For a ‘Brief Moment,’ a pressbook   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.12.13 at 21:30
Current mood: sadsad

carole lombard brief moment 22b

“Brief Moment,” released in the fall of 1933, is no classic in the Carole Lombard filmography, but it’s a masterpiece compared to the material she got the same year at her home studio of Paramount. Harry Cohn liked working with her (and she was one of the few actresses in the industry who reciprocated the feeling), so he not only gave Carole solid properties to work with, but a nice publicity push as well.

We have proof of that through a pressbook for the movie that I recently won at eBay, and today I will share this 12-page promotional prize with you to provide a flavor of the pre-Code publicity process. First, we’ll start with the cover (how appropriate), or as much as I could fit onto my 11″ x 17″ scanning bed:

carole lombard brief moment pressbook 00

Here’s how it looks in full, from the eBay ad:

carole lombard brief moment pressbook small 00a

From here, we’ll go page-by-page, adding some comments along the way (and highlighting material) where necessary:

carole lombard brief moment pressbook 01
carole lombard brief moment pressbook 02
carole lombard brief moment pressbook 03

Checking out exploitation is always fun; let’s enlarge three items from that page:

carole lombard brief moment pressbook 03a
carole lombard brief moment pressbook 03b
carole lombard brief moment pressbook 03c

One wonders if Jane and Marge had any further adventures regarding Columbia releases.

carole lombard brief moment pressbook 04

A close-up of those Lombard fashion pics:

carole lombard brief moment pressbook 04a

More on that angle later.

carole lombard brief moment pressbook 05

This is a genuine oddity — a pictorial serialization of “Brief Moment,” in four installments. How many newspapers actually used it?

carole lombard brief moment pressbook 06

Now we’re in the publicity portion, so let’s look at three Lombard-related items:

carole lombard brief moment pressbook 06a
carole lombard brief moment pressbook 06b
carole lombard brief moment pressbook 06c

Interesting to see information on Lombard’s finances, and we note she also went along with the ruse that she actually sang in the movie (Carole ultimately was dubbed). And if those comments in the third item look familiar to some readers, that’s because they were used verbatim by an Indiana newspaper and used in our “Looking back” entry for October 1933 (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/553413.html).

carole lombard brief moment pressbook 07

Yes, “prepared reviews” were just that — glowing reviews newspapers (generally small ones) could use to fill column inches and plug the movie. (Journalism ethics were far different then.) Aside from the big metro dailies, there were few film critics in those days.

carole lombard brief moment pressbook 08

To biographical features we go, highlighting those on Carole:

carole lombard brief moment pressbook 08a
carole lombard brief moment pressbook 08b
carole lombard brief moment pressbook 08c

Was the technical jargon at Columbia all that different from that used at Paramount (and since it was Carole’s third film at Columbia, shouldn’t she have known some of it already)? Also, by the time many news outlets received this, Lombard was the ex-Mrs. Powell. And while Carole may have done some stage work in her youth, no biographer has ever noted her in a leading role.

carole lombard brief moment pressbook 09

“Plug the fashion angle,” the pressbook suggests, and this page does just that, especially concerning Lombard and gowns:

carole lombard brief moment pressbook 09aa
carole lombard brief moment pressbook 09ab

Who came up with the headline “For The Ladies of The Evening”? Was that an in-joke regarding “Virtue”?

Now we examine “accessories,” and by that we don’t mean handbags and stockings, and then conclude with posters:

carole lombard brief moment pressbook 10
carole lombard brief moment pressbook 11

Included in the package was a huge black-and-white, poster-size insert showing the various ads available for the film. I’ll photograph it in the near future before having it framed.

Writing this entry has been good therapy tonight, as my mother passed away last evening at age 93. Her health — both physical and mental — had been deteriorating in recent months, and last week she broke her hip and was hospitalized. Surgery was successful, but at her age little could be done, and even had she recovered she probably would have been unable to return home. I will dearly miss her, but she left us peacefully and I know that after nearly 32 years of widowhood, she is reunited with my father. I will cherish her memory.

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Posted December 13, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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