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carole lombard 02

See some of Carole's friends at Cinecon 47

Posted by vp19 on 2011.08.30 at 08:57
Current mood: enthralledenthralled

Cinecon 47, a Labor Day weekend tradition for film buffs in Los Angeles, has no Carole Lombard films scheduled this year. (It showed "Rumba" two years ago.) However, you'll get to see several of her friends and cohorts on the screen in this five-day extravaganza of classic Hollywood, held at...

...the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, where Carole's final Paramount film, "True Confession," played in the closing weeks of 1937.

There are many fine annual celebrations of filmdom's golden age, and Cinecon rates among the best of them. As it stated in a recent release,

"Cinecon is highly regarded among film fans for screening the rare and unusual films of the silent and early sound era -— films that seldom get seen on a big screen. Cinecon combs the major film archives and Hollywood studio vaults to select often forgotten gems that deserve a fresh look and reappraisal. At Cinecon there is something for everyone -— comedy, drama, musicals, Westerns. We show the latest restorations -— and some one-of-a-kind rarities."

And that's the case this year as well. As per usual, many of the features shown (nearly 30 in all) are either silents or pre-Code talkies.

Among the former is an early vehicle for Marion Davies, shown above with Carole, Clark Gable and Raoul Walsh at the Los Angeles premiere of "Gone With The Wind." By then, Davies was about 43, had put on a few middle-age pounds and had been out of films for three years. This year's Cinecon program features the youthful, slender Marion in the rarely screened "Beauty's Worth," from May 1922:

Davies plays a Quaker maid whom a socialite transforms into a sophisticated beauty. "Beauty's Worth" will be screened at 3:10 p.m. Sunday. (Marion's been a mainstay of Cinecon from year one in 1965, when it ran the classic silent "Show People.")

Fred MacMurray made four films with Carole, including "True Confession" and "Hands Across The Table," shown above; if you caught it on Turner Classic Movies the other night, it was remarkable how director Mitchell Leisen captured, and enhanced, the sexual tension between the Lombard and MacMurray characters in a post-Code environment. Another reason it's one of my favorite movies of hers.

MacMurray was teamed even more frequently with another Paramount star, Claudette Colbert, and at 7:15 p.m. Saturday perhaps the most obscure of their seven pairings will be shown, the mistaken-identity wartime comedy "Practically Yours" from late 1944.

Leisen directed it, Norman Krasna wrote it and the supporting cast includes Robert Benchley and Cecil Kellaway. Sounds great on the surface, but reviewers state it's one of the lesser efforts for all involved. Judge for yourself.

Other highlights include "College Rhythm" from November 1934 at 7:55 p.m. Friday, featuring Jack Oakie, Lanny Ross, Mary Brian and the always-engaging Lyda Roberti...

...1942's "Henry Aldrich, Editor" at 3:40 p.m. Saturday, followed by a Q & A with series star Jimmy Lydon...

...and to close things out, 1943's "Stormy Weather" at 5:45 p.m. Monday:

This year, Cinecon is paying tribute to the National Film Preservation Foundation, including showing two of its restoration projects -- part of a 1914 Edison serial, "The Active Life of Dolly of the Dailies," and a 1920 Nazimova film, the over-the-top "Stronger Than Death."

There will also be features special programs at the Mt. Olympus Room of the event's headquarters, the nearby Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, including one at 9:30 a.m. Sunday which will focus on the fabled MGM Culver City lot with Steve Bingen and Steve Sylvester, two of the authors of the acclaimed "MGM: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot":

The hotel will host a memorabilia show as well.

If I were in the Los Angeles area Labor Day weekend, I'd definitely go. If you will be and want to learn more, go to http://www.cinecon.org/cinecon_schedule.html for the schedule and http://www.cinecon.org/cinecon_home.html for an overview.

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