So you want to get negative?   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.09.23 at 14:49
Current mood: creativecreative

carole lombard p1202-783

Well, you can, at least where Carole Lombard is concerned — but you’re going to have to pay the price.

That image above, Paramount p1202-783 where Carole wears a sun hat while leaning against a post and showing off those marvelous Lombard legs, is available as a negative. According to the seller, this is the original and only negative of that 1934 portrait; it’s 8″ x 10″, overall in good condition, and comes with a print.

And “pay the price” here is significant — as in $149.99. Still interested? Then go to

The same seller has this Lombard negative for sale as well (though there’s nothing negative about Carole’s megawatt smile!), also for $149.99:

carole lombard 2579a

I’m guessing this to be from 1937, as I think that’s the dress Carole wore in “True Confession.” Again, according to the seller, this is the lone surviving negative of that photo, and it too is 8″ x 10″ and in good condition. To buy or learn more, visit

As of this writing, the seller has 120 Lombard images available; check them out at

Posted September 23, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Had she lived…   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.09.22 at 15:15
Current mood: contemplativecontemplative

carole lombard 011542 with mother last picture larger

This is said to be the last photo ever taken of Carole Lombard, shown with her mother on Jan. 15, 1942 following the war bond rally that night in Indianapolis. Roughly 24 hours later, both of them, along with MGM press agent Otto Winkler, would be victims of a plane crash in Nevada.

But suppose things had been different — that Carole somehow escaped her fate and lived to an advanced age? I’m not suggesting a Lombard who’d still be with us today; in that scenario, she’d be two weeks away from turning 106, older than Luise Rainer. Let’s imagine Carole at middle age, blessed with the maturity she admiringly saw in her mother.

Many have conjured up a “what if” for a Lombard in later years, and one of them is Robert Matzen, author of “Fireball,” the definitive book on that fateful flight. But many years before that, he wrote a bio-bibliography on Carole that can be found at eBay, so he knows plenty about her life as well as her tragic death. It makes for fascinating reading, as we project ourselves into an alternate universe where we read this press release…

carole lombard 1426a rko


Actress vows to ‘come clean’ in Putnam hardcover

HOLLYWOOD, May 1, 1961 -— G.P. Putnam’s Sons announced today that the publisher will release the autobiography of motion picture and television actress Carole Lombard. The would-be author had stated previously that her book would be entitled “Just One of the Guys.” Last week, Miss Lombard, who will turn 50 in October, made a public appearance after months of seclusion following the November 1960 death of her ex-husband, Clark Gable. It is speculated that her memoir will discuss life with the one-time “king of the movies,” as well as their 1946 divorce, continued close friendship, and recent reuniting as co-stars of the romantic comedies, “Teacher’s Pet” and “But Not for Me.”

Miss Lombard’s career began in silent pictures for the Fox and Sennett studios and then continued in the sound era at Paramount. But it was the 1934 Columbia picture “Twentieth Century” that shot her to the top. She solidified her status as “queen of screwball” two years later with an Academy Award-nominated performance in “My Man Godfrey.”

Miss Lombard and Mr. Gable began their association in 1936 and once comprised the most famous couple in Hollywood. They were married during production of the highest grossing motion picture of all time, “Gone With the Wind.” They enjoyed status as the most prolific and profitable stars of the World War II years, and, despite rumors of marital turmoil, their separation at war’s end caught Hollywood by surprise.

Miss Lombard said she has been working on the manuscript for more than two years. In describing its title, she said, “It was the men who ruled the Hollywood roost, and I had to make room for myself in the ‘boys’ club.’ Then I had to do it again when I decided to produce some pictures, and especially when I wanted to direct features and then serve as executive producer of my TV series.”

That series, “Carole of the Belle,” features Miss Lombard as Carole Simpson, a divorced newspaper reporter raising her daughter on a Seattle houseboat called the “Puget Belle.” Now in its 11th season on NBC, “Carole of the Belle” was second in popularity in the last decade only to the CBS smash hit “I Love Lucy,” which starred Miss Lombard’s friend of more than 20 years, Lucille Ball.

