James Cagney, shown here with Carole Lombard and Bing Crosby, figures prominently in the Lombard saga of October 1932 -- again for a loanout Carole didn't want to make.
The year before, Lombard declined to go to Warners to co-star in "Taxi!" with Cagney -- Loretta Young eventually got the part -- because she deemed being loaned out was a demotion of sorts, a decision she later regretted ((http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/65901.html).
Did Carole have something personal against Cagney? From what I know of each, I'd tend to doubt it. No, this time she simply didn't like what she was being offered -- and for such impudence, Paramount suspended her: Here's what the Reading (Pa.) Eagle ran on Oct. 18:
A day later. Paramount made a 180-degree turn and took Lombard's side, according to the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Independent:
Even a board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences took her side, as Film Daily reported on Oct. 20:
And the Oct. 22, 1932 Milwaukee Sentinel not only wrapped up the whole contretemps, but showed who was replacing her on the other side of a Dorothy Lee photo:
Oh, and note that Miriam Hopkins was still projected as Clark Gable's leading lady for "No Man Of Her Own"...we all know how that turned out.
The film for which Mary Brian filled Lombard's role was eventually retitled "Hard To Handle," for my money one of Cagney's best comedies, with plenty of in-jokes (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/74359.html), and here are Cagney and Brian:
Perhaps the Lombard of a few years later, more assured of her skills in comedy, would have taken the assignment.
One thing Carole learned from the "Taxi!" fiasco was not to automatically reject loanouts. In fact, before October was over, her first loanout -- "Virtue," for Columbia -- was beginning to make the rounds of screens. Film Daily reviewed in on Oct. 26, and for the most part liked it:
That same day, Film Daily ran this blurb:
I know next to nothing about "Billion Dollar Scandal," other than it was a drama that came out in early January 1933, and that Constance Cummings ended up with the female lead opposite Pathe-era Lombard co-star Robert Armstrong (who'd be in a slightly more memorable film a few months later called "King Kong"). The supporting cast included Olga Baclanova and the always reliable Frank Morgan.