Motion Picture, October 1931: Queen of the lot (well, sort of)   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.02.16 at 14:44
Current mood: ecstaticecstatic

carole lombard i take this woman 32a

As the fall of 1931 began, Carole Lombard could be seen in many neighborhood theaters throughout the U.S., working with Gary Cooper (and Charles Trowbridge as her father) in “I Take This Woman.” She was gaining popularity among movie audiences — and according to the October issue of Motion Picturemagazine, that also applied at her studio of Paramount, too. Or at least that’s what said in the story, “The Favorite Stars — As Picked By The Studios.”

Who did the magazine ask? The behind-the-scenes people, it said:

carole lombard motion picture october 1931 popular 00b

And if those folks could elect a “queen of the lot,” that honor would go to Lombard, who had only been there slightly more than a year:

carole lombard motion picture october 1931 popular 00c

The magazine admitted that the recent departures of Clara Bow and Mary Brian from Paramount aided Carole’s rise to the figurative throne. Lombard probably thought the honor was nice, but she probably wanted scripts of a more royal nature from Paramount instead of being shunted into programmers.

Here’s the entire story:

carole lombard motion picture october 1931 popular 00a
carole lombard motion picture october 1931 popular 01a
carole lombard motion picture october 1931 popular 02a

This makes for interesting reading (not only is it weird to see Bette Davis listed at Universal, but described as possessing “sweetness.” Prolonged exposure to Jack Warner upon moving to Burbank turned sweet Bette rather tart). Speaking of Warners, Lombard’s husband William Powell had just moved there, and already was making a good impression with production crews et al:

carole lombard motion picture october 1931 popular 02b

(The reference to “colored bootblack” again reminds us we are dealing with 1931 race relations.)

Fascinating to see who was popular, and who was deemed “high hat.” And as the differing descriptions of Constance Bennett show, a star can be beloved at studio A and cared for not at all at studio B.

There was more of Lombard in the October ’31 issue. She was part of a feature profiling married life in the film capital, “The Merry Wives Of Hollywood”:

carole lombard motion picture october 1931 merry wives of hollywood 00a
carole lombard motion picture october 1931 merry wives of hollywood 01a
carole lombard motion picture october 1931 merry wives of hollywood 02a

Note the ad for Marlboro, more than two decades before the cigarette was rebranded in a campaign that made Madison Avenue history.

Focusing on the Lombard=Powell section, note the caption states, “They say they’re married for life” — famous last words:

carole lombard motion picture october 1931 merry wives of hollywood 01b

Carole was in an ad in that issue, too, playing a supporting role to her pal Kay Francis on behalf of Max Factor:

carole lombard motion picture october 1931 max factor ad 00a

Finally, Lombard’s future friend Jean Harlow was spotlighted in the magazine, modeling fall fashions:

jean harlow motion picture october 1931 fall fashions 00a
jean harlow motion picture october 1931 fall fashions 01a

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Posted February 16, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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