In addition to her groundbreaking work in motion pictures and television, among the topics to be remembered by Miss Lombard are a car crash that nearly ended her career in 1925; her marriage to suave leading man William Powell; the strange death of Russ Columbo, a 1930s singer with whom she was romantically linked; a long-time friendship with tennis star Alice Marble; a brush with death when an airliner on which she had been traveling crashed in Nevada after she had disembarked; and her battles with HUAC and unwillingness to “name names.”

Famous for her salty vocabulary and known as one of the most down-to-earth of Hollywood’s elite, Miss Lombard said she would “pull no punches” in her book, although she was coy when asked if she would discuss her post-Gable romances with actor/director Orson Welles, and then her most controversial relationship of all, with actor Paul Newman, a man 15 years her junior.

Putnam anticipates an autumn 1962 release for “Just One of the Guys.”

carole lombard fred hendrickson 1939 rko front large

Before I give some comments, let Bob elaborate on his whys and wherefores:

How this came about…

A colleague of mine, Wendy, is reading Fireball and said to me yesterday, “The whole thing is such a tragedy because if anyone should have lived a long life and produced a great memoir, it’s Carole Lombard.” Wendy paused and said, “She’d have made a great old lady.”

Which got me to thinking. Suppose she hadn’t died on that mountaintop. Suppose she had lived a normal lifetime and worked the length of a normal career. What would have happened? Of course it’s pure fantasy, but when you have spent as much time in someone’s head as I have in hers, you get to a point where you can draw conclusions. Here they’re laid out. Somehow or other, the marriage would have ended, but Lombard didn’t hold grudges and after a time she and Gable would have been friendly. Without the tragedy of her death hanging over his head, three things would have changed: 1) Gable’s ambition wouldn’t have been snuffed out and his brand would have thrived; 2) the public would have been spared seeing Clark Gable as a mortal and he wouldn’t have aged prematurely, and 3) at age 41 and then 42 and 43, he wouldn’t have gone to war; he would have made very popular pictures from 1943 through ’45, during the biggest boom in Hollywood history.

In the meantime, Lombard would have made “He Kissed the Bride” (retitled “They All Kissed the Bride”) and “My Girl Godfrey,” and from there, she would have been off to the races as an independent, enjoying good roles with her contemporaries until 1950. I could see her producing and directing by, say, 1948, and not comedies either. I think Lombard would have gone for gritty film noir as a form of artistic expression. She had wanted to succeed at drama but never broke through, so it’s clear she wanted the challenge of meaty work. She would have been out front with Ida Lupino as a woman director and by this time she would have amassed fortune enough to finance A-pictures as an independent.

Imagine Carole Lombard called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Always a liberal Democrat, Carole would not be the one to rat out a colleague and it was likely she’d lean into the microphone on Capitol Hill and state clearly for newsreel cameras, “With all due respect, sir, you can kiss my ass.”

In 1954, when MGM severed with Gable, Lombard would have been there as his biggest supporter and sooner or later she would have made pictures with him to give her ex a boost -— returning a favor done for her by William Powell in 1936. I picked “Teacher’s Pet” because I could see Lombard in the Doris Day role, and “But Not for Me” where she would have been perfect in the cynical ex-wife part played by Lili Palmer.

Carole would not have spoken about Clark during his lifetime, but because she was indeed a “ham” and because she loved to tell stories (never letting the truth get in her way), I could see Miss Lombard following the trail blazed by Errol Flynn and publishing a scorcher of a memoir.

Romantically, she may well have slipped into a romance with Robert Stack, a premiere Hollywood stud and nice guy who was in love with her. The problem was that Bob didn’t need rescuing, and Carole was a rescuer/nurturer who went for powerful men. Always powerful men. Who fit the bill at this time? Obviously, Orson Welles, who would have been available after his divorce from Rita Hayworth. I asked Carole Sampeck to play along and it was she who labeled Welles a likely candidate, and also young Paul Newman, the next big thing in the late 1950s at a time when Carole would have just been turning 50 but, knowing her, still mindful to play the field.

