vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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'Silver Screen,' April 1934: That funny divorce

carole lombard william powell gloria swanson michael farmer 101333a shrine auditorium opera lawrence tibbett emperor jones

So what if Carole Lombard and William Powell no longer were married? It didn't keep them from socializing together, as on this night, Oct. 13, 1933 at the Shrine Auditorium, when they accompanied Gloria Swanson and her husband, Michael Farmer to hear Lawrence Tibbett sing -- less than two months after Carole had legally called it quits in Carson City, Nev.

Public appearances such as this threw Hollywood's social whirl into a tizzy. Just what was going on here? Were Powell and Lombard having second thoughts about their split, and might this lead to another try at wedded bliss? Elizabeth Wilson, who was as close to Carole as any member of the fan magazine community, decided to find out -- and the results are in the April 1934 issue of Silver Screen, an article entitled "That Funny Divorce":

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In no uncertain terms, Wilson says Powell and Lombard aren't getting back together as a couple, nor are they doing all this as a publicity stunt. Rather, they found the humor they cherished in their relationship worked best when they were friends. (Remember, at this stage in their careers, neither Bill nor Carole were identified as comic actors. That would change within a few months with "The Thin Man" for him and "Twentieth Century" for her, paving the way for their mutual comedic triumph in "My Man Godfrey" two years hence.)

The April '34 Silver Screen has a few other stories on contemporary actresses, including one who was put on its cover, Constance Bennett:

silver screen april 1934 constance bennett

Inside, Connie talked a bit about the movie industry, noting it a place where women and men had equality (well, at least if you were a film star). The film "The Firebrand" mentioned here would be retitled "The Affairs Of Cellini."

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silver screen april 1934b

There's a nice piece on someone who would figure in the lives of both Powell and Lombard over the next few years -- Jean Harlow -- discussing about how nice it is for her to finally be recognized as an actress, and not merely a symbol of s-e-x:

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Carole would work with Una Merkel in 1937's "True Confession," but by early 1934, Merkel already was noted for her comedic gifts, as this article explains:

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Finally, let's look at Lombard's Paramount pal, Claudette Colbert. This portrait points out she recently was at Columbia to work with another loanout, MGM's Clark Gable...

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...and the movie they worked on at Gower Gulch got good -- no, great -- reviews from Silver Screen:

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Claudette even appears in a Lux ad...but note that in the body copy, she's being promoted for the upcoming "Cleopatra," a Paramount product (relatively few loanout pictures were given this sort of recognition):

silver screen april 1934i

The Lombard LiveJournal header shows Carole looking chic in Paramount p1202-197.

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