By now, the worst is over for most of you in the eastern U.S. who endured the weather earlier this week and perhaps lost power. But things could be worse -- you could have been like Carole Lombard and her cinematic cohorts, stranded in a chilly building in the middle of nowhere with barely enough food and heat to get by...and worse, forced to recite stilted dialogue.
Yes, we're referring to "High Voltage," her first all-talkie, released by Pathe in the summer of 1929. As you can tell from the bottom of the photo, it was designed as a starring vehicle for William Boyd (the one who later became Hopalong Cassidy, not William "Stage" Boyd), and was made at a time when everyone in the industry was acclimating themselves to this new medium called sound pictures. This is a perfect example. Audiences still were enthralled over hearing actors speak, and relatively few who bought tickets cared that sets were claustrophobic, action was minimal and characters spoke slowly, as if they were on the 1929 equivalent of Quaaludes -- in other words, all the technical artistry of the late silent era suddenly was thrown out the window.
Knowing such caveats coming in, "High Voltage" is a tolerable time-waster (of roughly a bit more than an hour). And six vintage stills from the film -- all of which are new to me -- are up for auction at eBay. Here they are...
The other blonde in the photos is Diane Ellis, who became a good friend of Carole's. Both were released by Pathe before the end of 1929, and both wound up at Paramount the following year. Ellis was married in 1930, contracted a disease while on her honeymoon in India, and died that December.
Each of these pics measures 8" x 10" and has a minimum bidding price of $100, with bids closing between 10:01 and 10:05 a.m. (Eastern) next Friday. You can bid or find out more information on these by going to http://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?_odkw=carole+lombard&item=380843277831&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&_osacat=0&_from=R40&hash=item58ac073e07&_ssn=movie-material-store&_trksid=p2046732.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xcarole+lombard+high+voltage&_nkw=carole+lombard+high+voltage&_sacat=0. Interesting curios from a film that itself is one.