And finally, I believe Lombard would have turned to television, the rival medium. In a white 1950s America dominated by traditional family values, the formula was for aging female movie stars to play wives and mothers, but not Lombard. Carole would have scratched and clawed to play a woman with guts, a divorcee and career-minded mother. A woman making her own way and suffering romantic misadventures week in and week out, making jokes at her own expense and guiding an onscreen child in lieu of the one she could never produce in life.

Notice that the press release gets Lombard’s age wrong by three years. She had already shaved a year off by 33 and sleight of hand would have killed another couple by the early 1960s. Nobody enjoyed pulling a fast one more than Carole Lombard.

So this is my version of the alternate reality wherein Lombard lived out her lifetime — what’s yours?

carole lombard rko 1939 alex kahle 02a front

OK, my thoughts on his thoughts, as well as on the “release”:

* Based on her relationship with Powell, I believe a Gable-Lombard separation would have been relatively low-key and amicable. (Of course, in Matzen’s scenario, the couple doesn’t have children; their presence probably would have complicated matters.) And a Clark and Carole “Teacher’s Pet” (I too can see her in the Doris Day role) would “reunite” both with Mamie Van Doren, who saw them arrive at the Sioux Falls, S.D. airport when she was a child named Joan Olander.

* Although Carole directed Alfred Hitchcock in his “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” cameo, I’m not certain she wanted to go down the directorial route. Producing? That’s an entirely different matter; Lombard was de facto director of “Smith” and, as we all know, was a very bright businesswoman. So rather than compete with Lupino aa a director, she might have hired Ida for one of her projects.

* I think Lombard would have liked film noir, particularly since so many of those movies were set in the Los Angeles she loved. Since she and Barbara Stanwyck were good pals, Stany might have attached herself to a noir Carole produced. (But I don’t think she would have eschewed comedies, especially ones she could both produce and act in.)

* Post-Gable relationships make for a fascinating “what if.” A Welles-Lombard romance would have been beneficial to both parties; for Orson, Carole would have provided the business sense he needed for his cinematic projects, while Lombard could draw upon Welles’ fertile mind (and occasionally guest on her TV series). And both could toss the bull around with the best of them. My only reservation is that she was about 6 1/2 years older, and Carole might have been reluctant to be with a younger man (the same is true for romances with the even younger Stack and Newman). Then again, by this stage of her life, she might’ve enjoyed the challenge of being the 1950s version of a “cougar,” or figuratively said, “Screw what anyone thinks!” (A Lombard at 50 or so would have retained her allure.)

* “Carole of the Belle”? Intriguing premise for a TV series, though I’m skeptical the concept could sustain itself for 11 seasons; she might have had to reinvent it every few seasons to keep it fresh. Do like the idea of Lombard as a divorced parent, though.

* Lombard before HUAC? She would have ripped them to shreds. (One tangent to this thought: Imagine the relationship between Carole and equally-outspoken liberal Lauren Bacall? They’d have been the best of pals. Conversely, might Democrat Carole and Republican Lucille Ball have had a falling-out? And in this alternate reality, is Lombard appear in a dream to provide the “go for it” impetus for Lucy to go into TV — and if not, does Desilu ever exist? Are “Star Trek” and its progeny ever made?)

* Had Carole and her party joined violinist Joseph Szigeti and got off at Albuquerque, there’s no certainty Flight 3 would have crashed. Perhaps things would be different for those on board, too. (Carole’s mother, had she lived, would have been 84 at the time this book was announced.)

* During my Lombard research, any shaving off of her years to me seemed more the work of the studios than of herself. When this “release” was issued in May 1961, Carole would’ve had no qualm about admitting she was 52.

* “My Girl Godfrey”? Was a project by this title actually considered?

carole lombard rko john miehle 00b front

Bob ends with, “So this is my version of the alternate reality wherein Lombard lived out her lifetime — what’s yours?”

It just so happens that in October 1998, I wrote such a piece in cyberspace about Carole turning 90. It’s long since lost, but I recall a few elements, plus have added several recent ones:

* Lombard kept making movies until the early ’50s, when she followed the lead of her friend Lucille Ball and went into television. But instead of a sitcom, she took the Loretta Young anthology route — albeit for comedy, not drama — and did a series called…”Carole & Company,” where she performed with a troupe of regulars. (So that’s where I got the name for this site!)

