Archive for December 2013

Lombard ‘Factors’ in some lipstick traces   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.12.21 at 00:33
Current mood: enthralledenthralled

carole lombard max factor autograph 00a

Many movie stars of the 1930s relied on cosmetics legend Max Factor to look their best professionally and personally, and Carole Lombard was among them. That’s why she gave him this autographed photo, signed “For Max Factor Cordially, Carole Lombard.”

In return, Factor used the stars to boost his growing retail cosmetics business. We’ve seen many Lombard endorsements for his products in the 6 1/2 years of this site’s existence, but this one may knock you for a loop. The seller on eBay refers to it as “absolutely fabulous,” and I’m certain Edina and Patsy would wholeheartedly agree. Take a look:

carole lombard max factor lipstick 00a

Wow, wow and wow. But just wait until you learn more of the particulars…

* This measures an incredible 19″ x 25.75″ — meaning it almost certainly was prominently displayed in cosmetics shops and department stores of the day. (And judging from Carole’s appearance and the reference to her as a “Paramount star,” that day was probably sometime in the mid-thirties.)

* That image of Lombard applying lipstick is designed to resemble a mirror, so it pops out a bit from the display, sort of a three-dimensional effect:

carole lombard max factor lipstick 01b

And I’m guessing the white space near the bottom of the sign was similar to listing dates and theater for an upcoming movie, allowing retailers to mark specific information, if so desired. Whomever possessed this one didn’t exercise that option:

carole lombard max factor lipstick 02b

* The seller lists it in “Terrific condition. Vibrant. Has original unused easel on back. Some corner/edge wear.” Considering it’s close to 80 years old, the condition indeed is superb.

The ad lists the lipstick as selling for one dollar, but you’ll need 500 of those dollars (less a penny) to purchase this rarity — and that doesn’t include $30 in shipping costs. If you want to place this incredible item in your home, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-RARE-1930S-MAX-FACTOR-STORE-DISPLAY-BEAUTIFUL/380799084960?_trksid=p2045573.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D18475%26meid%3D3545999344429207426%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D8385%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D161177647524%26.

Today’s subject matter made me think of Elvis Costello’s “Lipstick Vogue,” from his second album, “This Year’s Model.” Here he is, with his ace band the Attractions, as powerfully performed in Cologne, West Germany (reunification still was more than a decade away) in the spring of 1978.

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Posted December 21, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Hollywood Park, headed for the finish line   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.12.20 at 19:00
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

carole lombard clark gable hollywood park 1940aThe photo above shows Carole Lombard and Clark Gable at the racetrack in 1940; Clark looks as if he just picked a winner and is getting ready to cash in his ticket, though I’m not sure what Carole’s reaction is. But the track isn’t Santa Anita, where the Gables were frequently seen, but another southern California venue…one that is closing this weekend after 75 years.

hollywood park 00a

It’s Hollywood Park (now technically Betfair Hollywood Park) in the southern suburb of Inglewood, which opened in June 1938 with strong bloodlines, both equine and human. According to its website, its founding shareholders included Al Jolson and Raoul Walsh (two of the original directors of the board), Joan Blondell, Ronald Colman, Walt Disney, Bing Crosby, Sam Goldwyn, Darryl Zanuck, George Jessel, Ralph Bellamy, Hal Wallis, Anatole Litvak, Hunt Stromberg, Wallace Beery and Irene Dunne. Lombard’s director in “Fools For Scandal” (don’t hold that against him), Mervyn LeRoy, was the park’s director from 1941 until his death in 1986.

