‘Modern Screen,’ 1939: What’s the matter with Lombard?   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.06.02 at 17:30
Current mood: amusedamused

carole lombard clark gable 00a

While most in the film community cheered the marriage of Carole Lombard and Clark Gable in late March 1939 — both were among the best-liked people in the industry — their relationship wasn’t met with universal acclaim, particularly from those who had known Lombard since the early 1930s. She clearly wasn’t the same person she was in pre-Gable times, which troubled quite a few.

Longtime fan magazine writer Gladys Hall noted this in a story, “What’s The Matter With Lombard?”, which I discovered not long ago in a book from 1977, “Hollywood And The Great Fan Magazines” by Martin Levin. The book compiled an assortment of fan magazine stories from the 1930s, and the following was one of them. Unfortunately, neither the magazine nor its date of publication were listed, leaving me stymied. Fortunately, some research led me to discover it ran in Modern Screen magazine sometime in 1939.

When in ’39? Hard to say. A caption refers to “Mr. & Mrs. Gable,” meaning it went to press after late March. However, Lombard’s upcoming film is described in another caption as “The Kind Men Marry,” not its eventual title, “In Name Only.” Since the May ’39 Modern Screen ran another piece on Gable and Lombard, I’m going to guess this was from the June issue. (And Hall’s papers, at the Margaret Herrick Library at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, indicate this article was finalized in January ’39 — if you read it, you’ll note there are no references to a Gable-Lombard marriage.)

Anyway, here’s the story, from a fan magazine writer who knew Lombard well:

carole lombard what's the matter with lombard 00
carole lombard what's the matter with lombard 01
carole lombard what's the matter with lombard 02
carole lombard what's the matter with lombard 03

Since Madalynne Fields was no longer working for Lombard, she probably felt secure talking about her without fear of reprisal.

But Hall’s conclusion was that nothing was the matter with Lombard; she was essentially the same she’d been other than that she was less the public person she had been in the mid-’30s. Then again, isn’t that what happens to many of us once we get into a relationship?

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Posted June 2, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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