Again, feel your oats   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.03.31 at 01:14
Current mood: weirdweird

carole lombard clark gable 031b

When Carole Lombard and Clark Gable went hunting together in search of duck or pheasant, one wonders whether they had this for breakfast on those chilly mornings in the wild:

quaker oats 1930s larger

Good old Quaker Oats, a rise-and-shine staple for generations. And a few years earlier, many Americans could have Carole and Clark “join them” for breakfast:

carole lombard quaker oats standee 2014aquaker oats standee 2014a clark gable

Yes, those 7-inch high Quaker Oats standee collectibles we discussed a few years ago (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/482769.html) are back, again from Cliff Aliperti at Immortal Ephemera, who’s giving his readers — and ours — a chance to claim these items before they reach eBay on Tuesday. This time around, 26 stars are available; while it’s not a complete set (there’s no Marlene Dietrich standee included, as there was in 2012), there are enough notables on hand to whet the appetite of any classic Hollywood fan (even after a hearty bowl of oatmeal).

On a budget? You can get Binnie Barnes or George Brent for $8.50 apiece:

quaker oats standee 2014a binnie barnesquaker oats standee 2014a george brent

At the other end of the spectrum are Jean Harlow, at $45, a whopping twenty bucks more than the Gable standee. (Lombard joins Myrna Loy and Joan Crawford at $24.) The only surviving member of the standee group is Olivia De Havilland, whose image is going for $14:

quaker oats standee 2014a jean harlowquaker oats standee 2014a olivia de havilland

Information on the Lombard standee is at https://store.immortalephemera.com/#!/~/product/category=9089644&id=35404824. To learn about the entire set, visithttps://store.immortalephemera.com/#!/~/category/id=9089644&inview=product35404824&offset=0&sort=addedTimeDesc.

Finally, today marks opening day for 25 of the 30 teams in major league baseball (the Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona and San Diego have already began their seasons, and the New York Yankees open at Houston Tuesday night). As a Washington Nationals fan, I’m excited about today’s opener in New York against the Mets. Although the Nats finished 86-76 to give D.C. its first back-to-back winning seasons in MLB in 80 years (okay, that includes a 33-year absence of baseball), it was a disappointment following an NL East title in 2012. With a new manager in Matt Williams and several good off-season trades, this should be a hungrier team wearing the curly “W” this summer.

And going from Quaker to a quake, in case you haven’t seen this video clip, it’s fascinating, and yet another example of Vin Scully as the man who’s seen everything. During his 65 years doing Dodgers games in both Brooklyn and Los Angeles, he’s broadcast games everywhere from Boston’s long-vanished Braves Field (from 1950 to 1952) to Australia (two games just over a week ago). Friday night, Dodger Stadium played host to the exhibition Freeway Series against the Angels, and during the sixth inning things began shaking…and no, not from the sound system, but from what turned out to be a 5.1 (downgraded from the 5.3 Scully initially stated). No damage was reported — in fact, judging from fan reaction, few felt it in the ballpark — but it was noticeable at the press box level, and without missing a beat, Scully calmly described the atmosphere. Listen to a master at work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLBV7Yahfbg

Posted March 31, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Looking back: March 1934   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.03.30 at 13:13
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

carole lombard p1202-646c

Just as Carole Lombard stretched out her arms for this pose in Paramount p1202-646, so was she stretching — both professionally and personally — in March 1934, about the time this portrait was taken. Now more than half a year following her divorce from William Powell, Lombard was asserting herself as a woman on her own…and for a Hollywood leading lady, that meant finding her own house. Carole briefly resided in Beverly Hills, but in early 1934, she decided on a new abode — a Hollywood Boulevard home that would become identified with this, the most vivacious period of her life.

And according to a story the Winnipeg Tribune ran on March 3, this home was awash in a personality indicative of her hair shade:

carole lombard 030334 winnipeg tribunecarole lombard 030334a winnipeg tribune

carole lombard hollywood boulevard home 00b

It’s worth noting that William Haines, the interior decorator in question, is not identified here. Perhaps at this time he was still identified as an actor, and author Mollie Merrick didn’t want to discuss why Haines no longer was in acting (hint: it had something to do with his rather open homosexuality).