Other celebrities were park patrons, too, such as Don Ameche, Hedy Lamarr and James Stewart, shown in 1940:

hollywood park don ameche hedy lamarr james stewart 1940b

Seabiscuit won the track’s inaugural signature race, the Hollywood Gold Cup, in 1938; later notable winners included former Triple Crown champions Citation (1951) and Affirmed (1979). There was a fire in 1949 which forced that season’s meet to Santa Anita, but it was back to Inglewood the following year, and it drew big crowds on the Los Angeles Railway’s fabled “yellow cars”:

los angeles railway hollywood park 1950s large

While Hollywood Park never quite had the panache of Santa Anita (it was to that Arcadia track what Aqueduct was to Belmont Park in New York), the venue was quite popular in its heyday. In 1965, the park averaged 35,000 fans daily, and a tote bag promotion in 1980 drew more than 80,000. Three Breeders Cup cards were held at Hollywood Park: the inaugural run in 1984, followed by visits in 1987 and 1997.

But the growth of off-track betting, combined with a decrease of interest from the public, turned horse racing into a niche sport. In recent years, the average attendance was less than one-tenth what it was at its peak.

With the writing on the wall, track officials decided this would be the final year for racing, with its dates shifted to Santa Anita next year. The land, near the Great Western Forum (former home of the NHL’s Kings and NBA’s Lakers, now being converted into a concert venue), soon will host a 300-room hotel, 3,000 homes, a shopping mall and movie theaters. It should be a significant revenue boost for Inglewood, which has struggled in recent years, but it’s the end for yet another link to the southern California that Clark and Carole knew and loved.

For more on the end of this fabled track, and some profiles of its habitues (many of whom Damon Runyon would have loved), check outhttp://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/15/sports/a-last-hurrah-for-hollywood-park.html?_r=0. And here’s a three-minute video tribute to Hollywood Park:

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Posted December 20, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

An appropriate thought from Clark Gable   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.12.19 at 23:10
Current mood: contemplativecontemplative

carole lombard clark gable harlow funeral large

I’ve just returned from my mother’s funeral, which was held today; she died a week ago at age 93. She had a full, substantial life as a wife, mother to three children, employee in a variety of jobs and inspiration to others. The other day, I saw this quote from Clark Gable, and thought it appropriate for today’s entry:

“Death is something none of us can avoid. I suppose it’s pointless to worry about it, just live your life how you want and hope somebody remembers you fondly.” 

I have no idea when he said that. It’s possible it came following the unexpected death of Jean Harlow, someone he cared for as a sister. (Gable and Carole Lombard are shown above at Harlow’s funeral in June 1937.) It’s more likely he said it following his service in World War II — not only in reaction to Lombard’s death which led him to enlist, but regarding all his military comrades who didn’t come back from the war, or others who similarly grieved over the loss of their loved ones.

However, whenever Gable said it doesn’t really matter. What’s important is the thought...live a life that makes someone remember you fondly. Clark and Carole did that for plenty of people, and while my mother was hardly a celebrity, many remember her fondly, too. And I’m comforted to know that she is reunited in spirit with my father — who also is fondly remembered — after more than three decades of being apart.

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Posted December 19, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Movie Classic,’ October 1934: Even movie stars must rest   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.12.17 at 00:40
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

carole lombard p1202-837c

The early autumn of 1934 was a tumultuous time for Carole Lombard, but if your only exposure to her was via the Movie Classic issue from that October, you’d never have known it. Carole was grieving over the sudden, shockingly accidental death of Russ Columbo on Sept. 2, but there’s a reason it wasn’t part of that issue. Take a look at one of its back pages, specifically the lower right-hand corner:

movie classic october 1934ha

If the October issue hit newsstands similarly early in September, it had already gone to press by the time Columbo died (especially since it occurred over Labor Day weekend). Also note the ad in the first column from the Ambassador Hotel and the endorsement from one John Barrymore. If he and Lombard had an affair during the filming of “Twentieth Century,” as many Hollywood historians believe, might some of the sexual hijinks have happened there, not far from where virginal teenager Carole had danced at the Cocoanut Grove nearly a decade before?

(Oh, and neither Clark Gable nor Gloria Swanson starred in “Riff-Raff” — though it’s delicious to imagine what that film might have been like with them as the leads.)

