During her brief lifetime, Carole Lombard posed for several Christmas-themed photographs. But have you ever heard her wish you Christmas greetings? Unless you're past 75 years old and spent some time in the movie circles of southern California (and how many of them follow "Carole & Co."?) I tend to doubt it.
But now you can...and it doesn't require an altered DeLorean, nor a close friendship with a witch or genie. A rare film has surfaced in which Carole and several other cinematic legends send you their best for the season.
I had no idea this clip, from 1938, existed -- and yet it's been up at YouTube for roughly a year. Not only will you hear Lombard wish you a merry Christmas, but her two-time co-star Gary Cooper, good friend Ginger Rogers, and famed director Cecil B. De Mille. (He fired her from the female lead in "Dynamite" early in the production, but there were no hard feelings.) For you British film fans, you'll hear a few of your favorites, too -- George Formby, who was invariably described as "gormless" (has anyone ever been described as "gormful"?), Stanley Lupino (from the same theatrical family who sent Ida to this side of the pond) and Will Hay (not to be confused with former U.S. film czar Will B. Hays).
Carole's segment comes at about the 1:25 mark (the entire thing lasts just under two minutes), and she's charming (as are Ginger and Gary).
The person who put this up, George Bettinger, said he transferred it from Super 8 film he owned; its condition isn't the best, but considering its rarity, who's complaining? (Though it's been up for about a year, at last check it had but 636 views.) I'm guessing this was used by theaters (probably in the UK) to run in between features and alongside trailers and such.
George, on behalf of Lombard fans (as well as those of Cooper, Rogers, De Mille and the British chaps) thanks for providing this. You've given some classic film buffs a very merry Christmas.
For the past few years, we've run versions of Darlene Love's holiday rock standard "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" from David Letterman's show -- from 1995 two years ago, from 2009 last year. This time, we're going to go back...way back...to the first time Love sang it on Letterman, establishing a tradition. This was 1986, when Letterman's digs weren't Ed Sullivan's old theater on Broadway for CBS, but 30 Rock for NBC. Love and Paul Shaffer's band are in top form, and for added '80s nostalgia, how about a Spuds MacKenzie Bud Light commercial? And stick around for the end to learn who Dave's other guests were that night...one of them would play a major role in his life several years later. Check it out.