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 (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/166158.html).

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Posted October 29, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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