Our entry two days ago featured a trade publication ad for "My Man Godfrey," the Carole Lombard-William Powell comedy that hit movie screens in the fall of 1936. We now have another item that shows how Universal promoted this release, which turned out to be a big hit for the reorganized studio (by this time, Carl Laemmle had decided to sell Universal; he would die three years later):
It's a pressbook, measuring a whopping 26" x 13", and full of all sorts of things to sell the movie, such as press release "stories" that could be placed in newspapers (just fill in the name of the theater and the date "Godfrey" opens). For example, see part of a piece with a Lombard "byline" (one doubts she actually wrote it) discussing her character, dizzy but good-intentioned socialite Irene Bullock:
The entire page, full of stories to plant to willing papers, looks like this:
Other pages are loaded with ideas, many of them offbeat or even gimmicky, to publicize the film:
One wonders how many theaters held a "Lombard Day For Lombard Blondes," held a "butlers' ball" or staged a scavenger hunt. However, we do know some of these "showmanship stunts" were actually used (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/176193.html):
Here are some other pages from the scrapbook:
All in all, a pretty astounding package, one in reasonably good shape considering it's a little more than 75 years old. The seller deems it in "very good" condition, adding, "the book has been folded...there is a very slight squish to the lower edge...there is a tear to the lower spine and upper edge...the covers have some light marks/rubbing...else very nice."
Something this rare won't come cheap; you can buy it straight up for $400 or make an offer. The seller states, "we may or may not be able to accept your offer...If it is close, we might counter your offer...If we do so, we will state that it is our BEST price and we CANNOT go lower than that." Just so you know. Also, while the seller is based in Kansas City, Kansas, international shipping is available.
The sale is set to close at 9:50 p.m. (Eastern) a week from Saturday (Nov. 5). If this is of interest to you, learn more at http://www.ebay.com/itm/1936-MY-MAN-GODFREY-PRESSBOOK-William-Powell-Carole-Lombard-UNIVERSAL-/310354704148?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item484294f714.
"Godfrey" was such a popular film that Universal reissued it in June 1939, and the Paramount in downtown Los Angeles ran it as part of a double bill with, of all movies, "The Old Dark House." By then, however, the film's reputation sold itself.