Meanwhile, Carole was working on “Twentieth Century” with the esteemed John Barrymore at Columbia, and no longer was intimidated by his status, as her self-confidence was growing. Proof can be found in this blurb from the March 2 Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner:

carole lombard 030234 ogden standard-examiner

A different Lombard was developing, one no longer hemmed in by conventions of being an “actress.” Some of that still could be seen in her latest film, “Bolero”…

carole lombard 032234 winnipeg tribune

…and in a review of it that ran March 8 in, of all places, a small newspaper in north-central Iowa, the Algona-based Kossuth County Advance:

carole lombard 030834 kossuth county advance
carole lombard 030834a kossuth county advance

“Effective in some scenes, quite useless in others” — certainly not taken verbatim from a Paramount press release! (If it was, it certainly wouldn’t misspell George Raft’s last name as “Raff” multiple times.) Aside from large metropolitan dailies, few papers at the time bothered to post original movie reviews, either out of lack of time (or laziness) or a reluctance to upset theater owners or studios and risk losing advertising.

The same day that review ran, a syndicated column appearing in the Sandusky Register in Ohio pulled the curtain behind a major cinematic secret…dubbing singing voices:

carole lombard 030834 sandusky register

“Betty [Rome] can sing throaty-like, in the Carole Lombard fashion, and has.” But does this mean she sang for Lombard?

Newspapers tended to run press releases from studios to fill up space. On March 25, the Sandusky paper ran these five briefs, all from Paramount, without noting that fact:

carole lombard 032534 sandusky register

Much of Carole’s popularity was due to her physical attributes. We’re all familiar with the Lombard legs and face, but what about…her shoulders? Illustrator Willy Pogany praised them in a piece from Hearst’s International News Service and run on the March 30 Indiana (Pa.) Gazette:

carole lombard 033034 indiana gazette

Little did their readers realize that over the next half-decade, one of their native sons would be rubbing shoulders, so to speak, with Lombard and several other stars listed. That native son was James Stewart, of course.

Carole reportedly played some basketball in her youth, and while she wasn’t prepared to suit up again, she was among the stars who helped purchase uniforms for the (presumably all-male) Paramount studio team. We learned this from the March 28 Ottawa Journal in the Canadian capital:

carole lombard 032834 ottawa journal

Finally, the post-divorce dating relationship between Lombard and her ex, William Powell, now was well known — to the point where it became the element of jokes, such as this one from the March 31 Harrisburg (Pa.) Telegraph:

carole lombard 033134a harrisburg telegraph

Incidentally, I should note I’ve found another source to use for vintage Lombard news. In addition to the Newspaper Archive (http://newspaperarchive.com), I’m now using http://www.newspapers.com, which has a slightly different array of newspapers, including the famed Brooklyn Daily Eagle where my grandfather once worked (and no, he was not a film critic). Both services have subscription fees.

Posted March 30, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Two ways to celebrate the 75th   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.03.29 at 17:24
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

carole lombard clark gable 145a

This attractive portrait of Carole Lombard with Clark Gable — who were married 75 years ago today — can be yours via eBay. It’s an image I’ve never seen before, not an original but an 8″ x 10″ printed on professional stock. It sells for $9; as of this writing, five copies are available. If interested, go tohttp://www.ebay.com/itm/Clark-Gable-and-Carole-Lombard-sitting-in-the-grass-candid-8×10-rare-photo/261435914563?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.RVI%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20862%26meid%3D5835252333053332912%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D9302%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D261435914590.

carole lombard clark gable myrna loy charles laughton melvyn douglas 00b

The same seller has this image of Clark and Carole with three other Hollywood legends (Charles Laughton, Myrna Loy and Melvyn Douglas), which I believe was taken at the Greek war relief radio broadcast of early January 1941 (see the NBC microphone directly above Douglas?). Conditions are identical to the other pic — five copies available, $9 apiece — and you can purchase yours by visiting http://www.ebay.com/itm/Clark-Gable-and-Carole-Lombard-with-Myrna-Loy-and-others-8×10-rare-photo/261435914590?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.RVI%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20862%26meid%3D5835346090842644456%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D9302%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D261435914563.

Posted March 29, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Tomorrow, a matrimonial milestone   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.03.28 at 09:25
Current mood: accomplishedaccomplished

carole lombard clark gable 033039b front

Saturday will mark the 75th anniversary of Carole Lombard’s marriage to Clark Gable…a bit of Hollywood history that didn’t take place in Hollywood, or even in California. Rather, it occurred in Kingman, Ariz., a small town within reach of Los Angeles on the fabled Route 66. (Bobby Troup’s famous song of that title, recorded by everyone from Nat Cole’s trio to the Rolling Stones, lists it among towns on would pass on the journey west — “…Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino…”)

The wedding caught the movie press by surprise, as many were in San Francisco for the premiere of “The Story Of Alexander Graham Bell.” A break in filming in “Gone With The Wind” enabled the couple to escape L.A. and take their vows. It was done in such a low-key manner that any photographs of Clark and Carole had to wait until a press conference at Lombard’s home the following day, after the wedding was reported in the New York Times and other newspapers:

carole lombard clark gable 033039a ny times pg 16a
carole lombard clark gable 033039a ny times pg 16b

Incidentally, note the error in the AP story? It lists Lombard at 31, a year older than her actual age of 30. (There probably were some reporting her as being 29, as an Oct. 6, 1909 birth date — not the true date of Oct. 6, 1908 — was part of much Carole publicity from her various studios.) And no, they did nothoneymoon in Oatman, Ariz., despite numerous reports.

Posted March 28, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Carole of the curves, or Lombard of the legs?   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.03.27 at 19:08
Current mood: hothot

carole lombard 2497c front

Which was it? During her days with Mack Sennett, Carole Lombard herself probably didn’t care, since either helped distract audiences from that scar on her cheek she suffered in an auto accident of a few years back. Sennett encouraged the curves, which legend says Carole got from eating bananas, to bolster the sex appeal of his latest troupe of bathing beauties.

But as Lombard also started working at Pathe (which had a distribution agreement with Sennett), its producers saw said curves as a liability. While at Pathe, she not only shed the “e” from her first name but a few of those banana-gained pounds as well. The result: A sleek lady whose good legs got even better. The Carole one now cared for depended upon whether you needed her to fill a swimsuit or a pair of stockings.

One magazine was definitely on the side of the stems — a relatively obscure title whose initial issue focused on the Lombard legs. It’s the November 1929 Screen Art, with an image taken by the renowned Edwin Bower Hesser:

carole lombard screen art november 1929ab

CAROL LOMBARD
“Few screen actresses have legs as beautiful as Carol Lombard, screen player under contract to Pathe. For perfection, according to Gus Edwards, legs must start from a thin hip line, tapering gradually to dainty ankles.”

A nice compliment, to be sure, but who the heck was Gus Edwards and what made him such an expert? He was a song composer (“By The Light Of The Silvery Moon,” “In My Merry Oldsmobile”) in New York and then a chorus director at MGM, and presumably saw plenty of dancers’ legs while on Broadway. Here’s a story he wrote in that issue about what makes good legs on stage or screen:

carole lombard screen art november 1929cd
carole lombard screen art november 1929bd

Several other leg legends graced the story, including Ann Pennington of dimpled knees fame…

carole lombard screen art november 1929cc

…as well as Gilda Gray and Alice White:

carole lombard screen art november 1929bb

The cover gave its readers what to expect — artistic semi- or full nudes in the tasteful Ziegfeld tradition:

carole lombard screen art november 1929 cover large

Those “models” included two ladies whom like Lombard would find fame in the ensuing decade — Joan Bennett, left, and Jean “Harlowe” (looks like she found the “e” that Pathe made Lombard shed!)…

carole lombard screen art november 1929eb

…and Lily — later Lili — Damita (who’d previously married director Michael Curtiz and later would marry another Warners mainstay, Errol Flynn), as well as Anna May Wong:

carole lombard screen art november 1929fa

One bid, for $24.99, has been made on this magazine, and bidding is set to end at 10 p.m. (Eastern) Monday. If you want to get a leg up on any competition (pardon the pun) or simply are curious, go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-SCREEN-ART-Vol-1-No-1-1929-art-deco-Nude-Magazine-Carol-Lombard-Jean-harlow/321361015194?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.RVI%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20862%26meid%3D5790373706862666163%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D9302%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D310908822606.

