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'Hollywood,' December 1937: Facing the rumor mill

carole lombard hollywood december 1937fa

According to Hollywood magazine in its December 1937 issue, this photo of Carole Lombard and Clark Gable at a tennis tournament in Los Angeles squelched rumors they had called it a day. Elsewhere in that issue, Lombard discussed the topic with writer Edward Churchill, and her tone was sort of a precursor to Elvis Costello's "I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused" some four decades later:

carole lombard hollywood december 1937aa
carole lombard hollywood december 1937ba

It's easy to see why Lombard was ticked off. Some of the rumors mentioned in that story understandably bothered her (e.g., her health), while others were in retrospect ludicrous (if a recording of that final Jack Benny program from the 1936-37 season exists -- and virtually all his episodes have survived -- I'll have to give it a listen to hear what all the fuss was about). And while Carole possessed her own sort of magic, unless she had the powers of Samantha, Sabrina or Jeannie, she couldn't have been both in bed and at the Venice pier at the same time.

Here's the gown referred to in that caption on the front page:

carole lombard hollywood december 1937ca

There were a few other Lombard-related tidbits in that issue, such as this blurb about her reportedly wanting to build on some ranch property:

carole lombard hollywood december 1937ea

And remember Eleanor Fisher, winner of a contest from True Confessions magazine, who had a small role in "True Confession" for her only screen credit (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/643663.html)? She's shown in a photo spread with John Barrymore (and let's hope "the Great Profile" was on his best behavior with her):

carole lombard hollywood december 1937db

Some good non-Lombard stuff was included in this five-cent issue, whose cover showed Gary Cooper and Sigrid Gurie from Samuel Goldwyn's "The Adventures Of Marco Polo":

hollywood december 1937 cover large

Rumors were among the drawbacks of stardom noted by Loretta Young:

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hollywood december 1937fa
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There's a short feature on Joan Crawford, music lover, who discusses her training, and hopes, for a singing career (little knowing that more than 15 years and an Academy Award later, her voice would be dubbed for the over-the-top "Torch Song")...

hollywood december 1937aa

An actress and singer who didn't need dubbing, Alice Faye, provides ladies with a "romance test." For any of you who may wish to play it, check the following two pages, jot down your answers and at the end of the entry, we'll reveal the answers so you can note your score:

hollywood december 1937ba
hollywood december 1937ca

This particular issue was teeming with film ads, although lordly MGM spread the wealth around its seasonal releases:

hollywood december 1937ha

"Ebb Tide" may have been "the first sea picture in (three-strip Techni)color," but Paramount had to settle to advertise it in black-and-white:

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Was Warners' "Tovarich" truly "the most exciting screen event of all time"? Probably not, but teaming Charles Boyer and Claudette Colbert made for a sophisticated comedy:

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Mischa Auer and Alice Brady, both late of "My Man Godfrey," were back at "the new Universal" (which by now had been "new" for more than a year) for "Merry-Go-Round Of 1938," and Bert Lahr was among those joining them in the fun:

hollywood december 1937ka

Faith Baldwin's stories were adapted into all sorts of films (including Lombard's "Love Before Breakfast"), and the relatively obscure "Portia On Trial" was adapted by Republic:

hollywood december 1937la

Most of Eddie Cantor's hit movies were made for Goldwyn, but here's one he made at 20th Century-Fox:

hollywood december 1937ma

There's plenty more on hand in this issue, and it's up for auction at eBay. The seller lists its condition as "acceptable," and adds "it is in Good-minus condition -- minor wear and very light stains around edges of covers. Inside pages have light stains along edges but no pages are stuck together."

If you're interested in collecting classic Hollywood fan mags, this might be an inexpensive place to start your collection; the starting bid is $6.99, and the auction is scheduled to close at 7:23 p.m. (Eastern) Wednesday. Curious? Then check it out by going to http://www.ebay.com/itm/HOLLYWOOD-magazine-December-1937-GARY-COOPER-Carole-Lombard-JOAN-CRAWFORD-Fan/380847245322?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.RVI%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20635%26meid%3D4980431582161584468%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D9200%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D221378128664.

Oh, and as promised, here are the answers (and scoring) to Alice Faye's "romance test"...dig out your responses, and I hope it isn't a rumor that our women tested well!

hollywood december 1937da

Carole puts her hands behind her head -- probably not to play "Simon says," but to pose for our latest Lombard LiveJournal header, Paramount p1202-354, taken by Otto Dyar.
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