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Looking back: July 1933

carole lombard william powell 072033c front

Not surprisingly, the dominant story for Carole Lombard in July 1933 wasn't any movie she was in or was going to make, but her domestic life with husband William Powell. That's because during the month, she planned to turn Powell into her ex, as the back of the photo makes clear:

carole lombard william powell 072033b back

The snipe is dated July 20, but talk of the marital discord had been spreading through the film community for a while and perhaps reached the public two weeks earlier, although readers of the Steubenville (Ohio) Herald-Star were probably more interested in what had happened earlier that afternoon at Comiskey Park in Chicago in the first major-league All-Star Game:

carole lombard 070633 steubenville herald-star

The Powells are shown with Conrad Nagel and his wife. (Some years later, Lombard would appear several times on the "Silver Theater" radio program that Nagel would host.) The rumors were confirmed on July 7, in papers such as the Canandaigua Daily Messenger in upstate New York:

carole lombard 070733 canandiagua daily messenger

On July 8, Iowa's Ames Daily Tribune ran a United Press item detailing Carole's plans:

carole lombard 070833 ames daily tribune

Lombard may have sought refuge from the press while in Nevada, but later in the month she relented and was photographed on July 25:

carole lombard 072533 lake tahoe large

Three days later, a cropped version of that photo ran in the North Adams Transcript in northwest Massachusetts:

carole lombard 072833 north adams transcript

Hearst columnist Louella Parsons professed shock at the split, as readers of the chain's San Antonio Light learned on July 10 (left) and 16:

carole lombard 071033 san antonio light louella parsonscarole lombard 071633 san antonio light louella parsons

While marital matters understandably dominated Lombard news for the month, a few other items should be noted. First, it appeared Carole was prepared to play "The Worst Woman In Paris," or at least that's what syndicated columnist Harrison Carroll reported in the July 7 Monessen (Pa.) Daily Independent:

carole lombard 070733 monessen daily independent

The item discussed the problems Fox had in finding a female lead for this film (more than half a dozen actresses were reportedly under consideration). Uh, look at the title, gang; what self-respecting actress wanted to be identified with that? (Is it any wonder Fox was absorbed into Darryl F. Zanuck's upstart Twentieth Century Pictures some two years later?)

Anyway, Carole escaped such cinematic ignominy, according to the Oakland Tribune of July 18:

carole lombard 071833 oakland tribune

With Benita Hume and Adolphe Menjou (who replaced John Boles) in the leads and the title softened a bit to "The Worst Woman In Paris?", the film was released that December. It was well-received at the 2003 Cinefest in Syracuse and may pop up every now and then on the Fox Movie Channel, though it now would be shunted into its morning, non-commercial portion of the schedule.

A July 8 Lowell Sun piece from syndicated columnist Robbin Coons tells of a Paramount gateman who can identify stars' entrances by sound alone:

carole lombard 070833 lowell sun

And speaking of sound, the July 14 Argus-Citizen in the Los Angeles suburb of Covina discusses the differences between blonde and brunette voices; thankfully for Lombard, she was among the blondes with the latter:

carole lombard 071433 covina argus citizen

Fashion photos of the stars were always popular in the papers, and July proved no exception. Take this July 11 shot from the San Antonio Light, for instance:

carole lombard 071133 san antonio light

On July 22, the Middletown Times Herald, a bit northwest of New York City, showed two pics of Lombard, two of Claudette Colbert, and one each of Adrienne Ames and Lilyan Tashman in a Paramount-produced fashion display:

carole lombard 072233a middletown times herald
carole lombard 072233ba middletown times herald

And on July 31, readers of Ohio's Mansfield News-Journal saw two from Lombard, with Adrienne Ames at left:

carole lombard 073133aa mansfield news-journal
carole lombard 073133ba mansfield news-journal

By the way, the middle pic shows Carole in steel gray chiffon, although the caption lists it as "eel gray chiffon." Somehow, I never juxtapose "eel" with "chiffon"; do you?

Finally, a Coons column from the July 1 Lowell Sun that details a Lombard vocal session for "Brief Moment," giving one a behind-the-scenes look; interesting to see she would agree to have something like this reach print:

carole lombard 070133a lowell sun
carole lombard brief moment 14c front

All this preparation was ultimately moot, as Lombard's vocals would be dubbed.
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