The issue was hardly bereft of Lombard material. She was featured in a full-page photo:

carole lombard movie classic october 1934aa

(As we all know, the one-time “orchid lady” never made a film entitled “Orchids And Onions.”)

Carole was also seen with her latest leading man, Gary Cooper, in an ad from Max Factor:

carole lombard movie classic october 1934bb

Lombard didn’t make the cover, but another Oct. 6 baby did — Janet Gaynor, painted by Marland Stone:

movie classic october 1934b cover

Let’s focus on two stories from that issue. One is an “as told to” piece from James Cagney, where the gentlemanly actor expresses his disdain for much of the James Cagney persona. As you might expect from him, it’s lively and fascinating, and shows why he was so popular with his fellow actors (if not the suits running Warners):

movie classic october 1934aa
movie classic october 1934bamovie classic october 1934camovie classic october 1934da

In contrast, check out this article, which alleges to tell the “real story” about Jean Harlow. However, her mother is the conduit, and based upon what we know about her, much of this has to be taken with a grain of salt. Heck, get an entire package of the stuff:

movie classic october 1934ea
movie classic october 1934famovie classic october 1934ga

I’m certain Harlow maven Darrell Rooney could point out all the inaccuracies and things that don’t ring true in this story.

A few years ago, we ran an entry regarding the legendary, long-gone Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles, where musical history took place in August 1935 when Benny Goodman’s orchestra performed there…an engagement many label the beginning of the “swing era” (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/484127.html). Thankfully, someone has uncovered a radio broadcast of Goodman and crew from the Palomar on Aug. 22, 1935, the second night of their stand there, and made it available for all. It lasts about 25 minutes, opening with “Goodbye” (which Goodman later made his closing song, befitting its title) and also featuring “Darktown Strutters Ball,” “Stardust” and two of the year’s most popular songs — “East Of The Sun, West Of The Moon” and “I’m In The Mood For Love.” To modern ears, there’s nothing all that revolutionary about it, and Goodman may felt likewise; the band was simply using the Fletcher Henderson arrangements from its Saturday night “Let’s Dance” radio program earlier in the year. But West Coast audiences heard it at an earlier time than their eastern counterparts, and it made much more of an impact in the Pacific time zone. The overwhelmingly positive reaction resonated throughout the rest of the country, boosting Benny’s band to unparalleled popularity. Here it is, some 78 years later, for your enjoyment.

One final note: Funeral services are being held for my mother this week (visitation Wednesday, Mass and burial Thursday), so I may miss a day or two of entries for the first time in more than seven months. Keep her in your thoughts, and I will return to this site soon.

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Posted December 17, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Four with Clark, one with Fred   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.12.16 at 00:39
Current mood: contemplativecontemplative

carole lombard clark gable 141b

An eBay seller has 38 photos of Carole Lombard — almost all of them with Clark Gable — available at the time of this writing. None are originals, but all are 8″ x 10″ and printed on professional photographic paper. Most of them, including the five we are profiling, can be bought outright for $19.99, or you can make a bid beginning at $14.99.

The photo at the top shows Clark and Carole at the races; I don’t know what track it is, but perhaps it’s Hollywood Park in Inglewood, closing this month after 75 years. Here’s another one of the couple:

carole lombard clark gable 142b

Decidedly more somber is this image of Gable and Lombard at friend Jean Harlow’s funeral in June 1937:

carole lombard clark gable harlow funeral 02b

Gathered around an ashtray are Gable, Lombard and David O. Selznick, who produced Clark’s “Gone With The Wind” and Carole’s “Nothing Sacred” and “Made For Each Other”:

carole lombard clark gable david o. selznick 01b

Finally, here’s Lombard with Fred MacMurray, both in swimwear at Lake Arrowhead, relaxing between takes during the making of “True Confession”:

carole lombard true confession 58b

To bid on or buy these or other Lombard pictures from this seller, visit http://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?_odkw=&item=191002676554&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&_osacat=0&hash=item2c78a58d4a&_ssn=bulltznbracelets&_trksid=p2046732.m570.l1313.TR8.TRC2.A0.Xcarole+lombard&_nkw=carole+lombard&_sacat=0&_from=R40.

