It's no secret that Carole Lombard's 1940 drama "They Knew What They Wanted," teaming her with Charles Laughton for the second time, has never been made available on an authorized DVD in America, probably a result of rights issues with the Sidney Howard estate (Howard wrote the play, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1925).
But misery loves company, and it's hardly the only movie that's in DVD limbo. New York Post film critic Lou Lumenick recently wrote about it (http://nypost.com/2014/06/18/64-clips-of-movies-you-cant-find-on-dvd/), including brief clips of the MIA movies.
Some of the other classic-era titles that are absent from DVD -- many featuring actors or directors Carole worked with -- include:
* "The Crowd" (1928), King Vidor's pioneering slice-of-life tale.
* "The Greene Murder Case" (1929), one of three early turns for William Powell as Philo Vance.
* "Once In A Lifetime" (1932), an adaptation of the Kaufman and Hart comedic play about screenwriters during Hollywood's chaotic transition to sound.
* "Letty Lynton" (1932), which hasn't been seen by virtually anybody since MGM withdrew it from circulation in 1935, much to the dismay of Joan Crawford fans.
* "Call Her Savage" (1932), one of Clara Bow's final features for Fox.
* "Man's Castle" (1933), a Loretta Young-Spencer Tracy Depression-era gem directed by Frank Borzage.
* "The Story Of Temple Drake" (1933), a steamy pre-Code adaptation of William Faulkner's "Sanctuary," starring Miriam Hopkins.
* "The Moon'a Our Home" (1936), starring former married couple Margaret Sullavan and Henry Fonda...which Lombard and James Stewart took the lead role for a 1940 "Lux Radio Theater" adaptation.
* "Boy Meets Girl" (1938), another comedic tale of screenwriters, starring James Cagney and Pat O'Brien, with supporting turns from Marie Wilson and Ronald Reagan.
* "The Sea Wolf" (1941), a Jack London tale starring Edward G. Robinson and John Garfield.
* "To Each His Own" (1946), for which Olivia de Havilland won a Best Actress Academy Award, directed by Mitchell Leisen. (Other films of his that are DVD MIA include "I Wanted Wings" and "Lady In The Dark.")
* "Beau James" (1957), an atypical Bob Hope role as 1920s New York mayor Jimmy Walker.
* "Raintree County" (1957), a Civil War romantic epic starring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, which apparently needs considerable restorqtion.
* And... "Dynamite" (1929), a Cecil B. De Mille film where Lombard had the female lead for a few days before being fired.
Carole shows off a ruffled dress in our latest Lombard LiveJournal header, p1202-435.