* In the early ’50s, Carole — who hadn’t sung publicly since “Swing High, Swing Low,” but enjoyed singing before her friends — agreed to cut a few albums of jazz standards with small groups. None were big hits, though all were well received by critics.

* By the start of the ’60s, Lombard was a regular guest of talk-show hosts such as Jack Paar and then Johnny Carson for her sharp sense of humor and delightful storytelling. (Think Bette Davis in her later years.)

* As she aged, Carole became a favorite character actress in both film and TV, and beginning in the late ’60s made a series of popular comedic TV movies with old friend Myrna Loy. She capped her career in 1998 by portraying a genial witch matriarch (though she told the press, “No, I’m not channeling Billie Burke!”) on an episode of the ABC sitcom “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch,” filmed at the Paramount studio where she had been a contract player more than six decades before.

Ah, what might have been. What’s your Lombard “what might have been,” both professionally and personally?

carole lombard rko cl-264a

Posted September 22, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

For her birthday weekend, Carole to the ninth power   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.09.21 at 10:32
Current mood: excitedexcited

carole lombard p1202-1330d

We’re slightly more than two weeks away from the 106th anniversary of Carole Lombard’s birth on Oct. 6, and that weekend Turner Classic Movies is celebrating with nine, count ‘em, nine of her movies.

OK, the first film scheduled wasn’t really designed as a Lombard tribute, but we’ll throw it in anyway. It’s part of “The Essentials” series at 8 p.m. (Eastern) on Oct. 4 as part of a “Riding The Rails” theme, so I think most of you can figure out what they’re showing — yep, it’s “Twentieth Century”:

carole lombard twentieth century 022a

I’m especially looking forward to comments from Drew Barrymore about her grandfather’s marvelous comedic performance, as well as what she has to say about Lombard (I’m presuming she’s a fan). Oh, and this will be followed by two other train films — Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Lady Vanishes” (1938) at 10 p.m. (ET) and “Without Reservations” (1946), with Claudette Colbert and John Wayne, at midnight.

Then, on Monday the 6th, a surprise of sorts: TCM celebrates Carole’s birthday with eight of her films, less than two months after her 24-hour salute on “Summer Under The Stars.” I thought they’d run a few Lombard movies that day — if Oct. 6 falls on a weekday, she’s usually honored by the channel — but that many, this soon? If I were a Janet Gaynor fan (she’s also an Oct. 6 baby), I’d be ticked off.

That’s the good news for Lombard fans. The bad news is that seven of the scheduled movies ran on Aug. 10; the one that didn’t is “Swing High, Swing Low” (1937), which will kick the celebration at 6 a.m. (Eastern). Parts of it aren’t in the best of shape (as we’ve stated before, no complete 35 mm print of the movie survives and segments are taken from a 16 mm print belonging to director Mitchell Leisen), but you will get to hear Lombard sing in her own voice (in other words, without dubbing) for the only time in her career. Was she a vocal threat to her Paramount pal Dorothy Lamour (who sang with big bands and has a supporting role in this film)? No, but she’s competent at the very least.

carole lombard swing high, swing low 39

The rest of the schedule goes like this (all times Eastern):

* 7:30 a.m. – “Fools For Scandal” (1938)
* 9 a.m. – “The Gay Bride” (1934)
* 10:30 a.m. – “Made For Each Other” (1939)
* 12:30 p.m. – “To Be Or Not To Be” (1942)
* 2:30 p.m. – “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” (1941)
* 4:30 p.m. – “Nothing Sacred” (1937)
* 6 p.m. – “In Name Only” (1939)

If you have a friend or child who has never seen Lombard’s funny elegance in action, this day would be a good primer, though I’d probably start with the showing of “To Be Or Not To Be.” (“Fools For Scandal” and “The Gay Bride” are mediocre, “Made For Each Other” uneven.) “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” is hilarious and shows Carole photographed at her most ethereal, “Nothing Sacred” is a delightful Technicolor screwball and “In Name Only” shows off Lombard’s dramatic skills, opposite Cary Grant, no less. (Why didn’t fate allow them to co-star in a comedy?)

