A Lantern lights the way to Lombard   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.08.13 at 13:57
Current mood: giddygiddy

carole lombard lew ayres motion picture classic april 1929b

Betcha never saw Carole Lombard in a photo with Lew Ayres before; I certainly hadn’t. (And yes, that description of Ayres as a “young dance orchestra soloist” is correct — like Fred MacMurray, Ayres was a musician before becoming an actor.)

This is from the April 1929 issue of Motion Picture Classic; before the year was out, Ayres, three months younger than Lombard, would be Greta Garbo’s final silent leading man in “The Kiss,” and the next year gain fame as lead actor in 1930’s Academy Award winner for best picture, “All Quiet On The Western Front.” And it’s one of the goodies that now can be found through a new feature at the Media History Digital Project, a search platform called Lantern (http://lantern.mediahist.org/). It’s a co-production of the Media History Digital Library and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Communication Arts, and even fans of rival Big Ten schools will want to shout “on Wisconsin” after using this latest research toy.

Heretofore, if I wanted to gather some Lombard information via the Media History Digital Library, I would have to individually search each volume and see what was available. Thanks to Lantern, that’s no longer necessary — you can conduct an overall search. And for “Carole Lombard,” a total of 2,157 matches have been found; searching for “Carol Lombard” results in another 546.

Motion Picture Classic –– which would rename itself Movie Classic beginning with its September 1931 issue — is among the new finds. (It may be a recent addition to the library.) Here are some long-unseen one-page portraits it ran of Carole, beginning with the October 1928 issue…

carole lombard motion picture classic october 1928b

…then to March 1929…

carole lombard motion picture classic march 1929a

…then to May of ’29:

carole lombard motion picture classic may 1929a

The following month, Motion Picture Classic ran some more Lombard pics to accompany a story, “Scars That Glorified,” about the ramifications of her automobile accident. When I saw the subject matter, I briefly hoped I’d found one of the holy grails of Lombard research — specifics of when and where the crash happened. No such luck. (Michelle Morgan, I hope you have better fortune in uncovering the facts for your Lombard bio.) Worse, it gets the facts all wrong — Lombard hailed from San Francisco (where, according to biographer Larry Swindell, she briefly spent time as a child before her mother took she and her brothers south to Los Angeles), and she received “not even a part” before the fateful collision. Take a look, and please read with a huge grain of salt:

carole lombard motion picture classic june 1929aa
carole lombard motion picture classic june 1929ba

There are some other goodies too, particularly from publications I doubted had any ties to Carole. Take Amateur Movie Makers, for example. Its April 1928 issue features a full-page ad from Pathe promoting a 400-foot, one-reel abbreviated version of “Run, Girl, Run” (in the silent era, a typical reel measured about 1,000 feet) for home movie projectors, sort of an early version of home video:

carole lombard run, girl, run amateur movie makers april 1928a
carole lombard run, girl, run 07a

Since I don’t want to exhaust the supply of surprises, I’ll close on this for now. But before I go, you should know that tomorrow an Internet-only auction of movie memorabilia is to be held (http://issuu.com/haxbee/docs/photoauctioncataloghi-res).

the hollywood collection 00

Only one Lombard item is to be auctioned, a still of her with George Raft from “Bolero”:

carole lombard bolero 50b

It’s in fine condition, and bids start at $100.

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Posted August 13, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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