Planning a ‘classic’ day next May   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.10.24 at 21:51
Current mood: excitedexcited

carole lombard motion picture june 1933 quiz 00b closeup

You probably recognize Carole Lombard in this group photo from March 1933 (she’s seventh from right), but how many other Paramount personalities (mostly actors but a few directors as well) can you identify? Since you probably don’t have all day to figure things out, here’s the list, from that June’s issue of Motion Picture:

carole lombard motion picture june 1933 quiz 01b closeup

About half of them either acted with or directed Carole, and all had lengthy or notable careers. (For example, Kathleen Burke at far left won a studio contest to portray the “panther woman” in the horror classic “Island Of Lost Souls” — beating out Gail Patrick, among others — but never quite escaped such typecasting and retired from films in 1938.) We bring this up because classic movies provide all sorts of fascination for their fans, but they never have been honored with a special day.

Until now.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you…

051615 national classic movie day 00a

While I would love to take the credit for this idea, it’s actually the brainchild of Rick at the delightful site http://www.classicfilmtvcafe.com. And if you’re wondering why he chose May 16, that’s because on that date in 1929, the first Academy Awards were held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Rick has come up with a slogan that explains it all — “Celebrate Classic Films from the Silents to the Seventies.” I suppose that means 1979 is the cutoff date, two years after “Star Wars” cemented the blockbuster concept pioneered by “Jaws” in 1975. He created this poster, which features images from classics from the ’30s through the ’60s:

051615 national classic movie day 01a

So what should we do on May 16, 2015 (a Friday, I believe)? Rick has some thoughts:

“How will National Classic Movie Day be celebrated? That’s entirely up to you! You could host a blogathon, show a classic film at your local library, watch a DVD with friends, tweet about it, conduct a poll on classic favorites, etc.”

National Classic Movie Day has its own Facebook site (https://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Classic-Movie-Day/1567061810191423) and also is on Twitter at @ClassicMovieDay (#NationalClassicMovieDay).

One way to promote the event, according to Rick, is to “use the poster above or create your own.” So I’ve done just that, pairing my all-time favorite actor and actress from one of my very favorite films (which I saw with an audience for the first time at the Bing Theater Tuesday afternoon):

carole lombard my man godfrey 035d

I plan to create future posters featuring Lombard and other classic stars from the Golden Age.

I hope many of you will join me in this endeavor. Let’s get this nation to celebrate classic movies, an integral part of American culture.

Posted October 24, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Vintage, original and made in the U.S.A.   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.10.23 at 21:52
Current mood: indescribableindescribable

carole lombard nothing sacred 72b front

Carole Lombard and Fredric March posed for several stills in character for the 1937 Selznick International comedy “Nothing Sacred”; this was one of them, and as we can tell from the information in the bottom of the photo, this was “made in U.S.A.” We further know it’s vintage and original (and in Technicolor!) from the snipe on the back:

carole lombard nothing sacred 72a back

It’s an attractive pose, one I’ve never seen before, picturing Lombard’s Hazel Flagg at her most elegant (and pensive), while March’s Wally Cook provides emotional support while contemplating his next move.

We know the photo is 8″ x 10″ (I slightly “trimmed” the borders, but the actual pic is untrimmed). We also know you can purchasse it for $44.99 by going tohttp://www.ebay.com/itm/1937-CAROLE-LOMBARD-FREDRIC-MARCH-IN-NOTHING-SACRED-VINTAGE-ORIGINAL-PHOTO/161458697141?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D26215%26meid%3D8b8a69e529ff4e66a6ddf981da7192b6%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D10926%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D161458697141. Right now, the only thing we don’t know about the photo is just who will buy it. Might that “who” be you?

Posted October 23, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Beauty for Britons   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.10.22 at 07:27
Current mood: hothot

carole lombard british card 01a

Most of you probably have never seen that image of Carole Lombard before; from her hairstyle and the amount of skin shown, it appears to be from her Pathe period of the late 1920s, most likely taken by chief photographer William E. Thomas. Another glance at the photo provides additional information…

carole lombard british card 00b

From the font spelling out “CAROLE LOMBARD,” the pic appears to be of British origin, and indeed it is — a card from the UK measuring 5″ x 7″. While the image is from the late ’20s, the photo probably was issued in the early 1930s, since the Pathe-era Lombard was labeled “Carol.”

