Archive for January 2012

In full, and for free   Leave a comment

Posted by [info]vp19 on 2012.01.31 at 01:11
Current mood: gratefulgrateful

Reporter Carole Lombard phones in a story in a scene from the 1929 Pathe newspaper drama “Big News” — but that’s not a publicity photo from the studio, but an actual screen grab.

“Big News,” the rarest of Lombard’s three all-talking features for Pathe, can now be found at YouTube:

It’s a bit creaky, adapted from a stage play (most moviemakers hadn’t yet found a consistent flowing rhythm to sound film), but Robert Armstrong is good, Lombard has her moments although it’s really not her film, and director Gregory La Cava (who seven years later would direct what may be Carole’s most famous movie, “My Man Godfrey”) keeps proceedings from getting too sluggish.

In the past, such movies found at YouTube would be divided into 10- to 12-minute segments, because that was all the system could hold. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case, and you can now watch complete cinematic Carole at one sitting (although, of course, you can stop the action whenever you please). Here are several other Lombard films you can watch for free, in full. We’ll start with a few we know to be in public domain:

“High Voltage” (Pathe, 1929)…

…”The Racketeer” (Pathe, 1929)…

…”My Man Godfrey” (Universal, 1936)…

…”Swing High, Swing Low” (Paramount, 1937)…

…”Nothing Sacred” (Selznick International, 1937)…

…and “Made For Each Other” (Selznick International, 1939).

Here’s where things get tricky. As far as I know, none of the following Lombard films have received a legitimate U.S. DVD release; however, I don’t believe any of them are in the public domain. I’m listing and linking them just the same:

“Virtue” (Columbia, 1932)…

…”No More Orchids” (Columbia, 1932)…

…”Brief Moment” (Columbia, 1933)…

…”Bolero” (Paramount, 1934)…

…and “The Gay Bride” (MGM, 1934).

In addition, Lombard’s next-to-last film, “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” (RKO, 1941) can currently be found at YouTube, even though it has had a legit U.S. DVD release:

I can’t guarantee many of the non-public domain films will stay up long, nor can I guarantee the quality of any of these titles. But if you’re in the mood for a Lombard movie, or simply want to show a newcomer to classic Hollywood what she was all about, these will be helpful.

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Posted January 31, 2012 by vp19 in Uncategorized

75 years ago, Harlow wows Washington   Leave a comment

Posted by [info]vp19 on 2012.01.30 at 10:03

Current mood: stressedstressed

One benefit of being a movie star that’s denied to mere mortals is there’s a good chance you’ll be able to meet the president of the United States. Carole Lombard had that opportunity on Dec. 29, 1940, not only meeting Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House but witnessing FDR deliver one of his most important “fireside chats,” one where he coined the phrase “arsenal of democracy” in calling for aid to war-ravaged Britain (

Other legends have had this privilege as well. You can be sure that come May, media will note the 50th anniversary of a birthday celebration for John F. Kennedy at the old Madison Square Garden in New York, the event most famed for Marilyn Monroe sensually singing “Happy Birthday” to the president; afterwards, she met both JFK and brother Robert, the attorney general, at a party:

None of the three would see the end of the 1960s — in fact, Monroe would be dead two and a half months after this picture was taken. It’s sort of ironic that an actress she idolized passed away a few months after her brush with the presidency; it happened 75 years ago, though it’s received virtually no public attention. In fact, it’s something that likely would have slipped past me, too.

We’re referring to Jean Harlow’s visit to Washington near the end of January 1937 to participate in Roosevelt’s annual birthday ball, a fundraiser for the Warm Springs Foundation (a group that evolved into the March of Dimes). We’ve written about this before (, but Harlow historian Darrell Rooney has uncovered a batch of images from Jean’s visit to the nation’s capital that have gone largely unseen for years, and they’re at the Facebook group “Fans Of A Jean Harlow ‘Centenary’ Book For 2011,” the eventual “Harlow In Hollywood” ( Here are a few of those pics:

Jean and MGM cohort Robert Taylor both left Los Angeles after finishing work on their film “Personal Property,” arriving at Union Station on Jan. 29:

That day, a Friday, they made the rounds of D.C. First, it was off to the National Press Club for a breakfast; Taylor would sign this photo for columnist Nelson Bell:

Next stop, the Capitol. At a Senate office building, Harlow and Taylor received freshly minted coins.