Finally, it’s been a difficult December for fans of classic Hollywood, as we’ve lost a number of important film personalities in recent days. First, there was the passing of Eleanor Parker; on Saturday, we learned of the death of ’40s star Audrey Totter; and Sunday, we found out two other greats were no longer with us — Peter O’Toole (who actually died Saturday) and Joan Fontaine. Alas, that “TCM Remembers” tribute that began airing this week will have to be updated.

Less than two months ago, my friend Lara Gabrielle Fowler at the classic film blog “Backlots” saluted Fontaine’s 96th birthday by doing a Q & A with her — probably the last interview of sorts she ever gave. You can read her responses to these nine questions at http://backlots.net/2013/10/22/a-qa-with-joan-fontaine-in-honor-of-her-96th-birthday/. And Joan, you will be missed.

joan fontaine 01

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Posted December 16, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Radio Guide,’ January 15-21, 1939: Preparing to play ‘The Circle’ game   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.12.15 at 18:36
Current mood: embarrassedembarrassed

carole lombard nbc radio 02b front

You’d never know it from that serious pose, but Carole Lombard had every right to be excited as 1939 began. After all, she knew she’d soon start a highly-publicized endeavor with a certain C.G. No, not that one…

clark gable 003

...this one:

cary grant 01

Here, let the snipe on the back of Carole’s photo explain it all for you:

carole lombard nbc radio 02a snipe

Yes, it’s for Lombard the (potential) radio star, in a new series called “The Circle,” and it was getting plenty of push from NBC; its sponsor, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes; and others covering this broadcast medium still in its late teens. The Annenberg publication Radio Guide was among those getting in on the hype, making Lombard its cover subject for the Jan. 15-21 issue:

carole lombard radio guide 011539 cover

And inside, Lombard and “The Circle” garnered two large pages:

carole lombard radio guide 011539a
carole lombard radio guide 011539b

As Radio Guide was large in page size as magazines go (though thankfully everything fit upon my scanner), let’s divide the Lombard part of the story into a quartet of two-column pieces:

carole lombard radio guide 011539aa
carole lombard radio guide 011539ab
carole lombard radio guide 011539ba
carole lombard radio guide 011539bb

There’s no byline to this, but as Lombard stories of the time go, this one tells it fairly straight; she generally was one of the best-liked members of the movie colony, and her relative lack of pretense comes through the article.

Radio Guide, like its later Annenberg property TV Guide, was best known for its listings. This edition covered New England and New York State; if you’re from that neck of the woods, see how many of these fabled call letters you recognize:

radio guide 011539aa

(One important clarification here: the “WABC” listed here is not the later Top 40 legend or Rush Limbaugh home, but the flagship of the CBS network. In 1946, WABC became WCBS, and WJZ — initially the NBC Blue network flagship, then part of the new American Broadcasting Company after the Blue Network’s divestiture from NBC — inherited the WABC call letters. Also, in 1940 the FCC, seeking to avoid overcrowding on the AM dial, shifted many stations’ frequencies and changed the upper end of the band from 1500 to 1600 kilohertz. So, for example, KDKA in Pittsburgh, known to current listeners at 1020 on the dial, was at 980 in 1939.)

“The Circle” was listed among the highlights for Sunday, Jan. 15, and you can see which stations carried it:

carole lombard radio guide 011539e

(“Franklyn” Pangborn? “Ernest” Lubitsch? Really?)

