Posted by vp19 on 2013.05.18 at 18:47
Current mood: content
A few days before Carole Lombard and Clark Gable attended a boxing match at Los Angeles Wrigley Field on May 28, 1937, Hollywood magazine’s June 1937 issue — with mutual friend Myrna Loy on the cover — hit newsstands, and Clark and Carole were part of the cover, too:
Of course, we know it ended with an airplane crash into a Nevada mountain — in Loy’s autobiography, she writes canceling a flight she was scheduled to board helped her avoid a similar fate some years before — but in this context, “end” referred to something far less morbid. Would Gable and Lombard wind up as husband and wife, or was this a mere romantic movie star fling that ultimately would fade away? The public was curious, and this article attempted to whet its collective appetite, using Clark and Carole’s earlier film together, “No Man Of Her Own,” as a starting point:
(Incidentally, isn’t that a delightful photo of Claudette Colbert? The film’s title later was changed to “I Met Him In Paris.”)
Most of that story on Carole trods familiar turf, but I had never heard about the Russ Columbo locket. Nor had I been aware of Gable and Lombard, out for a drive, winding up in a parade in Van Nuys; that might have made for an amusing scene in the otherwise dismal “Gable And Lombard.”
That wasn’t the only place in the magazine you could find Carole. Her latest film, “Swing High, Swing Low,” drew an approving review:
Elsewhere in Hollywood, the magazine was promoting its third series of “Movieland Tours” — where the public could travel from Chicago to the West, first taking in both natural sights, then touring the film capital…including visiting a studio (Paramount in this case), something nearly never done in those days (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/442563.html). The specifics are described below, and if I could find a time machine and make reservations (assuming I could find $5 in U.S. currency made before 1937), heck, I’d join them, too.
It would be nice to find tourists’ photographic souvenirs of being inside Paramount, but I’m guessing they were probably prohibited from taking pictures. Nevertheless, I’d love to be proven wrong, and some of them probably told their experiences to local newspapers once they returned.
Posted by vp19 on 2013.05.17 at 09:25
Current mood: impressed
Three more pictorial goodies from eBay are the topic of today’s entry regarding Carole Lombard memorabilia. We’ll start with a relatively demure Pathe portrait of the 20-year-old Lombard from 1929, cl-139, almost certainly taken by the studio’s William E. Thomas:
The previous autumn, Lombard had played a supporting role in Pathe’s part-talkie “Show Folks.” We’ve run this image before, but as a halftone from a book. Here’s Lombard (who I’m guessing is wearing heels) with Eddie Quillan in an original publicity still:
Now to the Paramount era, and a shot of Carole in swimwear to promote “No One Man.” The seller labels what she’s wearing as a “bikini,” which it clearly isn’t — the term, used to describe an abbreviated two-piece swimsuit, wasn’t originated until after World War II — but it certainly is an example of pre-Code cheesecake, as those long and lovely Lombard legs are on display, albeit indoors in a studio:
The Pathe portrait cl-139 is in good condition, and bidding begins at $19.99; the auction closes at 10 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday. To bid or learn more, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-Orig-Movie-Pub-Still-1930s/161026866793?_trksid=p2045573.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D27%26meid%3D7721336959266107432%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D1011%26rk%3D4%26sd%3D271207294615%26.
The “Show Folks” shot is from the same seller, with the same minimum bid and closing time and measuring 7.5″ x 9.5″. The photo is listed in very good condition. Additional information is available at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-in-Show-Folks-1928-Orig-Movie-Pub-Still/161026866799?_trksid=p2045573.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D27%26meid%3D7721885708686821096%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D1011%26rk%3D4%26sd%3D161026866793%26.
The Paramount swimsuit portrait measures 7.5″ x 9.75″, is linen-backed and is said to be in close to excellent condition. It’s being sold straight up for $275, or you can make an offer; if not bought, it will be available through 3:15 a.m. (Eastern) June 15. If you want this leggy Lombard pose in your collection, go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-Original-1930s-CAROLE-LOMBARD-Sexy-BIKINI-Pre-Code-CHEESECAKE-Portrait/271207294615?_trksid=p2045573.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D27%26meid%3D7721920679117572054%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D1011%26rk%3D3%26sd%3D161026866799%26.
Posted by vp19 on 2013.05.16 at 06:11
Current mood: excited
Ernst Lubitsch played a major role in Carole Lombard’s development as an actress. As head of production for Paramount in the mid-1930s — the only director of note to wield such influence — he helped elevate Lombard to the top tier of that studio’s stars after it hadn’t known what to do with her for several years.
But it wasn’t until the latter part of 1941 that Lubitsch finally directed her, in the acerbic comedy “To Be Or Not To Be.” It would not be released until March 1942, by which time the U.S. had entered World War II and Carole became an indirect casualty of it. For those and other reasons, “To Be Or Not To Be” initially drew a cool critical and public reaction, but over the years it has earned the reputation of a masterpiece for both Lubitsch and Lombard.
“To Be Or Not To Be” has long been available on video and DVD, but now it’s getting the first-class treatment it deserves — from the same people who issued the definitive version of another Carole classic, “My Man Godfrey,” some 12 years ago.
Criterion has announced that its edition of “To Be Or Not To Be” will be released in late August, on both conventional DVD and the newer Blu-ray format.
As one would expect from Criterion, this item abounds with bonuses. There’s a restored digital transfer, an audio commentary, a trailer, a 2010 French documentary on Lubitsch. a booklet, and two radio broadcasts — a 1940 Screen Guild variety show featuring Lubitsch, Jack Benny and Claudette Colbert, and the Screen Guild January 1943 adaptation of “To Be Or Not To Be,” starring Lombard’s former husband William Powell, current wife Diana Lewis and the film’s Sig Rumann (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/268891.html).
