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Cinematic Sundays: 'Fast And Loose'



"Fast And Loose" isn't the easiest Carole Lombard movie to research. It was made under two titles -- it was initially called "The Best People," the name of the mid-twenties play it was adapted from -- and was made as Lombard decided to revert from using the first name "Carol," her official moniker at Pathe, to her former screen name of "Carole" for good. (Alas, many remain unaware that Jane Alice Peters employed the "e" at the beginning of her film career at Fox, leading to plenty of confusion.)

Anyway, I tracked all of this material down, enough to make it the sixth and latest installment of our weekly feature, "Cinematic Sundays."



It also helps that earlier this year, we explored "Fast And Loose" in the context of her coverage from New York newspapers that summer of 1930 (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/916803.html).



The first word of the production came in Louella Parsons' Hollywood column for Hearst (shown here in the San Francisco Examiner on June 3). Lombard is first associated with the project in Grace Kingsley's Los Angeles Times column on June 14:



So it was off to New York for Lombard, a place she had never visited, and the Daily News introduced its readers to her on June 18, in words...



...and in picture, with lots of lovely Lombard leg:



Across the East River in Brooklyn that day, the Eagle alerted its readers that Carole was coming to Queens:



The Chicago Tribune referred to Lombard as "the flip chorus girl from 'Safety In Numbers'" when it noted her hiring on June 29:



As you can see, much of the advance word on this film came from large metro dailies, as one might expect -- but the Mansfield News-Journal in Ohio noted on July 1 that former Dartmouth football star Charles Starrett was joining the cast. (The 1925 team referred to was unofficial national champion with an 8-0 record, outscoring its foes 340-29.)



Starrett would later gain fame in westerns (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/444262.html).

More about Lombard ran in another Ohio daily, the Akron Beacon Journal, on July 2:



Noted comic actress Ilka Chase joined the cast, as the New York Daily News reported on July 10:



Frank Morgan (shown at top with Lombard) and Miriam Hopkins joined the cast, shown in the Akron Beacon Journal on July 26:



Edwin C. Stein of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette visited the set, and wrote about it on Aug. 6:



The Sept. 4 Los Angeles Times announced Lombard had landed a long-term Paramount contract...and had added the "e" to her first name for good. (The Times actually asked how the new name should be pronounced. What?)



And speaking of new names, here's the change from "The Best People" to "Fast And Loose" in the Oct. 3 Asbury Park Press...



...and the Oct. 11 Akron Beacon Journal:



Note Robbin Coons' column says Lombard is interested in the technical aspects of film -- perhaps a result of her recovery from a 1926 auto accident.

According to the Internet Movie Database, "Fast And Loose" premiered on Nov. 8, 1930, but it apparently opened a few days earlier in Alexandria, La. It's amusing to see the Town Talk daily's ads from Nov. 4 and 5 -- with different spellings of Lombard's name:




"Fast And Loose" was reviewed in the Los Angeles Times of Nov. 15 (it actually first ran in late editions the day before), and well-regarded critic Philip K. Scheuer was generally approving...though he gave Carole a backhanded compliment:



More ads for the film ran in the Richmond (Ind.) Item on Nov. 25...



...and the Cumberland (Md.) Evening Times on Dec. 2:



On that same page, the Evening Times noted the film's fine reviews from New York papers:



On Dec. 19, the Los Angeles Times announced Lombard's next assignment -- four days after Carole's close friend, Diane Ellis, died while on honeymoon in Madras, India:



That assignment, "It Pays To Advertise," will be next week's subject.
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