Harlow also received a pair of kisses from North Carolina Sen. Robert Rice Reynolds, first indoors in his office…

…then on the east Capitol steps, where much of the temporary seating from FDR’s inaugural nine days earlier had not yet been taken down:

(I love Taylor’s expression here; wonder if he was thinking about William Powell’s “a very old friend” remark from “Libeled Lady,” where Jean’s character — who had just married Powell as part of a ruse — madly embraces Spencer Tracy’s character, whom she really loves?)

That night, Jean and Marsha Hunt, representing Paramount (and who is still with us), were among the celebrities who got a personal tour of the Department of Justice from FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. They saw a display of weapons and clothing mementos from the shooting of Public Enemy #1 John Dillinger.

Harlow was wearing a copy of her ‘Personal Property’ black velvet gown with a white ermine hem. The ermine picked up all the dust on the floor; according to Hunt, Harlow turned to Hoover and said, “Your cleaning lady can take the day off tomorrow. I’ve saved her the trouble.”

On Saturday the 30th, Harlow, Hunt and Taylor attended a luncheon at the White House, and are shown with first lady Eleanor Roosevelt:

Jean was thrilled to pose for a picture with Mrs. Roosevelt:

That night, the birthday ball was held at seven hotels around town — and Harlow was listed in the program:

Harlow made the rounds at all the hotels. At top, we see her with Mrs. Roosevelt at the Wardman Park Hotel, followed by a shot of her alongside an FDR birthday cake, and finally talking at one of the sites about the Warm Springs Foundation:

The event was covered on radio, and Jean spoke to a national audience:

A few seconds’ snippet of Harlow approaching the microphone can be found at

Harlow and Taylor made a number of personal appearances in the D.C. area — in Alexandria, Va., at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. — and it took its toll. He had been fighting the flu on the trip east, and she probably picked it up in Washington, as this bloated image of her shows:

The trip likely weakened Harlow’s immune system, a condition only worsened after her return to California when four impacted wisdom teeth were extracted simultaneously. Barely four months after appearing in D.C., she would be gone.

A memorable trip, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Lombard, an avid FDR supporter, discussed the event with both Hunt (they were both then at Paramount) and Harlow.

This week’s header at LiveJournal shows Lombard and Norman Foster in a promotional shot for “It Pays To Advertise,” an appropriate movie to spotlight inasmuch as the Super Bowl, the apex of the advertising industry, comes this Sunday.

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Posted January 30, 2012 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Welcome medicine for film folk   Leave a comment

Posted by [info]vp19 on 2012.01.29 at 13:25

Current mood: hopefulhopeful

I’m sure that somewhere Carole Lombard, who played a nurse in “Vigil In The Night” and spent her share of time in hospitals recuperating from a variety of maladies despite her generally active, athletic lifestyle, is pleased to hear the following bit of news: The Motion Picture & Television Fund nursing home in Woodland Hills, which had been threatened with closure since January 2009, announced this week it will be taking in new residents for the first time in several years.

The fund, initially known as the Motion Picture Relief Fund, was created in 1921 by an array of people in the relatively young film industry, including the same foursome who founded United Artists (Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith and Mary Pickford).

As motion pictures grew, health care became a focus. Actor Jean Hersholt, president of the fund in the late 1930s, helped create a CBS radio program, “The Screen Guild Show,” that raised $5.3 million for the fund over its 13 years of existence; Lombard appeared on the show several times, and like other participants donated her share of the proceeds to the fund.

