vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,
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This pic is an eyeful (and a half)

What makes Carole Lombard's glamour stills so special to view? All sorts of things. There's Lombard's natural beauty, of course -- but plenty of actresses were beautiful. What elevated these portraits to the ethereal was the meticulous work done by both Carole and photographer. They rarely simply sat down and took pictures; they approached it with diligence and the utmost care.

This pic, Paramount p1202-174 from 1931, is indicative:



I'm not sure who took this, but look at how the shadow of Lombard's hat accentuates her alabaster complexion (almost certainly retouched to disguise the scar on her left cheek from that 1926 automobile accident). Note how the hat covers most, but not all, of her right eye, thus directing the viewer towards her left eye. Note her semi-smile, conveying mystery and elegance simultaneously.

I have another photo that apparently was from that session -- same clothes, same hat -- and it leaves one with an entirely different impression:



More obvious, more confident, but no less alluring.

P1202-174 is now up for auction at eBay, a recent 8" x 10" reproduction from the original negative, and thus its price is comparatively reasonable -- bidding starts at $9.99 (no bids have been made as of this writing), and bids close at 9:21 p.m. (Eastern) next Thursday. If this appeals to you, go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-Movie-PHOTO-230P-/200653463014?pt=Art_Photo_Images&hash=item2eb7e0dde6 and learn more.

If you're a stickler for original photos, then check this one out -- p1202-550, from 1933:



This is 7" x 9", with borders trimmed and a snipe on the back. It's in excellent condition and is being sold for $84.95 through Oct. 15. Want this leggy, feathery shot for your own? Then visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Carole-Lombard-ULTRA-GLAMOUR-SEXY-LEGS-Portrait-/400243414613?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d305dd655.

We'll close with a bit of Los Angeles history. You've no doubt heard of Pacific Electric's famous "red car" interurbans which, at their peak, traversed hundreds of miles of southern California. Here is film footage of one of the last runs of the final Red Car route, from downtown to Long Beach, taken on March 31, 1961, 10 days before the line was shut down for good. It manages to be charming and elegiac at the same time.

You see the train go through Watts, at one time a noted transfer point; a little more than four years after this was filmed, "Watts" would have an entirely different meaning. The two-car train passes over the Long Beach Freeway, a perfect contrast between old and new. Some of the route makes street crossings, but much of it has its own right of way, track footage currently used by Metro's Blue line. This runs for about 15 minutes, and it's fascinating. Enjoy -- and also weep:

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