Also, see the (sw) at the end of many programs’ listings? In those days, most network fare also was carried on shortwave, and that part of broadcasting — reflecting a Europe that would plunge into war in less than eight months — was provided a page in each Radio Guide issue:

radio guide 011539c

Lombard was featured elsewhere in the magazine, specifically its Hollywood column (you can see Lucille Ball in the middle photo):

carole lombard radio guide 011539c

Let’s isolate where Carole was found:

carole lombard radio guide 011539ca

Nice to see some incredible generosity from Lombard (and that Jack Benny was anything but the skinflint of his comedic persona). Oh, and that “gift” received by Charlie McCarthy? Termites. (W.C., was that your handiwork?)

carole lombard the circle 00a

With an array of stars and plenty of publicity, what happened to “The Circle”? The equivalent of corn flakes left in milk too long. Rather than being an impromptu banter such as the current TV series “The View,” everything was scripted on “The Circle,” and audiences rejected the concept. Lombard left the show after several episodes (presumably getting some cases of cereal from Kellogg’s as a parting gift), others left as well, and the series gradually fizzled out. For the money invested in it at the time, it remains one of the bigger disappointments in the history of old-time network radio.

Only one episode with Lombard survives, from Jan 22, 1939. You can hear it at http://www.carygrantradio.com/radio/TheCircle.mp3.

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Posted December 15, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Two ‘Sacred’ posters with plenty of punch   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.12.14 at 00:50
Current mood: surprisedsurprised

carole lombard nothing sacred 58c front

“Nothing Sacred” is as physical a screwball comedy as Carole Lombard ever made…and that element pitting her against co-star Fredric March is highlighted in two posters from that production now on sale at eBay. First, this “fight card” poster:

carole lombard nothing sacred poster 02a

The poster measures 14″ x 22″ (the top portion is blank so exhibitors could write the name of the theater and the dates it would run) and appears in good condition. This almost certainly is from the original Selznick International release, as I don’t believe the fight angle was used to promote the Film Classics reissue (following Lombard’s death).

This won’t come cheaply; the asking price is $700. If that’s not out of your neighborhood as a collector, or simply are curious, go tohttp://www.ebay.com/itm/NOTHING-SACRED-CAROLE-LOMBARD-WILLIAM-WHELMAN-1937-MOVIE-POSTER-1645/360812785259?_trksid=p2045573.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D18475%26meid%3D3384441135494460431%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D8385%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D360812785249%26.

The other “Nothing Sacred” poster is in Spanish, under the title “La Reina De Nueva York” (“The Queen Of New York”):

carole lombard nothing sacred poster 03a

The poster is a whopping 27″ x 41″, and notes that this comedy is in “moderno technicolor” (which I take to mean three-strip Technicolor, still a fairly new concept to filmgoers in 1937). It’s in fine condition, too.

If you thought the price of the first poster was considerable, this one dwarfs it…the seller is seeking $2,310. Nevertheless, there are some people who will pay that sort of money for this sort of memorabilia. If you happen to be one of them, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/NOTHING-SACRED-CAROLE-LOMBARD-WILLIAM-WHELMAN-1937-MOVIE-POSTER-1487/360812785249?_trksid=p2045573.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D18475%26meid%3D3384873525018029670%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D8385%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D360812785259%26 for additional information.

One more bit of news: If you’re in southern California, you have another chance to purchase the splendid new book “George Hurrell’s Hollywood,” but have it autographed by its author, Mark Alan Vieira. It will be from 2 to 4 p.m. at Essentia Mattress, 2430 Main Street in Santa Monica.

george hurrell's hollywood mark a. vieira 00

Oh, and Mark notes he’ll bring a pen.

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Posted December 14, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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

‘Silver Screen,’ September 1937: A cinematic hazing   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.12.12 at 22:11
Current mood: melancholymelancholy

carole lombard hearts and spurs 00c

Carole Lombard wasn’t quite the cinematic neophyte when she made the western programmer “Hearts And Spurs” with Buck Jones in 1925. Heck, it wasn’t even her first film for Fox; that would have been “Marriage In Transit” earlier in the year. Plus, of course, there was that supporting part in 1921 for “A Perfect Crime,” made under her birth name of Jane Peters.

