Motion Picture, July 1936: A New Way to Men’s Hearts — as told by Carole Lombard   Leave a comment

Posted [protected post] by vp19 on 2012.12.17 at 09:03

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carole lombard motion picture november 1931 marland stone large

Add one more vintage movie fan magazine to those with an online presence. Joining Photoplay and Picture Play in cyberspace is Motion Picture, with an extensive run from the mid-1910s through 1941. And for this, we can thank the Library of Congress Packard Campus in Culpeper, Va., which not only works to preserve films but publications associated with them as well. (Many thanks to William M. Drew, a longtime friend of “Carole & Co.”, for alerting me to these goodies.)

You can check out the collection by visiting Drew assures me there’s plenty of Carole Lombard material, so I’m going to have plenty of fun mining these gems.

But first, some history of the magazine. Motion Picture is arguably the oldest of fan magazines, beginning in 1911 as Motion Picture Story. Three years later, its name was shortened, and some years after that, it was purchased by Minnesota-based Fawcett Publications, which gained renown after World War I with Cap’n Billy’s Whiz Bang. Fawcett hired top illustrators such as Marland Stone, who designed the above cover of Carole for the November 1931 issue.

Editorially, Motion Picture never quite reached the heights of Photoplay at its peak, but was usually a solid read, focusing more on personalities than the industry (as was the case for fan magazines of the time). Fawcett combined it with Hollywood magazine in April 1941, incorporating Screen Life that year as well. Motion Picture expired in December 1977 after 765 issues.

Our first Lombard feature comes from an issue where she was also its cover subject, in July 1936. Charles Sheldon of Breck shampoo portrait fame did the artwork, and we’ll show it both in its original form and how it appeared in print:

carole lombard motion picture july 1936 charles sheldon original
carole lombard motion picture july 1936 cover large

Inside, there’s a story by Mark Dowling, “A New Way to Men’s Hearts — as told by Carole Lombard,” that sort of repeats a theme of Lombard interviews around this time: To succeed in both life and love, women have to be both smart and interesting. Whether you deem that feminism or strictly common sense is for you to decide, but it certainly struck a chord with the overwhelmingly female readership of such magazines. Here’s the article:

carole lombard motion picture july 1936 a new way to men's hearts 00a
carole lombard motion picture july 1936 a new way to men's hearts 01a

While that story wasn’t mentioned on the cover, something Lombard was peripherally involved with was. As many fan mags did, Motion Picture sponsored a screen test contest, which it heavily promoted; this one apparently worked with producer Walter Wanger:

carole lombard motion picture july 1936 talent contest large

Here’s a close-up of Carole welcoming the contestants:

carole lombard motion picture july 1936 talent contest closeup

An IMDb search found no credits for any of these names, aside from another Dorothy Dalton whose last film came in 1924.

Lombard’s romance with Clark Gable was blooming at about this time, and one of the famous anecdotes involving the pair made it to the magazine’s “The Talk Of Hollywood” column:

carole lombard motion picture july 1936 the talk of hollywood large
carole lombard motion picture july 1936 the talk of hollywood closeup

Note the large ad for the Fawcett-owned Minnesota resort, Breezy Point; according to Wikipedia, both Gable and Lombard stayed there (whether they visited as a couple or came there separately wasn’t indicated). We know Clark and Carole went on at least one hunting trip to the upper Midwest, so it’s possible they made a side trip to Breezy Point, but I’ve never seen it corroborated.

breezy point minn 2008

Breezy Point, shown in 2008, remains a popular getaway for Minnesotans and those from nearby states.

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Posted December 17, 2012 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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