One of these days, we hope TCM can get a hold of some of Carole’s more obscure early Paramount features, many of which haven’t seen the light of day in years. For now, this will have to do.

gertie the dinosaur 00a

And if you’re an animation buff, keep it on TCM during prime time; at 8 p.m. (Eastern), it will run more than four hours of vintage animated shorts from 1912 to 1931. It’s what the channel is calling “Back To The Drawing Board,” featuring famous characters you may have heard of (Little Nemo, Gertie the Dinosaur) but have never seen.

Posted September 21, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Of hedgehogs and Hollywood   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.09.20 at 11:07
Current mood: worriedworried

carole lombard swing high, swing low 37d adolph zukor mitchel

Carole Lombard poses with (from left) co-star Fred MacMurray, director Mitchell Leisen and Paramount mogul Adolph Zukor on the set of the 1937 musical “Swing High, Swing Low.” If any or all of them were zapped into the Hollywood of 2014, they might appreciate many of the technical advances that dazzle today’s cinema audiences. As for the rest of the industry? Not so much.

The mantra “Hollywood is in trouble” has been chanted in the movie colony since silent days, but currently it may have some truth to it.

guardians of the galaxy 00 chris pratt

This past summer was the least profitable at the box office since 1997, and even the core teen male audience Hollywood so dearly covets isn’t as interested in studio output, aside from exceptions such as Marvel’s surprise blockbuster “Guardians Of The Galaxy” (above is its Chris Pratt, real-life husband of Carole & Co. fave Anna Faris). What’s the cause?

According to Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan, think of foxes and hedgehogs:

“The fox…is a fluid animal that knows many things, while the stolid hedgehog knows only one big thing.”

(And Turan doesn’t claim this as an original thought; he says this philosophical argument dates back to ancient times.)

Turan states that during its classic period (the one we celebrate at Carole & Co.) up until recently, Hollywood was the fox, “entertaining everybody by making movies for a wide variety of appetites and audiences.” The mass audience we think of from the Golden Age didn’t always watch the same movies, but there was enough range in film fare to placate nearly all demographic groups.

However, he writes Hollywood now has a hedgehog mentality:

“The one big thing it knows how to do is make sequels and superhero movies and sequels to superhero movies, all aimed at a young adult crowd with no end in sight. The race to secure prime spots has become so intense that studios have claimed release dates for as-yet-untitled superhero movies through 2020, which at this point feels a bit like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.”

Any movies made with adults in mind are shunted off into fringe release dates or late in the year (thus keeping them fresh in the minds of Academy Awards voters). Turan says this unnerves people both inside and outside the industry:

“A few weeks ago I ran into a member of the motion picture academy’s Board of Governors, the people who oversee the organization that gives out the Oscars, and the talk inevitably turned to this situation. ‘We’re supposed to be dedicated to the advancement of the art and science of motion pictures,’ the board member told me. ‘But where is the art these days?'”

Where is the art, indeed? And while Turan focuses too much on adult drama (as usual for both film and TV, the comedy genre is ignored), he cites two factors:

“One is the end of movie studios as free-standing entities, able to set their own course. Now they are part of massive conglomerates with mandates to hit profit predictions or else.

As director Ed Zwick was recently quoted as saying, this means that the studios ‘would rather lose $100 million and make $300 million than be in the game of making $30 million.'”

carole lombard clark gable louis b. mayer largest00

That certainly wasn’t the case for Zukor, or MGM’s Louis B. Mayer (shown with Carole and Metro’s meal ticket, Clark Gable), Fox’s Darryl F. Zanuck or to a lesser extent Columbia’s Harry Cohn (unlike the three studios cited above, Columbia owned no theaters as a financial fallback). They could make the occasional blockbuster, to be sure, but their output included medium-budget movies and low-budget second features.

Turan adds:

“The other factor turning Hollywood into a hedgehog is the importance of the overseas market. As a compelling chart in a recent Hollywood Reporter pointed out, eight of the 10 top-grossing films of this summer made more than 60% of their theatrical revenues outside of the U.S. That’s a big number.

With Hollywood needing the overseas lifeline, certain kinds of films, especially those dependent on sophisticated dialogue and potent psychology, are going to get short shrift. Also, what James Cameron explained to me almost 25 years ago holds true: As you go around the world, ideas of comedy change, ideas of beauty and romance change, but one man hitting another man plays the same way everywhere.”

But in Hollywood’s heyday, its films — and stars — had appeal in Europe as well as in other continents. Couldn’t it happen again?

This subject is something worth discussing, and you can read Turan’s thought-provoking column at

Posted September 20, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

A really late-era p1202, with special guest star…   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.09.19 at 10:33
Current mood: surprisedsurprised

carole lombard p1202-1719d

Until this morning, I believed this sultry image — Paramount p1202-1719 — was the last image of Carole Lombard Paramount ever issued in its p1202 series, which had dated back to soon after she arrived at the studio in 1930. But it turns out I was wrong…and I almost missed it.

And, for that, you can blame Clark Gable.

A glance of eBay’s Lombard memorabilia list included a thumbnail photo of Clark and Carole together in public. Initially, I thought it was something I already had in my collection, so I didn’t investigate. This morning, I did — and I’m glad of it. Otherwise, this would have gotten past me:

carole lombard p1202-1720a front

This p1202-1720 knocked me for a loop for two reasons:

* Lombard’s p1202 portraits usually were solo shots, with no “guest stars” involved. Unless there’s something from the time “No Man Of Her Own” was released, none of them included Gable.

* The p1202 tag is at the bottom center of the photo, not in a corner (usually the right one), as was the case for the vast majority of such pictures.

That in itself is good. What’s even better is that the seller included the back of the photo, which includes information that provides answers…and leads to questions:

carole lombard p1202-1720a back

So Clark and Carole were at the preview of William Wellman’s “Men With Wings” (a Paramount picture, which explains why the photo was taken in the first place, by studio photographer Don English). Both had previously worked with Wellman, while Carole’s resume included four films with MacMurray (and a few with Milland in supporting roles). But the date stamped is Nov. 23, 1938; we know that even though Lombard’s last work at Paramount came in “True Confession” in the fall of 1937, she retained an office there until ceding it to good friend Dorothy Lamour. But did Carole keep ties to Paramount this late into 1938?

A check of “Men With Wings” at the Internet Movie Database indicates the likely answer is no. According to IMDb, the film premiered in New York on July 16, 1938; the preview was in Los Angeles, almost certainly some days beforehand.

Whatever the answer to that is, you don’t have much time to make this 7″ x 9″ photo your own (there are “a few stains on the back and a few creases on front,” but it’s still in good condition). The minimum bid is $14.99…but bidding on this genuine rarity closes at 5:34 a.m. (Eastern) tomorrow. If interested, visit

Posted September 19, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

A quintet of Carole from Walter   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.09.18 at 12:34
Current mood: enthralledenthralled

carole lombard love before breakfast 21c preston foster

Few Carole Lombard fans would label “Love Before Breakfast” as one of her finest moments on screen, but this 1936 Universal comedy has its charms. And if you’re a fan of the film, this might be of interest to you — Walter Reuben at the fine site Walterfilm has a rare poster from the movie on sale:

carole lombard love before breakfast poster 07b

Some of you, especially those who deem themselves experts on Lombard memorabilia, might think, “Haven’t I seen that somewhere before?” Well, not quite; a similar poster surfaced in cyberspace a few years back, but look closely and you’ll note several differences, notably in the shape (the one at the top measures 36″ x 14″):

carole lombard love before breakfast poster 05a

The poster up for sale is described this way by Walterfilm:

“This rarely seen poster is bright in color and offers a glamorous yet comedic pose of the very talented star. Unfolded, there is soiling to the blank white border, more so on both sides of the bottom third of the poster. There is creasing at the bottom right corner and there are four small edge tears, which are ½” to 1″ (2.5 cm.), one near the bottom left edge side of the poster and three at the right edge of the poster. These are not major issues and this poster has brilliant colors — and try finding another one unfolded. VERY GOOD.”

All things considered, it’s in splendid shape, especially since it’s unfolded — and adding rarity to the mix, it’s no wonder the asking price is a whopping $4,000, probably beyond the reach of all but the most serious of Carole collectors. You can learn more at

However, Walterfilm has four other Lombard items for sale, and their combined cost is less than half the “Love Before Breakfast” poster. Two are from her 1934 dance film “Bolero,” a 14″ x 22″ window card…

carole lombard bolero window card 01b

…of which the seller says, “The colors on this poster are stunning. It has been cleaned, restored and re-backed with top and borders repainted, with background touch-ups and a bit of touch-up on Raft’s jacket and hat, a bit of touch-up on right edge of Lombard’s skirt. VERY GOOD.”

The other “Bolero” item is an 11″ x 14″ single-weight glossy silver gelatin publicity still heretofore unseen by me and in “near fine” condition, showing Carole and George Raft getting dressed to dance:

carole lombard bolero 55d

The window card sells for $600 and is at The still has an asking price of $350; for more info, visit

Next up is a 21-year-old Lombard in 1930 and a portrait for “Safety In Numbers,” her initial film for Paramount, and what may be the first photo Eugene Robert Richee ever took of her:

carole lombard safety in numbers 106a front
carole lombard safety in numbers 106a back

Reuben says of the photo, “Minor emulsion flaw above her lip, not bothersome, trimmed by publication, VERY FINE-.” It’s selling straight up for $300, or you can make an offer. Go to for additional information.

Finally, a promotional still for “My Man Godfrey,” possibly from a keybook for the film:

carole lombard my man godfrey keybook 00d

This “Vintage original 8 x 10” (20 x 25 cm.) single weight glossy silver gelatin print still photo,” said to be in “very fine” condition, is selling for $350 — although, as is the case with the “Safety In Numbers” photo, you have the option of making an offer. Find out more by visiting

Posted September 18, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

King and queen together, times two (oh, baby!)   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.09.17 at 23:19
Current mood: draineddrained

carole lombard clark gable 1941b ciro's front

There’s a misconception that once Carole Lombard and Clark Gable were married, they stayed at the ranch and eschewed nightlife completely aside from film premieres or charitable work (e.g., promoting Greek war relief). Actually, the Gables occasionally drove down from Encino to have fun times, though hardly to the extent they did before they were linked as a couple.

Take the image above, for instance. From the snipe on the back, we learn it’s from August 1941, with Clark and Carole dropping by Ciro’s, owned by Billy Wilkerson of Hollywood Reporter fame on Sunset Boulevard:

carole lombard clark gable 1941a ciro's back

It’s one of two vintage photos of the couple up for auction; the other is from December 1940 and was taken outside Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore:

carole lombard clark gable 1940 johns hopkins 02b front

While we now know quite a bit about their visit and the real reason they were at Hopkins (, the snipe with this pic adds some more information (did Clark and Carole ride from Washington in a car provided by President Franklin D. Roosevelt?):

carole lombard clark gable 1940 johns hopkins 02a back

The photo taken in Baltimore measures 7″ x 9″ and has an opening bid of 99 cents, but expect several bids to be made before this auction closes at 9:57 p.m. (Eastern) next Tuesday. To bid or get more information, go to

The pic from Ciro’s is 8″ x 10″ and has two bids as of this writing, topping out at $1.04, and ends one minute before the Hopkins shot. Curious? Then visit

There’s one more pic of Carole with a male…but he’s substantially younger than Gable:

carole lombard made for each other 75b front
carole lombard made for each other 75a back

Most of us know this 6″ x 8″ image is from “Made For Each Other,” where Lombard plays the wife of James Stewart and whose character has a baby. But one of those who didn’t know was the seller, who lists it as “A Vintage 1940s Original Photograph featuring Carole Lombard holding her little one.” (Carole never had a child, and if she’d had one at the time “Made For Each Other” was made, it would have raised quite a fuss, since it was filmed in late 1938 and she and Clark hadn’t married yet.)

One bid has been made, for 99 cents, and the auction ends at 9:58 p.m. (Eastern) next Tuesday. Learn more about the photo at

Posted September 18, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized


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