It’s a “really lovely” — and rare — original shot of Lombard from the flapper era…and it can be yours if you win an auction from eBay. The seller is from Essex in England, and the starting bid is 4.99 GBP (that’s $8.05 in U.S. currency). The auction is slated to close at 3:19 a.m. (Eastern) Nov. 1, a week from Saturday. Place a bid, or get more information, by visiting http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-1920s-1930s-Stunning-Original-Pin-Up-Flapper-Vamp-Photo-7×5-/311142449015?pt=UK_Collectables_Photographs_MJ&hash=item487188ff77.

Posted October 22, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

So you wanna get negative?   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.10.21 at 08:07
Current mood: artisticartistic

carole lombard p1202-858f

Well, here’s your chance. An original negative of the Carole Lombard portrait above, Paramount p1202-858 from sometime in 1934, is up for auction at eBay. The 8″ x 10″ comes out as a black-and-white image, not the sepia shade as seen here.

According to the seller, “This is the original negative, not a copy, and has the photographer’s retouching on the reverse side. Numbering along the bottom is in raised ink. There is some handling wear. Overall it is in near mint condition.”

This negative would be an impressive catch for any Lombard fan who can produce photos from it — but, to no one’s surprise, it will be an expensive catch, too. Bidding begins at $399.99, with the auction closing at 7:16 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday.

If you’re a serious Carole collector who loves her series of Paramount portraits, this may be for you. To bid or for additional information, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-ORIGINAL-8X10-CAMERA-NEGATIVE-PORTRAIT-PARAMOUNT-PICTURES/191381341549?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D26215%26meid%3D638599a897ae445e8a187ccf3329a2cb%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D10926%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D311136377555.

Posted October 21, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Modern Screen,’ October 1940: Just how does she do it?   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.10.20 at 20:10
Current mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

carole lombard modern screen october 1940ba

And by “do it,” we’re referring to Carole Lombard’s acting prowess, something that in 1940 often was ignored while the press instead focused on her status as Mrs. Clark Gable number three. But see that word “Success,” roughly belt-high to her while she poses for a promotional still from “They Knew What They Wanted”? That’s the angle, in acting terms,Modern Screen decided to explore in its October issue. (The first four words of the headline are “The Secret Of Lombard’s.”)

And we’re glad they did, because it provides a rarely seen insight into what made Carole the actress tick, from several people who knew Lombard well. (Some of this is indistinguishable from Carole the off-screen personality, but there are some subtle differences, too.) Save for an anecdote near the end, Lombard herself isn’t quoted here, which is just as well; her ability to act wasn’t something she could readily explain (just as many of baseball’s greatest hitters aren’t always able to analyze what makes them succeed).

So here’s a story that explains the whys and wherefores of Carole Lombard, actress. Enjoy these comments from some of Carole’s closest associates.

carole lombard modern screen october 1940aa
carole lombard modern screen october 1940ca
carole lombard modern screen october 1940dacarole lombard modern screen october 1940ea

Directors Garson Kanin, Mitchell Leisen and George Stevens; cinematographer Harry Stradling; and still photographer Fred Nendrickson are among those in the story who vouch for Lombard’s acting talent. Good piece, isn’t it?

Carole was found elsewhere in the issue, such as in this Lux soap ad:

carole lombard modern screen october 1940fa

And on the homefront, some Gable and Lombard anecdotes:

carole lombard modern screen october 1940ga
carole lombard modern screen october 1940ha

Joan Crawford never made a film titled “Broadway Serenade”; could any Crawford fan know what film the magazine is referring to?

This issue’s cover subject was future Crawford rival Bette Davis…

modern screen october 1940a cover

…while one of the highlights inside is a delightful profile of one of the few non-stars in the industry known by most casual fans, that most independent and misquoted of moguls, the one and only Samuel Goldwyn:

carole lombard modern screen october 1940a
modern screen october 1940ba
modern screen october 1940camodern screen october 1940da
modern screen october 1940ea

And wouldn’t you know it — the first film ad in that issue was for Goldwyn’s latest film, “The Westerner”:

modern screen october 1940fa

There also were ads for MGM’s “Strike Up The Band”…

modern screen october 1940ga

…Columbia’s “The Howards Of Virginia,” which many deem among the least of Cary Grant’s starring vehicles…

modern screen october 1940ha

…Warners’ “Tugboat Annie Sails Again,” an attempt to revive the franchise six years after Marie Dressler’s passing (look at the lead characters’ names; I’m guessing a young Jay Ward probably saw this film)…

modern screen october 1940ia

…Twentieth Century-Fox’s “Brigham Young,” where Darryl F. Zanuck tried to shoehorn the story of the Mormon leader into a routine western adventure tale, soft-pedaling polygamy and such (it also was marketed with the title “Brigham Young — Frontiersman”)…

