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carole lombard 02

In full, and for free

Posted by vp19 on 2012.01.31 at 01:11
Current mood: gratefulgrateful

Reporter Carole Lombard phones in a story in a scene from the 1929 Pathe newspaper drama "Big News" -- however, that's not a publicity photo from the studio, but an actual screen grab.

"Big News," the rarest of Lombard's three all-talking features for Pathe, can now be found at YouTube:

It's a bit creaky, adapted from a stage play (most moviemakers hadn't yet found a consistent flowing rhythm to sound film), but Robert Armstrong is good, Lombard has her moments although it's really not her film, and director Gregory La Cava (who seven years later would direct what may be Carole's most famous movie, "My Man Godfrey") keeps proceedings from getting too sluggish.

In the past, such movies found at YouTube would be divided into 10- to 12-minute segments, because that was all the system could hold. Thankfully, that's no longer the case, and you can now watch complete cinematic Carole at one sitting (although, of course, you can stop the action whenever you please). Here are several other Lombard films you can watch for free, in full. We'll start with a few we know to be in public domain:

"High Voltage" (Pathe, 1929)...

..."The Racketeer" (Pathe, 1929)...

..."My Man Godfrey" (Universal, 1936)...

..."Swing High, Swing Low" (Paramount, 1937)...

..."Nothing Sacred" (Selznick International, 1937)...

...and "Made For Each Other" (Selznick International, 1939).

Here's where things get tricky. As far as I know, none of the following Lombard films have received a legitimate U.S. DVD release; however, I don't believe any of them are in the public domain. I'm listing and linking them just the same:

"Virtue" (Columbia, 1932)...

..."No More Orchids" (Columbia, 1932)...

..."Brief Moment" (Columbia, 1933)...

..."Bolero" (Paramount, 1934)...

...and "The Gay Bride" (MGM, 1934).

In addition, Lombard's next-to-last film, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" (RKO, 1941) can currently be found at YouTube, even though it has had a legit U.S. DVD release:

I can't guarantee many of the non-public domain films will stay up long, nor can I guarantee the quality of any of these titles. But if you're in the mood for a Lombard movie, or simply want to show a newcomer to classic Hollywood what she was all about, these will be helpful.


sunnylimoncello at 2012-02-01 00:50 (UTC) (Link)
Wow. A lot of her movies found on the Net!
I also would love to see "Rumba", "I Take This Woman", and a few others.
I love "Swing High, Swing Low", but I wish there could be a remastered high-quality version made.
Thanks for posting these!

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