This isn’t the first Blu-ray go-round for “To Be Or Not To Be”; the French firm Studio Canal released a version for the Region B format in early 2012. But for those of us in North America, Criterion’s release should be yet another revelation. (List price is $29.95 for the DVD, $39.95 for Blu-ray.)
Posted by vp19 on 2013.05.15 at 19:08
Current mood: cheerful
Yes, the title sounds ominous — might it have something to do with Carole Lombard’s out-of-character prickliness with the press pertaining to matters Clark Gable? — but actually, this is a positive piece regarding Lombard’s personality, coming off her critical and popular triumph in “My Man Godfrey,” a nationwide hit in the final few months of 1936. No sign of Gable anywhere in the story. Nevertheless, the editors of Hollywood played it up more sensationally on its cover (featuring Merle Oberon, by the way).
The angle here is that Carole “betrayed herself” by letting her natural character come through in the role of Irene Bullock, unlike previous films where she immersed herself in the part. As she’s quoted as telling friends, “I’m so much wrapped in it that there’s nothing to bring home!” (Although the article emphasizes that the real-life Lombard possessed none of Irene’s naivete.)
See for yourself:
(Oh, and to whomever was the copy editor: That director’s name you listed on the first page is “Leisen,” not “Leison.”)
A delightful article, which has many of the elements of the February 1937 Motion Picture story, “The Utterly Balmy Home Life Of Carole Lombard” (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/595574.html). But that wasn’t the only place to find Carole; some tidbits on her (and Gable) were posted in a potpourri of Hollywood news:
Posted by vp19 on 2013.05.14 at 14:41
Current mood: hopeful
“Rumba,” Carole Lombard’s second (and final) film with George Raft, tends to get lost in her cinematic shuffle, probably because it’s not very good (in addition to being a rather weak followup to their more successful dance film “Bolero”). That look Lombard gave in the photo above was probably replicated in her reaction to reviews of “Rumba.”
Fortunately, Carole looks far cheerier in this publicity still from the film (so, for that matter, does Raft):
This vintage double-weight photograph measures 7.5″ x 9.5″ — oh, and whomever marked it listed the wrong year for the movie; “Rumba” was released in early 1935. It’s in very good-plus condition, despite the trimmed borders.
Like this photo? It can be yours. Bids open at $29.95, with the bidding period closing at 10:32 p.m. (Eastern) next Monday. To bid, or to learn more, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/GEORGE-RAFT-CAROLE-LOMBARD-Dancers-in-Rumba-1935-ORIGINAL-DBW-PHOTO-/350794126523?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51acf594bb.
Posted by vp19 on 2013.05.13 at 02:02
Current mood: contemplative
Why are we cheering? Because Hollywood magazine is the latest classic-era fan magazine to be placed online — virtually every issue from 1934 to 1943 now is available (http://mediahistoryproject.org/fanmagazines/). For Carole Lombard fans, this means access to more stories about her and interviews of her; even if she isn’t quoted verbatim (her long sentences encourage skepticism in 2013 eyes), those lengthy quotes do provide Carole’s view at the time not just on her own life, but of women’s in general…and by 1930s standards, she and many of her fellow actresses were definite feminists.
Another benefit from having Hollywood digitized is that it answers some story questions left hanging. The cover above is from the November 1935 issue; inside was an article in which Lombard discussed “a woman’s dangerous age.” Some time ago, we printed the first page — now we have the article in its entirety:
A week ago, we noted the auction of a copy of the September 1934 issue of Hollywood where Carole gave the lowdown on life as a divorcee; at the time, we only had the first two pages, but now we have the thrilling (or not-so-thrilling) conclusion, Here are all three pages from the online archive:
Finally, here’s a bonus from the August 1934 issue, as Lombard reviews lessons learned from trying to find her proper “look”:
We’ll have more Lombard goodies from Hollywood in the near future.
Posted by vp19 on 2013.05.12 at 18:15
Current mood: nostalgic
A trio of what, you say? Well, think of a souvenir program or herald distributed at movie theaters during the classic era in conjunction with a film being shown, such as “True Confession” (in which Carole Lombard is shown above with Una Merkel) or two of Carole’s other movies making the rounds in early 1938. In addition to listings, there are also two pages of assorted movie news.
That’s the apparent definition of a “newsette” — and three of them now are available via eBay. All are from the RKO Park theater in Rockaway Park in southeastern Queens, N.Y. First, the “newsette” for “True Confession,” which played the Park in early February:
Later that month, the Technicolor comedy “Nothing Sacred” stopped for a few days:
Carole was riding high, but in April the Park hosted the lackluster “Fools For Scandal” and she was knocked down a peg:
Note that while the theater was part of the RKO chain, none of the Lombard films shown were from that studio.
All three are available via eBay’s “buy it now” option; the one from “Nothing Sacred” goes for $12, the other two for $10. For the “Nothing Sacred” newsette, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/RKO-NEWSETTE-1938-MOVIE-NEWSLETTER-CAROLE-LOMBARD-FREDERICK-MARCH-/300903258757?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item460f3b5a85. For “True Confession,” go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/RKO-NEWSETTE-1938-MOVIE-NEWSLETTER-CAROLE-LOMBARD-FRANCIS-FARMER-/300903263917?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item460f3b6ead. The “Fools For Scandal” newsette can be found at http://www.ebay.com/itm/RKO-NEWSETTE-1938-MOVIE-NEWSLETTER-CAROLE-LOMBARD-/300903190625?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item460f3a5061.
For newsettes from other films of the time — including those starring William Powell, Myrna Loy, Alice Faye, Bette Davis, Cary Grant, Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney and Katharine Hepburn — visit http://www.ebay.com/sch/grandny/m.html?item=300903190625&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item460f3a5061&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562.