It's the latter part of 1935, and Carole Lombard is riding high with her first full-fledged, top-billed Paramount success in "Hands Across The Table." As a result, Silver Screen magazine contacts writer Elizabeth Wilson and asks her to interview her for an upcoming story set to run in its January 1936 issue.
Fine and dandy, you say, and Wilson -- as is the case for just about everyone in or related to the film industry -- likes Lombard. There's just one problem: What can Carole talk about that she hasn't done before, either with Elizabeth or other fan mag writers?
That's the quandary facing the writer in this story; whether this situation is real or a put-on for her readers is up for you to decide. And as is the case for so many of these articles, we don't know whether Lombard actually said these things or if Wilson was putting words in her mouth. Whatever, it's an amusing look at conflicts between star actress and star reporter:
Funny piece...and if Carole's memory really was that good, she must have been her generation's Marilu Henner (the lovely actress from the sitcom "Taxi" whose memory is said to be exceptional). The story reads as if Lombard was giving her a hard time; nothing could be further from the truth. Wilson was among her closest friends in the Hollywood press corps, and Elizabeth wrote at least 10 stories about her over the years.
That was about it for Carole content in that issue, which had Ginger Rogers in a Marland Stone illustration on the cover...
...but there were some other interesting items as well.
It's no secret that Ed Sullivan of Sunday night TV show fame had been a Broadway columnist (for the New York Daily News) before his sudden shift in career, but did you know he not only occasionally also covered Hollywood, but at times wrote for fan magazines? We have proof in this story about Joan Crawford beginning to wonder whether Greta Garbo's choice to steer clear of the press wasn't such a bad idea:
Ed mentions his first meeting with Lombard, how well he got along with Carole, and her thoughts about newspapermen. (To add a little Sullivan historical perspective: When this issue hit newsstands in early December 1935, Elvis Presley had yet to celebrate his first birthday, and it would be more than four years before any of the Beatles would be born.) Oh, and Joan, since you were about 30 at the time of this interview, we're not buying that you grew three inches in the past six years...that would be a ridiculously late growth spurt.
Kay Francis, certainly taller than Crawford, also was the subject of a story:
Note that at the time, Kay was linked with screenwriter and future director Delmer Daves, who lived down the street from Jane Alice Peters and the rest of her family around 1920.
And of course there were movie ads, such as MGM's customary spot color work for its latest hit, the Marx Brothers' "A Night At The Opera"...
...Warners promoting "Captain Blood" and its new star, Errol Flynn...
...RKO hyping Katharine Hepburn in "Sylvia Scarlett"...
...and 20th Century-Fox left with a Rochelle Hudson vehicle:
Finally, we remember comic actor/writer/director Harold Ramis, best known for "Ghostbusters" and "Groundhog Day," who left us today at age 69. Here's a tribute that's sort of appropriate (and one he would appreciate) that he did for SCTV from Jan. 13, 1977: