Archive for October 2013

This’ll get your goat…   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.10.31 at 08:48
Current mood: cheerfulcheerful

carole lombard screen book november 1939b cover

If you could whisk yourself back in time some 74 years (or, since it’s Halloween, enlist the services of a friendly witch to make it happen), you’d find the above magazine cover on newsstands on Oct. 31, 1939. It’s Screen Book, showing Carole Lombard in her new “farm girl” domestic persona, complete with goat.

That motif was continued inside, alongside farmer husband Clark Gable:

carole lombard screen book november 1939aa

Also in the magazine were photo features on the magical “Eternally Yours,” with Loretta Young and David Niven…

carole lombard screen book november 1939ac

…and a two-page spread on the latest Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland vehicle, “Babes In Arms”:

carole lombard screen book november 1939ba

The back cover has an ad for Lucky Strike…

carole lombard screen book november 1939ca

…ironic, since this magazine apparently comes from “a smoke-free home.” At least that’s what the seller says, listing the issue in very good condition.

If you’d like to add it to your collection, note that as of this writing, one bid (for $13.99) already has been made; bidding is slated to end at 8:01 p.m. (Eastern) on Wednesday (after most of the U.S. reverts to Standard time). Bid, or find out more, by visiting

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Posted October 31, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Seems we’ve seen that pic before…   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.10.30 at 06:46
Current mood: accomplishedaccomplished

carole lombard photoplay january 1934ob frontGetting a sense of deja vu about that photo of Carole Lombard holding perfume? Well, if you were here last Thursday, it’s understandable, because that image (in cropped form) was part of a page we ran from the January 1934 issue of Photoplay:

carole lombard photoplay january 1934eb

In fact, that pic was the very photo used in the magazine; we have proof from the markings on the back:

carole lombard photoplay january 1934ao back

Note the “Hollywood Beauty Shop” reference. We also discover that sometime later, probably after Photoplay’s demise in 1980, it made its way to the library of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

The above photo is among several of Lombard, each on sale at eBay for $125 or best offer. Here’s another image Photoplay used and that we previously ran:

carole lombard i take this woman 46b front

Don’t recall the context? We ran it last December; it was from the August 1931 issue:

carole lombard photoplay aug 1931 cal york closeup

Again, here’s proof:

carole lombard i take this woman 46a back

Backless, and beautiful.

This next image doesn’t come from a magazine at all, but from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (was it taken by Clarence Sinclair Bull?), and the only thing on the back is a snipe:

carole lombard the gay bride 28b front
carole lombard the gay bride 28a back

Note no title had been given the production. It initially was to have been called “Repeal,” but MGM figured that had little appeal in post-Prohibition America, so it was changed to “The Gay Bride” (a title that would have a completely different meaning today).

The final pic available is one of Carole’s Paramount portraits, specifically p1202-1422. Its back isn’t shown, so it may well be blank:

carole lombard p1202-1422c

The “perfume” photo is at

For the image of Lombard’s back, go to

To find the MGM photo, visit

Finally, check out p1202-1422 at

Tonight marks the 75th anniversary of arguably the most famous radio broadcast in history, as Orson Welles and his Mercury Theater adapted H.G. Wells’ “War Of The Worlds.” By 2013 standards, it’s hard to believe something such as this could provoke a panic among some people (my father, who had just turned 15, heard it and wasn’t fooled), but radio then was still a relatively new medium, and many had not yet developed the sense of discerning what was real and what wasn’t. (Before the broadcast, CBS altered the script to delete references to many actual organizations or groups; for example, the New Jersey National Guard was instead titled “the state militia.”) Welles’ broadcast still packs a punch as radio drama so many years later — in case you’re one of the few who hasn’t heard it, or want to hear it again, here it is:



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Posted October 30, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

A-spying she would go   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.10.29 at 08:12
Current mood: curiouscurious

carole lombard p1202-1501b

Sometime near the end of her Paramount tenure, Carole Lombard posed for this fetching portrait, p1202-1501, where with trenchcoat and hat, she appears ready to engage in some espionage. At one point in the fall of 1935, that indeed seemed to be the case.

First, let’s look back a few months earlier, to the July 10, 1935 issue of Film Daily. Paramount issued its fall product display in a lengthy, colorful advertising section…

carole lombard film daily 071035a paramount

…and yes, it included a reference to Lombard’s upcoming film:

carole lombard film daily 071035a

Incidentally, you’ll note no male lead is mentioned. According to the Internet Movie Database, “Gary Cooper was the first choice for the role of Theodore Drew III but was unable at the time.” So it went to Fred MacMurray, who had made an impression on moviegoers earlier that year opposite Claudette Colbert in “The Gilded Lily.”

carole lombard hands across the table 00a

As things turned out, “Hands Across The Table” didn’t make its premiere until later that month, and the Oct. 25 Film Daily gave it considerable praise…

carole lombard film daily 102535cb
carole lombard film daily 102535ab

Good news for the new regime at Paramount, which included Ernst Lubitsch as head of production — the only time a director held the reins at a major Hollywood studio. (Oh, and that “b.o.” refers to “box office,” not…)

As October led to November, Paramount was considering its next vehicle for Carole. On Nov. 21, Film Daily reported it apparently had found one:

carole lombard film daily 112135b

Two days later, another blurb — same project, changed title:

carole lombard film daily 112335b

Beyond that…nothing. IMDb lists no films entitled either “Fashion Spy” or “Imported From Paris.” The story’s writer, John Francis Larkin, has nine credits listed (including “Parachute Jumper” and the story that became the Ruth Chatterton film “Frisco Jenny”), but for 1936, he is shown as having written the story for a comedy called “Mind Your Own Business” with Charlie Ruggles, Alice Brady and Lyle Talbot. No synopsis is given, but with characters named Orville and Melba Shanks (Ruggles and Brady) plus Jon Hall (then listed as Lloyd Crane) portraying a scoutmaster, one doubts that film was set in Paris.

What happened to the project? Perhaps Lombard lost interest, or she or someone at the studio thought it too closely resembled “Fashions Of 1934,” in which William Powell played a designer who ripped off the latest styles and had Bette Davis as an assistant. Whatever, it went to the scrapheap (one wonders if a finished script was ever made), replaced by a film called “Concertina,” where Carole’s co-star would be George Raft. Ultimately, that movie would have both a new title and leading man (

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Posted October 29, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Once again, going Dutch   Leave a comment


Posted by vp19 on 2013.10.28 at 07:11 
Current mood: contentcontent

carole lombard cinema & theater 012028a

About 4 1/2 months ago, we ran some photos of Carole Lombard as she appeared in a Dutch magazine in 1936 ( That issue of the magazine Cinema & Theater is now available at eBay, as are three earlier issues with Lombard images…beginning with the one above, perhaps among the first pictures of her in a European publication. It ran on Jan. 20, 1928, and you can see her first name is listed as “Carolle,” the monicker she briefly employed in her early tenure at Mack Sennett.

More than 5 1/2 years later — specifically the Sept. 2, 1933 issue — Lombard was “Carole,” established at Paramount, and ready to set sail (and show off her legs in shorts, too):

carole lombard cinema & theater 090233a

By 1935, Lombard had graduated from photo op to story subject, warranting a two-page spread (in conjunction with her latest film, “Rumba”) in the May 4 issue:

carole lombard cinema & theater 050435a

And the issue of Cinema & Theater we ran in June? It’s from Oct. 17, 1936, and not only was Carole on the cover, but on the inside as well:

carole lombard cinema & theater 101736a cover
carole lombard cinema & theater 101736a inside

Each of these issues can be bought straight up for $19.99, or you can make an offer; all are in at least good condition and run between 20 and 32 pages, although there may be an occasional loose page.

For the 1928 magazine, go to

For the one from 1933, visit

The 1935 issue can be found at

And finally, information on the 1936 issue is at

Incidentally, today marks the 116th anniversary of Edith Head’s birth, and the Oscar-winning designer is receiving the top current cultural salute — she’s being honored by Google:

edith head google salute 102813

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Posted October 28, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Dressing’ at the Ritz is a Winner   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.10.27 at 09:08
Current mood: amusedamused

carole lombard we're not dressing 20c

“We’re Not Dressing” is a fun Bing Crosby musical vehicle, but as a Carole Lombard film it shows just how interchangeable an actress Paramount perceived her to be in early 1934. Nothing in the role of haughty heiress Doris Worthington specifically calls for Carole’s on-screen talents; no one really knew what those were, least of all Lombard. Crosby could have had Miriam Hopkins or Mary Carlisle or Claudette Colbert as a leading lady (I don’t think Bing ever worked with Claudette), and it wouldn’t have made much of a difference.

By mid-1934, talk around Hollywood was that, through her latest film, “Twentieth Century” (made on loanout to Columbia), Lombard had finally found her niche as an actress. But had word reached the heartland? “We’re Not Dressing” was released in late April, a few weeks prior to “Twentieth Century,” and by the start of July it had made its way to South Dakota, specifically a city in the south-central part of the state, near the Nebraska line, named Winner:

carole lombard we're not dressing window card 01a

The theater, named the Ritz, seated 350 and had been open for several years by 1934. Here’s how it looked in 1939:

1939 ritz theater winner sd 00a

The Ritz closed in 1990 and was converted into a community church, but don’t feel bad for Winner moviegoers. A nearby theater, the Pix, remains open (it’s currently showing the mega-hit “Gravity”)…

pix winner sd 00a

…as does the Winner Drive-In, which is closed for the season but will reopen in May:

winner drive-in 01a
winner drive-in 00a

Let’s get back to that window card for “We’re Not Dressing” — it’s gorgeous, on heavy cardboard stock and in immaculate condition. The card itself measures 14″ x 22″; with frame, it’s 19″ x 27″.

As you might guess, this has plenty of value. The minimum bid is a lofty $450 (but for something as rare as this, it’s worth it), and bidding is set to end at 11:03 a.m. (Eastern) Friday. To place a bid, or simply learn more, visit

And yes, anyone who purchases this window card will feel…like a Winner. (Couldn’t resist.)

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Posted October 27, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Some things to ‘Confess’ about   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.10.26 at 05:43
Current mood: productiveproductive

carole lombard true confession 56a

If you’re a fan of Carole Lombard’s final Paramount film “True Confession” (which probably means you’re not named Leonard Maltin; while he’s a fan of Carole’s and even wrote a paperback book about her nearly 40 years ago, he doesn’t think much of this movie), several items of memorabilia are now available.

First up, a 5″ x 7″ booklet, in very good condition, resembling a copy of the magazine True Confessions, with a Lombard image on its cover, used to promote both the film and the mag:

carole lombard true confession true confessions 00a

Inside, Lombard “confesses” that she will not let herself be typecast:

carole lombard true confession true confessions 01a
carole lombard true confession true confessions 02b
carole lombard true confession true confessions 02c

Carole is shown reading the magazine (one with her image on the cover!)…

carole lombard true confession true confessions 03a

…and is shown with Eleanor Fisher, who won a contest for a trip to Hollywood and a walk-on role in the film (playing a reporter, she actually speaks a line to Lombard). It would be her lone screen credit (

carole lombard true confession true confessions 04a

When this was issued late in 1937, you could “take one free,” but now it will cost you at least $20, as that is the minimum bid; the auction is slated to end at 11 a.m. (Eastern) Friday. Find out additional information or place a bid by going to

The seller has another item of “True” memorabilia, this from the other side of the pond. Two British movie publications, The Cinema and Kinematograph Weekly, published full-page pictorials on the film in mid-December, about the time it made its “trade debut” in London (the UK public wouldn’t see the movie until early 1938):

carole lombard true confession british pages 01c
carole lombard true confession british pages 02a

Each sheet measures 11″ x 17″ and is “suitable for framing.” Bids here start at $12, and bidding ends one minute before the program does. Learn more at

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Posted October 26, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

A reminder to recast, and soon (but do it in silents)   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.10.25 at 18:27
Current mood: determineddetermined

carole lombard show folks 02a

Carole Lombard and Eddie Quillan of “Show Folks” are here to remind you that a week from today, “Carole & Co.” will be host for another blogathon. Hard to believe it’s not that far away.

Oh, you say you hadn’t heard about the event? Well, it’s called…

the great silent recasting 2013 douglas fairbanks 00c

…and it works like this: Choose a film made after 1965 (the unofficial end of the “classic era”) and rework it as a silent-era movie, with a cast (stars and principal supporting players), director, studio and year (no later than 1929) — and all personnel involved in the production have to be alive and working in the industry at the time of its “release.”

(Above is Douglas Fairbanks from “The Black Pirate” in 1926.)

It promises to be plenty of fun, and as you see above, it’s slated to run from Friday, Nov. 1 to Monday, Nov. 4. If you’d like to choose a movie and give a date for publication, leave a comment at the end of this entry. (I’ll be creating one — Lombard-related, of course — but you’ll have to wait till next weekend to find out more.)

Meanwhile, let’s get you in the mood with some “reimagined” posters from Fritzi Kramer at (rest assured, a poster is not a prerequisite for participation). Remember “The Fugitive,” with Harrison Ford? This version has Harrison Ford, too — but it’s the original actor by that name (and a considerable star in his own right in silent days), and it takes place in 1923, with Lon Chaney as Ford’s pursuer:

the great silent recasting the fugitive 00a

And some 35 years before Barry Nelson became the first actor to play James Bond (albeit an Americanized version, on television), Clive Brook gets to portray 007 in a 1919 version of “Casino Royale” (I assume this is adapted from the Ian Fleming novel, not the 1967 spoof):

the great silent recasting casino royale 00a

Trying to imagine “Shaken…not stirred” as a title card. (Prohibition wouldn’t take effect nationally until mid-January 1920, but this still might incur the wrath of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.)

We eagerly await your participation.

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Posted October 25, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Photoplay,’ January 1934: Off to the ‘beauty shop,’ and more   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.10.24 at 19:21
Current mood: confusedconfused

carole lombard photoplay june 1934a larger

Carole Lombard didn’t grace the cover of Photoplay until June 1934, but the magazine hardly ignored her before then. For an example, let’s go back five months, to January 1934, as Carole teamed with Gloria Stuart on the one-page feature, “Hollywood Beauty Shop”:

carole lombard photoplay january 1934eb

Let’s focus on the inset…and Lombard’s hands, holding a box of perfume:

carole lombard photoplay january 1934ec

More instances of Carole were scattered throughout the issue. There’s a story about “pinch-hitters who made good,” and no, it’s not a baseball story (if you wanted “hot stove league” info regarding the off-season, other magazines on the newsstand served that purpose) — we’re talking actors who weren’t the first choice for roles, but wound up with the part and a career advancement:

carole lombard photoplay january 1934ja
carole lombard photoplay january 1934ka
carole lombard photoplay january 1934la
carole lombard photoplay january 1934m

If you didn’t catch the paragraphs referring to Lombard, here they are:

carole lombard photoplay january 1934lb

Nine years after filming “No Man Of Her Own,” Carole again would replace Miriam Hopkins — this time for what would be her final film, “To Be Or Not To Be.”

The stars’ dining habits were discussed by a longtime maitre d’, Joe Mann of the Hollywood Roosevelt’s Blossom Room. No real surprises here — if he has any resentments towards his high-class clientele, he certainly won’t let on — but Mann gives one an idea of what makes film celebs tick:

carole lombard photoplay january 1934fa
carole lombard photoplay january 1934ga
carole lombard photoplay january 1934ha
carole lombard photoplay january 1934ia

From what we know about Joan Crawford’s opinion of MGM cohort Jean Harlow, we doubt they’d be sharing a table.

There’s a brief reference to Lombard and ex-husband William Powell, who occasionally dined together:

carole lombard photoplay january 1934hb

In addition, there’s a fanciful fiction, “Merry Ex-Wives Of Hollywood” (a la “The Merry Wives Of Windsor”), though our eyes may view it along the lines of “The First Wives Club.” (Imagine Carole, Joan Crawford and Lilyan Tashman singing “You Don’t Own Me”!):

carole lombard photoplay january 1934aa
carole lombard photoplay january 1934ba
carole lombard photoplay january 1934cb
carole lombard photoplay january 1934db

Run, Gary, run!

Finally, the Cal York gossip column (there was no “Cal York”; the name was an amalgam of California and New York, representing Photoplay’s two main editorial offices) includes a brief about Carole’s new home:

carole lombard photoplay january 1934nb

Incidentally, isn’t that an amazing photo of a Claudette Colbert sans glamour for the overlooked DeMille film “Four Frightened People”?)

The issue’s cover was of Crawford, an actress who exuded plenty of glamour at this time (both this and the Carole cover were drawn by Earl Christy):

photoplay january 1934a cover

And inside was an ad for an item I had never heard of — movie star lamps (this gets me thinking of “A Christmas Story”):

photoplay january 1934aa

There’s no Lombard lamp, but ones for Crawford, Harlow, Clark Gable, Maurice Chevalier and Mae West, among others. Two questions: Do any of these still exist, and did the company manufacturing them get permission from the studios to use the stars’ images? If not, the resulting lawsuits would make these lamps all the rarer.

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Posted October 24, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Lombard, looking lean   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.10.23 at 20:45
Current mood: sympatheticsympathetic

carole lombard 2491c front

That’s an interesting image of Carole Lombard, leaning back against the top of a chair. It’s one of the rare photos of her with her hair pulled back, revealing far more forehead than we’re used to seeing from Carole. (There’s sort of a Nicole Kidman-ish vibe to this photo.)

What more do we know about it? Thankfully, a snipe and other information is on the back; for one thing, it was taken for Paramount by Eugene Robert Richee (we can barely make out his stamp)…

carole lombard 2491a back

…for another, it was received at Photoplay magazine in December 1933, though it wasn’t used in that month’s issue or in ones dated January and February 1934. There’s no p1202 number shown, so it apparently didn’t make the grade for that series.

Whatever the story is behind it, this is definitely a rarity. No wonder the seller has listed a minimum bid of $100. It’s in good condition for being nearly eight decades old (there is a small crease in the bottom left corner), and bidding on this 8″ x 10″ still ends at 12:37 p.m. (Eastern) Wednesday. Curious about this one? You’ll find the answers at

The same seller also has this charming headshot of Carole up for auction:

carole lombard 2490c front

The back of the photo is blank, and I’m guessing this to be from 1932 or ’33; there’s a p1202 number in the lower left corner, but I can’t discern what it is. It’s the same predicament I have with Carole’s famed swimsuit portrait, where it’s impossible to see the number:

carole lombard swimsuit 02

The headshot is 8″ x 10″, linen-backed, and also has a minimum bid of $100; its bidding deadline is nearly an hour later than its counterpart, at 1:36 p.m. (Eastern) Wednesday. Get additional information by visiting

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Posted October 23, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Staging a ‘Vigil’ in an Arcade   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.10.22 at 08:50
Current mood: morosemorose

carole lombard vigil in the night 15a

“Vigil In The Night” arguably is the most challenging of Carole Lombard moviegoing experiences. The joyous, fun-loving Carole who effortlessly charmed audiences is nowhere to be found here, replaced by a no-nonsense woman whose intensity to service as a nurse is admirable, if nothing else. A well-made film, to be sure, but its heaviness led to lackluster box-office in the first few months of 1940. This wasn’t the Lombard people wanted to see.

With all that working against it, you wouldn’t think “Vigil” would have much of a shelf life in theaters. But that’s not the case, at least for one theater in Manhattan in 1941, by which time Lombard had re-established herself as a comedy queen with “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and newspapers reported she was working on another comedy, this one with Ernst Lubitsch:

carole lombard vigil in the night herald 00a

Note “Vigil” was buried in the Tuesday and Wednesday slots, as more popular fare was scheduled for weekend business.

If the unrelenting gloom proved too much for theatergoers, they could play bingo and win cash (talk about a study in contrasts), a promotion along the lines of movie “bank nights” from a few years before. The theater where all this took placed was called the Arcade, on Broadway a few blocks north of Columbus Circle. Here are the front and back pages of this herald, with another George Stevens-directed film on front:

carole lombard vigil in the night herald 01a
carole lombard vigil in the night herald 02a

Those who dropped by the Arcade that Sunday afternoon to watch “Broadway Melody Of 1940” left the theater learning about a Japanese attack on the U.S. naval compound at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, thrusting America into the global conflict already known as World War II. Lombard herself would be an indirect casualty of the war the following month.

The Arcade opened in 1919. Seating about 550, it was a second-run house for much of the 1920s and ’30s. (The photo below probably dates to 1937 or so, as the three films on the marquee opened between 1934 and 1936.)

new york arcade theater 01

Fire destroyed the Arcade a few years after “Vigil” was shown there, and a new theater, the Studio, was built on the site, labeling itself New York’s first postwar cinema, with a more modernistic motif:

new york arcade theater 02
new york arcade theater 03

Later renamed the Cinema Studio and twinned, it became a familiar haunt for Manhattan moviegoers in the 1970s and ’80s; you can catch a glimpse of it in Woody Allen’s 1979 “Manhattan.” But soaring real estate values made its land more valuable for other uses and it closed in 1990, appropriately showing the elegiac “Cinema Paradiso” as its final feature. A Barnes and Noble bookstore was built on the block, later succeeded by a branch of the Century 21 department store.

The herald is listed in good condition; you can buy it for $7.50 or make an offer. Learn more at

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Posted October 22, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized