Archive for March 2013

Her scar, up close and personal   Leave a comment


Posted by vp19 on 2013.03.31 at 13:39
Current mood: curiouscurious

carole lombard closeup 00a

Remember a few weeks ago when, through the magic of trick photography, we “enlarged” Carole Lombard to roughly 40 times her size? (It was for a banner in the 2013 Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney; more on that later in this entry.) Anyway, if you stood face-to-face with a 200-foot-tall Carole — or, more likely, if you saw her in closeup in a big-city movie palace with a huge screen — the above picture gives you an idea of just how magnified Lombard’s face would seem.

It’s likely that the still image was retouched so as to minimize the presence of the scar on her left cheek that a teenage Carole received in an automobile accident, most likely in early 1926. (Michelle Morgan, who’s doing yeoman work researching a Lombard bio that will probably be issued late next year, is trying to track down the specifics of the crash.) Perhaps the accident had unintended benefits for Lombard, as it forced her to become cognizant of things such as lighting, cinematography and other aspects of the industry.

While Carole certainly wasn’t devoid of vanity, where her scar was concerned, she never went to the extremes Claudette Colbert did regarding being photographed from one side of her face. Lombard never denied the effects of the accident, but it wasn’t something she played up, either. In fact, note this extreme closeup of a portrait, and you’ll see that she places her hand on her left cheek to disguise the scar:

carole lombard closeup 03

Four portraits of Lombard with the scar (the photos are reprints, not originals) are being auctioned at eBay. The seller also provided closeups of the scar; why these weren’t retouched by Paramount is uncertain. Here they are, scars and all.

First, a photo that’s from Paramount’s p1202 series, though I can’t make out the precise number:

carole lombard scar 00a
carole lombard scar 00a closeup

Next, a later p1202 entry:

carole lombard scar 01a
carole lombard scar 01a closeup

After that, p1202-1105:

carole lombard scar 02a
carole lombard scar 02a closeup

Finally, one of Lombard’s last stills for Paramount, p1202-1718:

carole lombard scar 03a
carole lombard scar 03a closeup

Bidding on the photos begins at $25, and bids end at 4:40 p.m. (Eastern) Saturday. Visit for more information.

Regarding the tourney, the restart isn’t adversely affecting Carole; as of 10:30 p.m. (Eastern) Saturday, she leads Doris Day, 16-4. (The other semifinal is similarly lopsided, with Bette Davis ahead of Diana Rigg, 16-3.) Remember, if you voted earlier in this round, it’s been nullified and you have to vote again if you didn’t already. Go to to cast your ballot.

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Posted March 31, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Thought you voted for Carole? Think again (and vote again)   Leave a comment


Posted by vp19 on 2013.03.30 at 19:34
Current mood: annoyedannoyed

carole lombard 1756a

If Carole Lombard appears miffed…well, she has every reason to be. There she was, with a comfortable lead over Doris Day in one semifinal of the 2013 Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney, when this announcement takes place:

“It appears there is an issue with the polls for both matches. So I am stopping those and re-starting new matches via Survey Monkey. Sorry about this but I want things to be fair and honest. Can’t be sure things were on the up and up. Or if it was just a technical issue with blogger. Either way, it’s best to just restart the matches. I will run these matches till Monday afternoon.”

So, 1) you have to vote again (if you didn’t already), and 2) the deadline is now Monday afternoon, not Tuesday. I don’t like it any more than you do, and I fear this could backfire on Lombard if we’re not careful, so go to now, click the links on the right sidebar and vote. If you’re voting a second time, pretend you’re in Jersey City during the heyday of boss Frank Hague.

And once you’re done, calm your nerves with some milk.

carole lombard 1770a

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carole lombard 06

Two from the Argentine

Posted by vp19 on 2013.03.30 at 10:03
Current mood: curiouscurious

Carole Lombard never visited Argentina, but her photos have, and two of them that have circulated there are now being auctioned at eBay. We’ll start with this sublime portrait:

carole lombard made for each other 57a

We’re not sure who took it, but we know what it was taken for — to promote her Selznick International film “Made For Each Other”:

carole lombard made for each other 57 caption

The seller, from Buenos Aires, says it measures 8″ x 10″ and is in very good to excellent condition. The minimum bid is $49.99, with bids closing at 10:09 a.m. (Eastern) Wednesday. Want to learn more? Visit

That same seller has this sultry picture available:

carole lombard 2410a

I could probably tell you more about it if I could detect what was in its lower right-hand corner (not seen above), but somewhere along the way, someone marked over it:

carole lombard 2410 corner

Information on this photo is similar to the first one, with the sole difference being that bidding for this one ends at 10:34 a.m. Wednesday. If interested, go to

Now the latest on the 2013 Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney semifinals: As of 10 a.m. (Eastern), 1930s champion Lombard is running strongly, leading ’50s winner Doris Day, 24-8. The other semifinal is nearly as lopsided, with ’40s winner Bette Davis ahead of surprise ’60s champ Diana Rigg, 23-9. If you haven’t voted yet, do so at, and note that voting ends at 6 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday.

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Posted March 31, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

And you thought the Final Four was next weekend…   Leave a comment


Posted by vp19 on 2013.03.29 at 01:23
Current mood: energeticenergetic

…well, maybe it is for men’s and women’s college basketball, but the one we’re talking about is the 2013 Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney. It’s slated to begin sometime this morning and will last through either Monday night or Tuesday morning.

Carole Lombard, a final four participant for the first time after capturing the 1930s bracket, will take on ’50s winner Doris Day. Whomever wins that meeting takes on the survivor of the other semifinal, pitting ’40s winner Bette Davis against ’60s champ Diana Rigg.

And yes, we have created yet another Lombard banner to spur Team Carole into voting:

carole lombard 2013 favorite classic movie actress tourney banner 08

It’s hard to gauge this match. Carole won her first four matches this year fairly easily, and then overcame a strong challenge from Barbara Stanwyck to finally catch the ’30s bouquet after being the bridesmaid the previous two years. Day easily defeated four of her five foes so far this year, but squeaked by Audrey Hepburn by two votes in her ’50s semifinal. She has plenty of fans, as does Lombard, so every vote will count.

As in the past, you can cast your vote at And tell your friends to do likewise for Lombard. Oh, and Doris — just a reminder that you’re not the only one in this tourney who loves animals…

carole lombard p1202-1233c

Posted March 31, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Have a ‘Supernatural’ Saturday at UCLA   Leave a comment


Posted by vp19 on 2013.03.28 at 10:45
Current mood: artisticartistic

carole lombard supernatural 07b

From all that’s been written about Carole Lombard’s disdain for being cast in “Supernatural,” one almost senses that during production she wished she could strangle herself (or, more likely, the Paramount exec who put her there). Nevertheless, while this 1933 occult programmer certainly wasn’t her cup of cinematic tea, it’s a reasonably well-made film and Lombard does what she can with it in a genre she cared little for. In fact, the film led one fan magazine at the time to label her the “Sheba of Shivers,” and one can only imagine her reaction to that (

Now, “Supernatural” has been restored to its full horrific glory, thanks to the preservation department at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. And Saturday evening at the Billy Wilder Theater on the Westwood campus, you can see the finished product as part of a twin bill with another restored Paramount movie, the 1934 drama “Double Door.”

“Supernatural” was restored from a 35mm composite nitrate print and 35mm acetate fine grain master, both found in Universal Pictures’ vault of the pre-1948 Paramount product it owns. UCLA has been celebrating its restoration work all month with its Festival of Preservation.

carole lombard supernatural 01ccarole lombard supernatural 032533 reno evening gazette

Scott MacQueen, head of the UCLA preservation department, writes in the notes to “Supernatural”:

“Carole Lombard is said to have despised being assigned the movie, making the vitality of her essay in demonic possession all the more impressive as she channels the brassy hysteria of Vivienne Osborne’s doomed-to-die murderess, seen indelibly in the first reel. Arthur Martinelli’s constantly roving camera, punctuated with unexpected lightning set-ups, is complemented by the uncredited music by Karl Hajos and Milan Roder. It is among the first original dramatic scores of the 1930s (and includes a brief but surprising quotation from Bruckner’s Symphony No.3).

“Perhaps the most unusual aspect of Supernatural is its depiction of characters who laugh in the face of death, a risus sardonicus that occurs three times in the course of the story before its apotheosis at the climax.”

MacQueen will be on hand for the showings of the films; perhaps he can tell us if restoration of any other Lombard films is on the docket.

For more information, including tickets, visit

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carole lombard 04

Queen of the ’30s! (With more challenges to come)

Posted by vp19 on 2013.03.28 at 00:27
Current mood: happyhappy

carole lombard 2311a

Carole Lombard is glad to finally capture the roses. After two years of finishing runnerup in the 1930s bracket, she broke through to win in the 2013 version of the Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney. Lombard beat a game challenger and good friend, Barbara Stanwyck, by a 36-27 count.

But things aren’t over yet. Carole now advances to the final four, facing ’50s champion Doris Day in one semifinal. (Day trounced Ava Gardner, 40-19.) That winner will face either ’40s champ Bette Davis (a 25-13 conqueror of Rita Hayworth) or ’60s winner Diana Rigg (who topped Shirley Jones, 30-17). The semifinals begin Friday morning and will run through Monday afternoon; you’ll be able to vote at

So spread the word to your Lombard fan pals that she’ll need your vote again (and, if things go well, once more after that). For now, though, celebrate. There’s plenty to smile about.

carole lombard 2341b front

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Posted March 31, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Only hours to go…   Leave a comment


Posted by vp19 on 2013.03.27 at 11:01
Current mood: anxiousanxious

carole lombard p1202-1215c

As of 11 a.m. (Eastern), Carole Lombard leads Barbara Stanwyck, 31-27, in the finals of the 1930s bracket of the 2013 Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney, for the right to take the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s champions for the overall title. Lombard is getting closer to the trophy…but voting closes at 6 p.m. (Eastern) and she needs your help. If you haven’t voted for her already, do so now by going to

There are lots of Lombard fans around, and they need to make their voices heard.

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carole lombard 03

It’s within reach — don’t let up now

Posted by vp19 on 2013.03.27 at 00:15
Current mood: optimisticoptimistic

carole lombard p1202-1162d

As the song goes, the waiting is the hardest part, and so it is for Carole Lombard, as she counts the minutes, the hours in her lavishly comfortable Paramount dressing room. As of midnight (Eastern), with 17 hours to go, Carole has a 30-23 edge over Barbara Stanwyck in the 1930s final of the 2013 Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney.

The past two years, Lombard has reached this stage and gone no further, beaten by Irene Dunne and Ginger Rogers (both now retired from the competition as overall champions). By winning the ’30s crown, Carole would advance to face the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s champs for the overall title.

This is where you can help, if you haven’t done so already. Go to and vote for Lombard (the site also has links to the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s finals). A seven-vote lead is nice, but not insurmountable — she needs every vote she can get. Help Carole proudly strut her stuff when this is all over.

carole lombard p1202-1102b

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Posted March 31, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

The latest on the vote   Leave a comment


Posted by vp19 on 2013.03.26 at 12:34
Current mood: hopefulhopeful

carole lombard p1202-875a

As of 12:30 p.m. (Eastern), Carole Lombard holds a narrow 26-22 lead over Barbara Stanwyck in the finals of the 1930s bracket of the 2013 Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney. Voting concludes Wednesday, and Carole needs each and every vote she can get to conquer this rival. If you haven’t done so already, cast your vote at, where you also have links to the finals of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s brackets.

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carole lombard 02

An ‘audible attraction’ (and nice visually, too)

Posted by vp19 on 2013.03.26 at 00:03
Current mood: hothot

Pathe’s William E. Thomas was arguably the first studio staff photographer who found something magical in a young actress named Carole Lombard (although at Pathe, she was labeled Carol, no “e”). His portraits captured a sensuality in Lombard, just out of her teens — and while other portrait takers refined her image as she matured, Thomas’ work has its own seductive qualities.

We’ve run quite a few Thomas pics over the years, and now one more has emerged. Take a look at this:

carole lombard william e. thomas 19a front

This has no Pathe number (“cl-xx”), but the back of the photo features a snipe:

carole lombard william e. thomas 19a back

Can’t read the snipe? Let’s hone in on it:

carole lombard william e. thomas 19 closeup

So Lombard’s the first graduate from “Pathe’s Training School in Talkie Technique”? What an honor…and now she’s in the studio’s latest “audible attraction,” the newspaper drama “Big News.”

This is an oversize (11″ x 14″) double-weight photo in excellent condition…and it won’t come cheaply, either. You can “buy it now” for $3,900, or make a bid beginning at $3,500. Bidding ends at 10:32 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday. Interested? Go to

As of midnight (Eastern), Carole has a 24-18 lead over Barbara Stanwyck in the finals of the 1930s bracket of the 2013 Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney. She needs your vote, if you haven’t done so already. Go to and help her finally win the ’30s title. The site also has links to the finals in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s brackets.

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Posted March 31, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Her first time covering it ‘Weekly’   Leave a comment


Posted by vp19 on 2013.03.25 at 00:05
Current mood: hopefulhopeful

carole lombard film weekly 113034aThat’s Carole Lombard on the cover of the Nov. 30, 1934 issue of the British magazine Film Weekly. She was as popular a fixture on UK magazine covers as she was stateside. Now, what may have been her first cover appearance for that British publication is available at eBay. It’s from Aug. 5, 1932…

carole lombard film weekly 080532 front aa
carole lombard film weekly 080532 front ba

…with a promotional shot from “Sinners In The Sun.”

Don’t know if there’s any Lombard material inside, but there is a nice piece on Jean Harlow…

carole lombard film weekly 080532aa

…the latest film news, including word of a planned (but never produced) talkie remake of “The Hunchback Of Notre Dame” with Boris Karloff in the title role…

carole lombard film weekly 080532ba

…and a portrait of Wendy Barrie:

carole lombard film weekly 080532ca

The 28-page magazine measures 12.5″ x 9.5″ and is in good condition. Interested? Bids begin at $9.99, with bidding ending at 4:38 p.m. (Eastern) on Saturday. You can learn more by visiting

Now the latest on the 1930s finals of the 2013 Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney: As of midnight (Eastern), Lombard leads Barbara Stanwyck, 19-11. So far, so good, but it won’t be easy. Voting continues through Wednesday — if you haven’t done so already, cast your vote for Carole at There you can also link to voting in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s finals:

The new LiveJournal header is Paramount p1202-54, where Lombard shows off a bare shoulder in this profile shot.

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Posted March 31, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Time to vote, Team Carole!   Leave a comment


Posted by vp19 on 2013.03.24 at 09:43
Current mood: determineddetermined

carole lombard 2013 favorite classic movie actress tourney banner 07

The finals of the 1930s bracket of the 2013 Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney are under way, and as of 9:30 a.m. (Eastern), Carole Lombard is trailing Barbara Stanwyck, 5-4. Lombard’s many fans need to vote one by one to overcome a talented, popular rival who has won her previous matches by impressive margins. This is Carole’s third straight visit to the ’30s finals; in the past two, she’s come up empty. Don’t let it happen again. Go to and cast your ballot. There, you’ll also have links to the other finals:

1940s bracket: Bette Davis vs. Rita Hayworth
1950s bracket: Doris Day vs. Ava Gardner
1960s bracket: Shirley Jones vs. Diana Rigg

And finally, this endorsement of Carole: “She is so alive, modern, frank and natural that she stands out like a beacon on a lightship in this odd place called Hollywood.”

Who said it? None other than Barbara Stanwyck.

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Posted March 31, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

A century since the Fort Wayne flood   Leave a comment


Posted by vp19 on 2013.03.24 at 01:34
Current mood: contemplativecontemplative

carole lombard as child with peters family 00a

Jane Alice Peters, the future Carole Lombard, had just passed her sixth birthday when she, her mother and two older brothers left Fort Wayne, Ind., for California in the fall of 1914. But she had already collected her share of memories there, and one of the most prominent had happened roughly a year and a half before.

1913 fort wayne flood 00a

It was 100 years ago this week that Fort Wayne (and several other communities in Indiana and Ohio) fell victim to flooding that caused at least seven deaths in the city and, by today’s standards, $110 million in damage. Above is a bridge over the Maumee River, but Fort Wayne’s two other rivers — St. Joseph and St. Marys — also were affected. Here are several more images of the devastation:

1913 fort wayne flood 01a
1913 fort wayne flood 03a1913 fort wayne flood 04a
1913 fort wayne flood 05a
1913 fort wayne flood 08a

These photos are from a comprehensive package of articles on the flood’s centenary from the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel (

carole lombard house 00a

The Peters home, at 704 Rockhill Street, was near the St. Marys River but sufficiently removed from danger. However, other neighborhood residents along the river were evacuated from their houses. Jane’s mother, Elizabeth Peters, was among those who took action to help them, aided by having the only working telephone in the area. As Larry Swindell wrote in the Lombard bio “Screwball,” Elizabeth “was a leader, masterminding and accommodating the riverbank families.” With the phone, she instructed firefighters on those still missing, “gathered in extra bedding from the neighbors, and directed an around-the-clock coffee-making operation.”

Her children — including Jane, not yet four-and-a-half — assisted as best they could. It was a time of great excitement for the young girl, although her neighborhood suffered substantially less damage than other sections of the city. Moreover, it probably cemented a legacy of helping others, one that would continue throughout her life…from assisting war relief efforts as a child during World War I to her successful but ultimately ill-fated return to Indiana for a war bond rally at the dawn of World War II.

carole lombard memorial bridge 00

Geoff Williams has written a book about the 1913 Indiana and Ohio floods, “Washed Away.” which has received good reviews. Learn more about it at

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Posted March 31, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Back in the ’30s finals again   Leave a comment


Posted by vp19 on 2013.03.23 at 18:55
Current mood: optimisticoptimistic

carole lombard 984a

Carole Lombard has reached the finals of the 1930s bracket of the 2013 Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney — the third year in a row she has done so, thanks to her 39-20 triumph over Joan Blondell. But this is the point where Carole doesn’t want history to repeat itself.

In 2011, she was defeated in the ’30s finals by Irene Dunne; last year, Lombard was beaten by Ginger Rogers (both went on to win the overall title and have been retired from further competition). Carole’s opponent this year? None other than Barbara Stanwyck, an easy 46-14 conqueror of Greta Garbo in the other semifinal.

Stanwyck will be as difficult a foe as Lombard has ever faced in the tourney, and Team Carole will need to get out each and every vote. The contest begins Sunday at and goes through Wednesday. Spread the word to every Lombard fan to help her win this match.

carole lombard 947d william walling 112336

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Posted March 31, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized