Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Milking some glamour, plus a word from ‘Mom’   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.10.30 at 12:34
Current mood: excitedexcited

carole lombard p1202-1589a front

Even before hitching to Clark Gable as her second husband, Carole Lombard showed the public her sudden fondness for rural life through a series of Paramount publicity photographs taken at the San Fernando Valley ranch she owned in 1937. (It’s probably some subdivision now.) Above is p1202-1589, which we’ve shown before; now another photo from that farmland session has surfaced. This one is p1202-1582, shows Carole with a cow, trying to prove that posing with a bovine indeed can be glamorous. We’ll leave that answer up to you…

carole lombard p1202-1582b

…but note the snipe on the back, where Paramount seeks to prove the argument while simultaneously promoting her upcoming film, “True Confession”:

carole lombard p1202-1582a back

“Farmerette”? OK, Paramount.

This hitherto unseen pic (at least unseen by me, who’s been tracking down Lombard portraits for a decade or more) is up for auction at eBay. It’s an original, 7.25″ x 9.5″, and in very good condition. (I presume “Menningen” owned this image at one time or another.)

Bidding begins at $9.99, with the auction scheduled to end at 8:08 p.m. (Eastern) Wednesday. If, unlike Bart Simpson, you want to have a cow (does he still say that anymore?) or are simply curious about this photo, then go to

Even though the major league baseball season ended last night — and while I wasn’t rooting for either San Francisco or Kansas City, that postseason pitching performance from Giants’ lefthander Madison Bumgarner bordered on the amazing — I’m nevertheless in a good mood. That’s because my favorite sitcom, “Mom,” finally is returning for its second season tonight, at 8:30 Eastern and Pacific, 7:30 Central. (It had been set to open on Monday late in September, but at the last minute CBS decided to shift it to Thursdays following the end of its Thursday NFL telecasts. “Mom” likely will return to Mondays in January.)

mom cbs 00

With Anna Faris (a delightful comedic actress in the Lombard tradition) and multi-Emmy winner Allison Janney heading the cast, “Mom” is a well-written series, and one of the best multi-camera sitcoms on TV, about mother-and-daughter recovering alcoholics who struggle to make ends meet…while the next generation includes a single teen daughter who just gave birth. That dysfunction doesn’t sound like a formula for laughs, but there’s plenty of humor, as well as poignant moments, yet it never hits you over the head as if it were a ’70s afterschool special. Mark my word, you’ll enjoy it.

The series has its own Facebook site (, and there will be a live chat with the cast at 8:30 (Eastern) at

Posted October 30, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

To the magnetism of Carole and Fred   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.10.29 at 16:11
Current mood: amusedamused

carole lombard fred macmurray 01c

While we await Game 7 of the World Series, the finale of the 2014 major league baseball season, let’s examine Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray. Just as John Barrymore helped elicit a career-changing performance from Carole in 1934’s “Twentieth Century,” so did Lombard return the favor to some extent for MacMurray a year later in “Hands Across The Table.” (To be fair, earlier in 1935 MacMurray showed solid chemistry with Claudette Colbert in “The Gilded Lily,” but Fred later credited Carole for drawing out his truly comedic side.)

You might say Lombard and MacMurray were drawn to each other like magnets. And speaking of that, how’d you like to have a 2″ x 3″ magnet of Carole and Fred, suitable for your refrigerator? Well, you can, and it looks like this:

carole lombard fred macmurray magnet 00a

As of this writing, four are available, at $3.99 each. To purchase yours, go to

Several months ago, we noted that Broadway dynamo Kristin Chenoweth was soon to take on a Lombard role, playing Lily Garland in a revival of “On The Twentieth Century,” a musical adaptation of the ’34 film that originally starred Madeline Kahn on Broadway ( And here is Kristin as Lily Garland…

kristin chenoweth on the twentieth century 00a

…and her enjoying a Slurpee after the shoot:

kristin chenoweth on the twentieth century 01a

The show will open a limited run in February. Learn more by visiting

Posted October 29, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Silver Screen,’ August 1931: From Powell’s point of view   1 comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.10.28 at 21:34
Current mood: chipperchipper

carole lombard william powell honeymoon 03a

We know what marriage meant for Carole Lombard in mid-1931, but let’s not forget that it came during a time of upheaval in the career of her new husband, William Powell. The couple was on their honeymoon at the time Modern Screen’s August issue hit newsstands, and while the magazine hedged its bets on their future marital status when this following story went to press, it’s nonetheless a fascinating profile of Powell, who hadn’t been entirely happy at Paramount and thus (figuratively!) jumped ship to Warners:

carole lombard silver screen august 1931aa
carole lombard silver screen august 1931ba

