vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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Lombard, (partly) MIA

In the spring of 1929, Carole (or as then known, Carol) Lombard was 20 years ago and a Hollywood up-and-comer -- four years after debuting as a Fox starlet, and three years after an auto accident sidelined her for a while. That May, Motion Picture magazine ran a feature on her, "A Teddy-Made Actress," prepared when it appeared she was to be the next star in Cecil B. DeMille's stable, via his upcoming film, "Dynamite" (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/562125.html).

The magazine jumped the gun a bit, alas. A few days into production, but after Motion Picture went to press, DeMille didn't believe Carole was ready to lead one of his productions, so she was dismissed. (DeMille's art director Mitchell Leisen, a friend precisely 10 years her senior and a future director on two Lombard films, gave her the bad news.) Some egg on the face of both Carole and the magazine, but she returned to her new home studio of Pathe.

That March, Motion Picture ran a one-page item on Carole, "Comedy Relief." Here's what it looked like:

Not very easy to read, unfortunately...but there's an explanation. The Media History Digital Library has brought many archival copies of magazines online, for which this site and scores of others thank it. Alas, the library can only work with what it gets -- and when the bound copy including this issue (Feb.-July 1929, Volume 37) was received from the Library of Congress, here's what that page looked like:

Ouch! (To be fair, over my years of perusing bound copies online, there have been numerous instances of this happening, but relatively few involving Lombard.) We know the culprit was clipping Carol(e), because here's the following page:

And here's the bottom part of the Lombard page, so you can read the print:

Just as Lombard film buffs would dearly love to find a full 35mm version of Leisen's "Swing High, Swing Low" (none is known to survive, and some segments of it are from Leisen's own 16mm print), I'd love to find this page at full size, in large, printable condition. (I believe the smaller-scale page was from an eBay ad several years ago.) Lina Basquette is on that issue's cover:

So someone here please play private detective to track this down. Paging William Powell.


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