modern screen october 1940ja

…and Universal’s latest from its meal ticket, Deanna Durbin:

modern screen october 1940ka

This 90-page magazine, listed in “very good” condition (the seller describes it as “Cover in very good condition with some wear, crease lines at the bottom edge, edge wear, crease near spine, inside pages are in very good to excellent condition with some with some having a tiny bent at the top edge”) can be yours for $37.97. Interested? Then check outhttp://www.ebay.com/itm/BETTE-DAVIS-1940-Carole-Lombard-WILLIAM-HOLDEN-Ronald-Colman-JUDY-GARLAND-Bing/121460895423?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D26215%26meid%3D8c10dd744c9a425e8cadc7b757ab5abc%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D10926%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D121460895423 to buy or for more information.

Posted October 20, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

An old setting, a new angle   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.10.19 at 06:39
Current mood: impressedimpressed

carole lombard p1202-862

Over the years, this Carole Lombard image — Paramount p1202-862, from mid-1934 — has become fairly common among collectors (understandably so, given Carole’s vivacious pose). And perhaps you’ve seen other shots from that session, such as the more contemplative p1202-857:

carole lombard p1202-857a

But here’s a portrait taken in that curved chair, in front of blinds, which I’ve never seen before…and I’m guessing it’ll be new to you, too. Unlike the other pics, this is horizontal:

carole lombard p1202-851b

It’s p1202-851, and if you can’t make out the number from that image, here it is in close-up:

carole lombard p1202-851 corner large

The seller labels it “elegant and oversized” (11″ x 14″). It’s not original, but was struck from the original negative on glossy paper, in near-mint condition.

Bids begin at $25 for this Lombard rarity, with the auction closing at 4:05 p.m. (Eastern) Saturday. To bid or learn more, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/ELEGANT-OVERSIZE-PHOTO-OF-CAROLE-LOMBARD-/281471783950?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item418906940e.

Posted October 19, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Some reviews to ‘Digest,’ 1936   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.10.18 at 22:55
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

carole lombard p1202-1106b front

Above is Paramount p1202-1106, the first Carole Lombard portrait copyrighted 1936, a pivotal year for her for reasons beyond the start of her romance with Clark Gable. Professionally, in ’36 Lombard arrived for good as a top-tier star; there was no turning back.

It just so happens that one of the publications brought online by the Media History Digital Library (http://mediahistoryproject.org/) is something called the Motion Picture Review Digest. Its name defines its purpose, as it encapsulates reviews of recent films from a variety of sources, newspapers and magazines, both general purpose and trade sheets.

The library has uploaded copies from 1936 to 1939, and we’ll take a look at them year by year, beginning with reviews the Digest printed during 1936 and listed in its quarterly editions. Rather than list them issue by issue, we’ll examine them by movie (as film reviews often were shown in two different quarterlies), chronologically by date of release. Before we do that, here’s a sample of how the Digest lists reviews:

carole lombard motion picture review digest 00a

With that in mind, let’s begin with “Hands Across The Table,” released in October 1935 (and presumably receiving many reviews in the December 1935 quarterly) but the topic of some reviews in early 1936:

carole lombard hands across the table 06d

“Hands Across The Table”:

carole lombard motion picture review digest march 1936 hands across the table 00a
carole lombard motion picture review digest march 1936 hands across the table 01a

carole lombard love before breakfast 12c

“Love Before Breakfast”:

carole lombard motion picture review digest march 1936 love before breakfast 00a
carole lombard motion picture review digest march 1936 love before breakfast 01a
carole lombard motion picture review digest june 1936 love before breakfast 00a

carole lombard the princess comes across 34a eugene robert richee

“The Princess Comes Across”:

carole lombard motion picture review digest june 1936 the princess comes across 00a
carole lombard motion picture review digest june 1936 the princess comes across 01a
carole lombard motion picture review digest september 1936 the princess comes across 00a
carole lombard motion picture review digest september 1936 the princess comes across 01a

carole lombard my man godfrey 048a

“My Man Godfrey”:

carole lombard motion picture review digest september 1936 my man godfrey 00a
carole lombard motion picture review digest september 1936 my man godfrey 01a
carole lombard motion picture review digest december 1936 my man godfrey 00a
carole lombard motion picture review digest december 1936 my man godfrey 01a

Some fascinating contemporary thoughts, particularly about “Godfrey” — it certainly was well-received, yet it hadn’t yet warranted a description as “classic.” But unlike Godfrey’s portfolio in 1929, its stock would rise in ensuing years.

Posted October 19, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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