I don’t know if Powell said precisely those words to author Marquis Busby in this interview, but it certainly sounds like him. I especially enjoy his disdainful comments about “Ladies’ Man,” his final film for Paramount (and his second with Carole):

carole lombard silver screen august 1931ab

Lombard’s other presence in the issue was a review of her Paramount film “Up Pops The Devil”:

carole lombard silver screen august 1931cb

The issue had Ruth Chatterton on the cover…

silver screen august 1931 cover large

…and included a feature on Miriam Hopkins, who acted with Lombard in “Fast And Loose” and whose career occasionally would intersect with hers over the next decade (in fact, she was selected over Carole for a lead role in Ernst Lubitsch’s “The Smiling Lieutenant”):

silver screen august 1931aa
silver screen august 1931ba

The economy may have underwent a downturn in mid-1931, but for now that wasn’t stopping studios from advertising upcoming movies in fan magazines. The August ’31 Silver Screen is chock full of them, beginning with Fox’s “Transatlantic”:

silver screen august 1931ca

Warners ran similar ads for their latest vehicles for Barbara Stanwyck…

silver screen august 1931da

…and Dorothy Mackaill, both of which featured Joan Blondell in supporting roles:

silver screen august 1931ea

MGM promoted its considerable star power (though note that among those actors listed, but not pictured, was Clark Gable):

silver screen august 1931fa
silver screen august 1931ga

RKO also did a general ad, focusing on stories rather than stars:

silver screen august 1931ha

Even Lombard’s old employer Mack Sennett, now affiliated with Educational Pictures, got into the act:

silver screen august 1931ia

Andy Clyde later moved to Columbia and made many comedy shorts into the 1950s, though they never received the later TV exposure that the Three Stooges did.

Posted October 28, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

A Lombard portrait in a New York state of mind   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.10.27 at 14:47
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

carole lombard p1202-2d

Here’s proof that not all “classic Hollywood portraiture” took place in Hollywood…or even in southern California. This pensive shot of Carole Lombard, Paramount p1202-2, was taken in New York by Herman Zerrenner in the late summer of 1930, when Lombard was in the East to make “Fast And Loose,” what would be her only film at Paramount’s Astoria studios in Queens.

paramount astoria studios 01b

When another photo from that session, p1202-5, was shown on Facebook today…

carole lombard p1202-5

…someone responded, “She looks like a kid in this picture.” In a way, she was, since Lombard had yet to turn 22.

An attractive 8″ x 10″ glossy reprint of p1202-2 now is available for $4.99, and as of this writing, four copies remain. To purchase yours, go to×10-b-w-photo-print-photograph-/331358880009?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d26874109.

Posted October 27, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Carole, and some company   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.10.26 at 15:55
Current mood: gratefulgrateful

carole lombard george raft gary cooper charles butterworth fred macmurray 1937b souls at sea

We know Carole Lombard had many friends in Hollywood; this picture shows her with four of them, all of whom worked with her at one time or another. From left with Carole are George Raft, Gary Cooper, Charles Butterworth and Fred MacMurray. The photo was taken on the set of “Souls At Sea,” starring Raft and Cooper and released in 1937 — the same year Lombard, MacMurray and Butterworth appeared in another Paramount film, “Swing High, Swing Low.” It’s possible both movies were in production simultaneously, but “Souls At Sea” wasn’t released until September, roughly half a year after “Swing High, Swing Low.”

This rare pic was one of several Carole rarities found by my Facebook friend Tally Haugen, who’s also uncovered images of Lombard and Cooper from 1932…

carole lombard gary cooper 1932c

…and 1934…

carole lombard gary cooper 1934a

…as well of one of her with MacMurray to promote 1936’s “The Princess Comes Across”:

carole lombard the princess comes across 41b

And as a reminder that Carole had many pals who weren’t human, here she is with beloved dachshund Commissioner:

carole lombard with commissioner 05b

Thanks, Tally, for finding these gems.

Posted October 26, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Carole, Coop and Shirley play pool   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.10.25 at 08:05

Current mood: cheerfulcheerful

carole lombard now and forever 29a

No, nothing about billiards — this publicity still shows Carole Lombard, Gary Cooper and 6-year-old Shirley Temple in a scene from 1934’s “Now And Forever.” (Although one would think Carole and Coop trying to explain the intricacies of pool to the precocious Shirley would have had its own sort of charm.)

This original, rarely seen image measures 8″ x 10″ and is in very fine condition, according to the seller. Here it is in full:

carole lombard now and forever 29

It’s selling for $74.95. Interested? Then go to×10-Shirley-Temple-Carole-Lombard-Gary-Cooper-/371172798484?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item566b9f7014.

The seller has another vintage Lombard image available, one we noted about two months ago, showing Carole with Chester Morris in another 1934 film, MGM’s “The Gay Bride”:

carole lombard the gay bride 38a

It’s 8″ x 10″, in very good-plus condition and going for a mere $24.95. Learn more at×10-Carole-Lombard-Chester-Morris-portrait-/371172800737?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item566b9f78e1.

As of this writing, the seller has 89 photos available, including many Shirley Temple portraits and a few pics personally owned by 1940s actress Ilona Massey. See the collection at

Posted October 25, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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 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 ( 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


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