil" ad can be purchased for $20, or you can make an offer. View it at http://www.ebay.com/itm/2208105WQ-ADVERT-VIGIL-NIGHT-CAROLE-LOMBARD-1940-/290602262509?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a93e9fed.

With Lombard being featured next Sunday as part of TCM's "Summer Under The Stars," this week's header is a nod to "My Man Godfrey," which will run at 8 p.m. (Eastern) as the final film in the channel's summertime "Essentials Jr." series.
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