Most Carole Lombard fans are aware that "Twentieth Century," released in the spring of 1934, was the film that vaulted her from leading lady to star. But it also could well have led to the only time she was caricatured by one of the most important illustrators of the -- pun unintentional -- 20th century.
We're referring to Al Hirschfeld, best known for his drawings involving Broadway stars such as Carol Channing.
But many of his subjects had little to do with the Great White Way, and he often took assignments from film studios. For example, it's his drawing on the bottom of the program for 1933's "Dinner At Eight," whose cast included Jean Harlow:
On May 25, 1934, the Montreal Daily Star ran this advertisement for "Twentieth Century":
Let's isolate, and enlarge, two of the three drawings found in this ad:
If that isn't a Hirschfeld drawing, it's a heckuva tribute to him. (Oh, and don't bother looking for the famous hidden "Nina" in these drawings, a tribute to his daughter; she wasn't born until 1945.) Did he draw it? There is a book, released not long before his death at age 99 in early 2003, called "Hirschfeld's Hollywood," featuring many of his film-related works; it might be included in that volume, or it may not.
Hirschfeld was past 30 at the time "Twentieth Century" hit theaters, and he would work well into his nineties. He was an integral part of New York culture, and a Manhattan theater is named in his honor.
The page the ad is on measures 21" x 15"; the ad itself is 12" x 9", and the seller lists it in fair condition. I've never seen any other "Twentieth Century" ads that used drawings, and perhaps this was commissioned by a Canadian advertising firm. Bidding opens at $8.99, and you don't have much time left, as bidding closes at 3:14 p.m. (Eastern) on Thursday. Interested in what may (and we emphasize may) be the link between Hirschfeld and Lombard? Then go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/0103112WR-ADVERT-20TH-CENTURY-MAY-25-1934-CAROLE-LOMBARD-JOHN-BARRYMORE-/290686522492?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43ae44547c.