In 1940, Hersholt found property in Woodland Hills for the future Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital, and it was dedicated in September 1942. According to the fund, it now “operates six outpatient health centers throughout the greater Los Angeles area; a children’s center; a retirement community, health plans and much, much more.” In other words, it goes beyond being merely a retirement home, but has all sorts of services for people in the entertainment industry in southern California.

Over the years, the facility has housed an array of people who have contributed much to the entertainment community, including the likes of Norma Shearer, Hattie McDaniel, the Three Stooges’ Larry Fine and director Stanley Kramer. But rising health care costs led to a potential shutdown, with many of its tenants leaving for other facilities (its population had declined from 130 residents to 29); others were threatened with eviction amidst legal action.

However, in February 2011, Providence Health & Services entered into an agreement with the fund to keep it open, and the more stable economic conditions have led to this latest news. Capacity will increase to 40, with most of the newcomers former residents who moved to other facilities.

As in previous years, the MPTF will hold a fundraiser the night before the Academy Awards, and at this year’s event, the mood will likely be guarded optimism.

For more on the fund, visit

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Posted January 29, 2012 by vp19 in Uncategorized

In February, Slide those Hollywood fan mags   Leave a comment

Posted by [info]vp19 on 2012.01.28 at 00:59

Current mood: enthralledenthralled

At times, we’ve discussed how the motion picture fan magazines of the 1930s played a major role in not only the career of Carole Lombard (shown on the cover of the July 1933 New Movie magazine), but just about every actor of note in the industry. Such magazines were incredibly pervasive during this era, with dozens vying for newsstand space.

We bring this up to discuss a book I believe I’ve only peripherally mentioned — probably because I haven’t been able to read it yet. It’s called “Inside the Hollywood Fan Magazine: A History of Star Makers, Fabricators, and Gossip Mongers,” and was written in 2010 by noted Hollywood historian Anthony Slide. It’s been well received for giving background to these publications, from their inception more than a century ago (the first, Motion Picture Story Magazine, began in 1911), to their golden age which paralleled classic Hollywood’s (the 1920s through the 1940s), to their decline for assorted reasons in the 1950s and ’60s.

Slide will make an appearance at the Hollywood Heritage Museum (located at the relocated Lasky-De Mille barn across from the Hollywood Bowl) at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8. He’ll discuss the fan magazines with the help of a PowerPoint presentation, followed by a book signing.

While I haven’t been able to read the book yet (unfortunately, it’s not found at many bookstores), I have been able to read about the book, including interviews with Slide. Regarding the truthfulness of the publications, he says, “All of the fan magazines were basically honest, even if they might bend the truth a little. They might put words into a star’s mouth, but the words were in all probability what that star would have said had he or she been a little more intelligent or literate.”

So chances are that what Lombard “said” in the above story (the February 1935 Screen Play) probably had some sort of verisimilitude to what she would have expressed had she sat down to write an essay on the topic. And, as we’ve stated before, Carole had some interesting, almost radical, things to say at the time about women’s roles in society (

Slide will likely also discuss how to read between the lines of fan magazines, what words and phrases to look out that might mean a star is gay or that an actress recently had an abortion. Another topic will likely be how the movie industry controlled the fan magazines. In 1934, the same year the Production Code became seriously enforced, the studios began issuing cards accrediting fan magazine writers. Without the card, writers could not get access to the studios and the stars. Some publications, such as New Movie, wouldn’t play the game and their access — and audience — declined.

The weakening of the studio system in the early 1950s began diminishing the stature of the fan magazines as well. They seemed rather old hat as more lurid publications such as Confidential hit newsstands. But according to Slide, the personality most responsible for the downfall of movie fan magazines was not an actress at all, but someone who married into a family with some ties to the film industry…

…Jacqueline Kennedy, who as first lady wrested fan magazine covers from virtually every movie star of the time other than Elizabeth Taylor. Slide argues that Jackie, shown on the cover of the October 1961 Photoplay, was the pivotal figure in transforming fan magazines from movie to celebrity culture, a trend that accelerated in 1974 with the founding of People magazine. (Photoplay, the dominant movie fan mag for many, many years, expired in 1980, assimilated by Us Weekly.)

To buy tickets for the Feb. 8 event (and if interested, do so quickly — the barn’s capacity is 110), go to One-time fan magazine editor Lombard would certainly love to see you there.

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Posted January 28, 2012 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Tally adds two to the p1202 army   Leave a comment

Posted by [info]vp19 on 2012.01.27 at 01:45

Current mood: impressedimpressed

That army, of course, refers to the photographic portraits taken of Carole Lombard during her seven-plus years at Paramount Pictures. We’ve snared several hundred over the years (out of more than 1,700 the studio apparently released), and now we have two more, thanks to Carole collector Tally Haugen.

First, p1202-85, which looks to be from late 1930 or the start of ’31. Double-click, and be overwhelmed by both its scale and its beauty, as Lombard models a fancy dress:

Move up to 1932 and p1202-306, much smaller in size but no less elegant, as Carole’s modified cloche hat complements her flawless skin and smile in this charming profile:

Thanks to Tally for making these heretofore rarely seen images available.

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Posted January 27, 2012 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Carole plays Syracuse, 1930-1931   Leave a comment

Posted by [info]vp19 on 2012.01.26 at 03:57

Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

That image of Carole Lombard, looking chic in a French-inspired hat, could be found in the Syracuse Herald of Dec. 8, 1930. As stated several times in the past, I’m a proud native of the Salt City (, and in today’s entry, I thought I’d examine advertising for Lombard films that ran in Syracuse in 1930 and 1931 through the Newspaper Archive. I was curious what movies of hers ran in which theaters, what the marketing for them looked like, and how they made the rounds from the big downtown houses to neighborhood theaters.

Syracuse was a medium-sized city of the time, with a bustling downtown district and its own “theater row” on South Salina Street, dating back to vaudeville days. (Incidentally, the person who designed that 1930 postcard must have been from out of town; any Syracusan worth his or her salt knows it’s Onondaga Street, not “Onondago.”)

The Newspaper Archive must have many friends and contacts in Syracuse, because that city has more than 4 million pages listed, more than the rest of the state combined. (Take that, New York City!) However, the only newspaper in its files from this period is the Herald, an evening daily that would merge with Hearst’s Syracuse Journal in 1939 to form the Herald-Journal, an evening paper that printed its final edition on Sept. 29, 2001.

We’ll begin with Carole’s transitional film between Pathe and Paramount, “The Arizona Kid” at Fox. It played the Eckel on East Fayette Street on May 7:

The Eckel, which in the early ’30s showed primarily Fox product, existed from 1913 to 1973. It was retrofitted for Cinerama in the late 1950s, and in 1968 it carried the Stanley Kubrick’s epic “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

There are no Lombard references in ads for her Paramount debut, “Safety In Numbers,” no surprise since it was marketed as a Buddy Rogers vehicle. Neither did she garner attention in advertisements for her other 1930 film, “Fast And Loose,” at least not when it first hit town. It wasn’t until Dec. 7 that her name was in an ad for it, and that was for the Madison Theater in Oneida, N.Y., in an adjacent county:

Isn’t it interesting that Lombard and Henry Wadsworth got the attention here instead of Frank Morgan and Miriam Hopkins? Also note that “Paramount On Parade” was to be shown in a few days as a benefit for the mayor’s relief fund, proof the economy was starting to plummet in 1930 and “depression” was becoming a word on many’s lips. The Madison, which opened in 1915, closed in the early ’50s and was razed in 1958.

Lombard was busy in the early months of 1931, as five films of hers were released before the year was half over. First up was “It Pays To Advertise,” and here how it moved around Syracuse theaters. On March 30, an ad announced it was set to premiere at the Syracuse Paramount on 426 South Salina:

Compared to its major downtown brethren, not much is known about the Paramount, which seated just under 1,500; I can’t seem to track down any interior shots of the place. I do know that by the 1950s, its black-background marquee had been altered to a white one, just as the Loew’s was up the street:

And I also know that, like the RKO Keith on the same block, the Paramount shut down in early 1967 to make way for an urban renewal project — a department store that lasted about two decades before closing.

By Aug. 21, “It Pays To Advertise” had long left downtown, and was about 10 blocks east, at the Regent at East Genesee and Irving, not far from Syracuse University:

The Regent seated about 950, and I attended several travelogues there in the mid-sixties while an elementary school student. By then, SU had purchased the property for films, concerts and such. (Bob Dylan, still in his acoustic phase, performed there on Nov. 3, 1963.) The university later renovated the site, and it’s now home to Syracuse Stage.

By Sept. 20, “Advertise” had moved even further down the rung of the “nabes”:

I had never heard of the Swan, but according to, which has a list of Syracuse-area venues at, it showed films from 1929 to 1932. Where it was in town is, for now, a mystery.

Next up, “Man Of The World,” the first of two Lombard films with eventual husband William Powell. It had a gala premiere at 11:30 p.m. on April 10, and the theater promoted it for two days:

See the reference to Carole as “soulful-eyed charmer”? Had never heard her described that way; I kind of like it.

But note that it was playing the RKO Keith, a beautiful venue that opened 92 years ago today and is still fondly recalled by many a Syracusan of AARP age. It seated 2,500, and was virtually a neighbor of the Paramount, as this 1959 image makes evident:

Inside, it was sumptuous:

Why did it get “Man Of The World”? So that the Paramount could show this:

Keith’s occasionally ran fare from studios other than RKO. Some two years later, it would house a Warners premiere:

Of course, if you didn’t want to pay downtown prices for “Man Of The World,” you could wait nearly two months (June 2) until it played the Regent. And you’d get a bonus as well — “Sinners Holiday,” with that brash new Warners duo of Joan Blondell and James Cagney, along with a Bobby Jones golf instructional film:

Powell and Lombard returned downtown May 7 with their next film, “Ladies’ Man,” although I couldn’t find any ads for possible subsequent runs:

Carole, sans Bill, returned to the screen for “Up Pops The Devil,” with ads on May 20 and 21 promising a tale of “love crazed youth romping along at the pace that thrills”:

If you waited until Aug. 26, you could see “Up Pops The Devil” on the lower half of a double bill with Dorothy Mackaill’s pre-Coder “Party Husband,” plus Bobby Jones in “The Spoon” — no, not that kind of “spooning,” but another golf instructional:

Finally, we come to “I Take This Woman,” the Lombard-Gary Cooper pairing that vanished for decades until finally being found in 16 mm form ( This ad ran in the Herald June 17, promoting its premiere the next day:

On Nov. 3, it was at the mysterious Swan (note local election returns would be announced that night, and that 12 baskets of groceries would be given out):

Near the end of the month, on the 29th, “I Take This Woman” appeared at another Syracuse “nabe,” one of which plenty is known about:

(Incidentally, that’s Myrna Loy in “Sky Line.” Sorry, Ms. Loy.)

The Palace is an anomaly in today’s theater industry — a family-run, single-screen venue that turns 90 this year. It has a history in its neighborhood…

…one that’s celebrated in its warm lobby:

Learn more about the Palace at

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Posted January 26, 2012 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Auctioning a study in sepia   Leave a comment

Posted by [info]vp19 on 2012.01.25 at 11:52

Current mood: enthralledenthralled

Edwin Bower Hesser, one of the most famed photographers of his time, used Carole Lombard as a subject several times in the late 1920s. For Carole, roughly at the end of her teens when these photos were taken, it was a symbol that she was moving up in the world, as Hesser had done portraits for some of Broadway and Hollywood’s most prominent stars during the twenties.

The Ira & Larry Goldberg auction house has sold a number of vintage Hesser photographs of Lombard in recent years, such as the one above. The estimated value of the picture was $500 to $600; it was sold for $1,035.

Here are a few other sepia-toned Lombard works from Hesser sold by Goldberg in recent years, with both the estimated value and what they actually went for:

This attractive shot, taken on a dark background to accentuate Carole’s fair hair and complexion, was valued at $500 to $750, but it only sold for $299, probably because of the small missing part of the lower right-hand corner.

In contrast, this similar photo had the same estimated value, but it realized for a whopping $1,208.

Hesser gained fame for his artistic nudes (including a legendary shoot with Jean Harlow in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park, not long after she had turned 18), but the photo on the left, and several similar bare-shouldered shots, are probably the closest he came to a Lombard nude. This was auctioned in tandem with the photo on the right, draping Carole in a satin gown, similar to a pic we’ve run before:

The duo of portraits would be a bonanza for Goldberg, selling for $1,610 where they had been valued at $700 to $900.

This portrait, emphasizing her eyes, hand and sculptured nails, also did well. It had been valued at $600 to $800, and it realized $1,380.

Another bare-shouldered shot, this was originally part of a group of three:

Despite the “bite” in the lower left-hand corner, the trio — which had been valued at a mere $600 to $800 — instead realized a stunning $3,105. Chalk another one up to the seductive power of Lombard (in triplicate!).

After Hesser’s death in 1962, many of his papers and photographs were given to UCLA’s special collections library, which has categorized its holdings. While many stars of the time are listed under “Hollywood personalities” — Constance Bennett, Joan Blondell, Claudette Colbert, Anita Page, Loretta Young — photographs of Lombard are among the more conspicuous absences.

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Posted January 25, 2012 by vp19 in Uncategorized

She…is everyday people!   Leave a comment

Posted by [info]vp19 on 2012.01.24 at 00:48

Current mood: creativecreative

Sly and the Family Stone’s hit “Everyday People” was still three decades in the distance when “Made For Each Other” hit movie screens in February 1939. But as a way of preparing audiences for a different, dramatic side of Carole Lombard, Selznick International Pictures and its renowned publicist, Russell Birdwell, sought to sell an egalitarian angle to the picture and emphasize empathy in lieu of the laughs and glamour normally associated with Lombard. Three publicity photographs — all with snipes, all now being auctioned at eBay — make this obvious.

“…Miss Lombard is seen as a mother whose counterpart might be found in a million average homes.” (Incidentally, Sylvia McClure, the eight-month-old Lombard is holding, is not listed in the Internet Movie Database for the film, though she is listed in an uncredited infant role for another 1939 film, “Young Mr. Lincoln.”)

“NEW LOMBARD ROLE — In a serious story of everyday people, Carole Lombard turns from comedy to straight drama in David O. Selznick’s ‘Made For Each Other.'” That’s director John Cromwell, readying to put 10-day-old Bonnie Bell Barber in her crib, as he sets up a scene with Lombard and co-star James Stewart.

Here, Lombard and Stewart rehearse one of their newlywed love scenes for Cromwell (seated in a plaid jacket).

All these are 8″ x 10″ originals in good condition. Bidding for the latter two photos begins at $9.99, whereas bids for the pic of Lombard holding infant opens at #24.99. Bids for all three end between 9:40 and 9:45 p.m. (Eastern) next Monday.

For Carole holding the baby, visit For Cromwell holding the newborn, go to And for Lombard and Stewart in front of Cromwell, check out

Oh, and did the publicity campaign work? “Made For Each Other” received generally good reviews, kicking off what would be a banner year for Stewart, but boxoffice was lukewarm.

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Posted January 24, 2012 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Lombard, the artist’s muse   Leave a comment

Posted by [info]vp19 on 2012.01.23 at 12:34

Current mood: artisticartistic

Above is Carole Lombard posing for a mid-thirties portrait by Azadia Newman, wife of director Rouben Mamoulian; the painting was to be one of a series of color inserts for a new, upscale magazine called Cinema Arts, but it expired after three issues and this was never printed. In fact, the painting itself has been missing for decades.

Lombard’s ethereal beauty and charming personality made her a natural for artistic inspiration, and it continues to this day. Note this photographic portrait of her from the early ’30s:

It’s been adapted into a painting that’s largely monochromatic, save for a little bit of red to accentuate the lips:

The artist is Katie Glantz of Dallas, and her Lombard portrait is part of something she calls the “Femme Historique Concatenation” — images of noted women. In a news release, Glantz said, “The entire collection shows my growth as a woman and as an artist. Life brings so many challenges and we must face them head on to overcome obstacles. Art became my refuge during turbulent times, and each woman I painted became my subject, my guidance and light.”

Several of the subjects share classic Hollywood roots with Carole — her good RKO friend Lucille Ball…

…1940s icon Rita Hayworth…

…and 1950s icon Marilyn Monroe:

Others in the series include jazz legend Billie Holiday, ill-fated supermodel Gia Carangi, famed pinup Bettie Page, famed fashion designer Coco Chanel and Glantz’s most recent subject, Gala Dali, wife of surrealist painter Salvador Dali.

On her website, Glantz says, “My latest collection, Femme Historique Concatenation, started over two and a half years ago. These women taught me so much about myself and to believe in my dreams. They whispered their story to me in each brush stroke. Through their triumphs and tribulations, I learned you can accomplish anything you set your mind to…and so my passion and love for art was reborn. I am excited to share my creativity with the world and hope to empower women through the gift of art.”

Learn more at Glantz’s site, And from what I know about Carole, she would be thrilled and delighted that 70 years after her passing, she still serves as an artistic muse.

This week’s LiveJournal header shows Carole and Cary Grant riding the rails in a scene from their only co-starring vehicle, the 1939 drama “In Name Only.”

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Posted January 23, 2012 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Figuring’ it out   Leave a comment

Posted by [info]vp19 on 2012.01.22 at 12:00

Current mood: productiveproductive

Three weeks ago, we kicked off the new year with a September 1933 story in which film mogul Darryl F. Zanuck labeled Carole Lombard one of the “nine queens of Hollywood,” noting her domain was having the best figure among actresses ( At about that time, Lombard made a series of portraits for Paramount that made it evident.

Even while nicknamed “Carol of the curves” in the late 1920s, Lombard was never particularly voluptuous, something that might have worked against her had she been born some 20 years later. However, her fashion sense, expertise with lighting, and aid from some of the era’s greatest portrait photographers more than compensated. I’m not certain whether the photos at this session were taken by Eugene Robert Richee or Otto Dyar, but whomever did it helped maximize Carole’s rather minimal up-front “assets.” Here are p1202-388, 392 and 393, all of which we’ve run before:

Now add another to the list, p1202-396.

The pose is similar to 388, but her facial appearance is different, and the lighting and pose help accentuate her bustline in an altogether dissimilar way. Comparing the two gives one a sense of the work put in by both stars and photographers to create those ethereal portraits of the 1930s.

This 8″ x 10″ vintage photo, listed in “good” condition (the seller says it has “minor edge, corner and surface wear. There is also a few pinholes in the corners and along the side borders with 2 surface pinholes in the image that do not penetrate through the photo”). is being made available at eBay; it can be bought straight up for $95, or you can make an offer. Go to for more information.

That seller is from north of the border (western Canada); now let’s head south for this 1930s full-page newspaper pic of Carole from the Mexican publication La Prensa:

This measures 16″ x 10.6″, and the seller says it’s in “great condition” and would look “amazing framed.” (Can’t disagree.) It’s available for a mere $7 (though it’s only on sale another two days), and to find out more, visit

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Posted January 22, 2012 by vp19 in Uncategorized