With the next issue, the magazine was renamed Screen Art Studies, and in issue No. 4 in early 1930, Lombard reappeared in a rather racy photo also taken by Hesser:

carole lombard 1930 no. 4 screen art studies 01a

Posted March 27, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Touring LA with a TCM twist   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.03.26 at 09:19
Current mood: enthralledenthralled
carole lombard sardi's fan 00b

Barring a time machine or magic, those attending the TCM Classic Film Festival next month in Los Angeles won’t see Carole Lombard — and they won’t see the short-lived West Coast version of Sardi’s, the Hollywood Boulevard restaurant where this mid-1930s candid was taken. But there are memories of the movie capital, both real and imagined, and for a brief while, Turner Classic Movies is giving people a chance to experience them…for free.

tcm la bus tour 00a

Yes, there are numerous Hollywood tours, some directed by online friends of mine and many I plan to experience once I become a full-time Los Angeles resident later this year. But TCM has won plaudits for its New York classic movie bus tour (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/627086.html), and temporarily at least, it’s bringing its approach to LA. Like its NYC counterpart, this tour takes about three hours…and the “Los Angeles” in the logo, not to mention the downtown skyline as a background, indicates this isn’t merely a “Hollywood” tour, just as the LA film industry transcends that segment of the city.

tcm la bus tour 09a

To whet your appetite, here are some pictures. Several classic Hollywood bloggers have taken the tour, including Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings (http://laurasmiscmusings.blogspot.com/2014/03/tcm-los-angeles-movie-locations-bus-tour.html) and Elise’s Ramblings (http://elisesramblings.blogspot.com/2014/03/tcm-movie-location-tour-in-la.html). First, the bus itself, with plenty of window space for picture-taking:

tcm la bus tour 07

Your host will be none other than TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz…

tcm la bus tour 08

And as Dr. Seuss would say, oh, the places you’ll go! Of course, you’ll get great views of the “HOLLYWOOD” sign…

hollywood sign 007

…and pass Paramount Pictures, where Carole worked for seven years (but if you want to see the Bronson gate she passed through rather than the later, less iconic Melrose gate, you’ll have to take its tour)…

paramount melrose gate 00

…but you’ll also visit downtown sites recognizable to generations of film fans, such as the interior of the Bradbury Building. (Your grandparents knew it from the 1949 “D.O.A.”, your parents from the 1982 “Blade Runner” and you know it from the 2011 silent Oscar-winner “The Artist.”)

los angeles bradbury building 1979b

Another favorite film noir-era location was Angels Flight on Bunker Hill, now moved a block south of its original site (and let’s hope the beloved incline is working that day):

tcm la bus tour 10

This? Forget it, Jake, it’s (the entrance to) Chinatown:

tcm la bus tour 11

And not far away, what LA’s original Chinatown was moved for — the magnificent Union Station:

los angeles union station 05

For all we know, Lombard may have used one of these waiting-room seats on Jan. 12, 1942 while awaiting the train that would take her from Los Angeles for the last time:

los angeles union station waiting room large

That’s the good news about the tour. The bad news is that it is “sold out” (the quotation marks are because it’s free); but those who made reservations may not show, so standbys may have a chance to take part. Go to http://www.tcm.com/20/ for more information.

It’s possible that thanks to popular demand, the tour will be revived after its scheduled closing date of April 14 — though if it does, it almost certainly will be a paid tour, similar to its New York counterpart. For now, try to experience three hours of the town that helped lead to the iconic channel sponsoring next month’s festival.

Posted March 26, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Carole gets carded   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.03.25 at 19:39
Current mood: excitedexcited

carole lombard william powell agua caliente b

No, not for that. Carole Lombard (shown with then-husband William Powell and Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Truex) not only was 24 when that shot (the photo!) was taken in January 1933, and it was taken at Agua Caliente in Mexico. (In fact, Lombard probably was never asked for proof of age for drinking even after she turned 21 on Oct. 6, 1929. A little thing called Prohibition, y’know.)

We have a different sort of carding in mind…specifically, this:

carole & co. business card 00 front

Introducing the first Carole & Co. business card, which I think looks pretty good (though if you’re viewing it on a typical desktop screen, it’s about 2 1/4 times its actual size). A lovely smile from Lombard, from about ’33 or so. If you’re more into Lombard’s legs than her smile, here’s a swimsuit scene on the flip side:

carole & co. business card 00 back

If you’re attending the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood two weeks hence, I’ll have some cards on hand, ready to distribute. (Since I don’t have credentials — after all, the main purpose of the trip is to search for an apartment when I make my planned move to Los Angeles later this year, and I didn’t arrange my visit until after the press deadline had ended — I’ll try to be low-key.) Looking forward to seeing you there.

Posted March 25, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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