But for the purposes of this entry, pretend “Hearts And Spurs” was the 16-year-old Carole’s debut. A dozen years later, a tale was told about that production for the September 1937 issue of Silver Screen, which had Marlene Dietrich (by Marland Stone) on the cover:

marlene dietrich silver screen september 1937 cover

The story is called “Hazing,” and while author Whitney Williams quotes no one directly, it discusses just what the teenage actress went through on that shoot in Arizona:

carole lombard silver screen september 1937

Since the article is relatively difficult to read (Silver Screen apparently was notorious for its smallish print), we’ll isolate and enlarge each of the two columns:

carole lombard silver screen september 1937xcarole lombard silver screen september 1937y

As stated, we know it wasn’t her first picture, and we also know that contrary to Williams’ writing, Lombard’s cinematic first name in 1925 was indeed “Carole.” Alas, we can’t analyze the film because it, like all other of her movies before her automobile accident, is lost. But the anecdotes are intriguing, and in retrospect almost a bit cruel.

The tale about Lombard and the horse…would this have been her first interaction with an equine? It’s possible she rode a horse while a child, but we don’t have any proof. By the 1930s, Carole had become quite fond of horses, whether on the track, the polo grounds or on the ranch, both before and after marrying Clark Gable.

A sad footnote to this story is that less than six years after it ran, all three principal figures would be gone. Lombard died in a January 1942 plane crash, Jones was among the several hundred victims of the Coconut Grove fire in Boston that November and director W.S. Van Dyke, suffering from incurable cancer, fatally shot himself in February 1943.

Another Lombard tidbit was printed accompanying the table of contents:

carole lombard silver screen september 1937aa

The tidbit in question is at the bottom of that column, written by “Liza” (which I’m guessing to be a pseudonym for Elizabeth Wilson, its “western” editor). Here it is, in larger form:

carole lombard silver screen september 1937ab

One would also think that Gable would wish to inform all young men planning to take Lombard driving to get his approval first.

Wilson — who spent many years writing and editing for Silver Screen and its sibling mag, Screenland –– contributed her regular feature, “Projections,” on that month’s cover subject:

marlene dietrich silver screen september 1937a
marlene dietrich silver screen september 1937b
marlene dietrich silver screen september 1937c
marlene dietrich silver screen september 1937d

Interesting to read about the falling out between Dietrich and Mae West, once close friends at Paramount.

And, of course, there were ads for films in this issue, from MGM…

silver screen september 1937a

…to Selznick International…

silver screen september 1937c

…to Walter Wanger Productions:

silver screen september 1937b

Note that “Marie Walewska” was renamed “Conquest,” and the ad for “Vogues Of 1938” doesn’t include mention of what the film is best known for today — the introduction of the beautiful pop standard “That Old Feeling.” And here it is, performed by Frank Sinatra (today marks the 98th anniversary of his birth), in a lovely recording from 1947, during his Columbia days:

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Posted December 12, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

An initial look at ‘Movie Life’   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.12.11 at 01:21
Current mood: optimisticoptimistic

carole lombard nothing sacred blu-ray 02a

As leaves fell to the ground in autumn 1937, Carole Lombard would soon hit screens — in Technicolor — pretending to be ill in “Nothing Sacred,” at a time when her career was at her healthiest, and when a new film magazine hit the newsstands, called…

movie life november 1937a cover

...Movie Life (that’s Ginger Rogers on the cover of its initial issue, from November 1937). It was published by New York-based Ultem Publications, whose stable also included Modern Movies.

Unlike Photoplay, Motion Picture or other movie fan mags, Movie Life was primarily a pictorial publication — and one of its first-issue features was on “Nothing Sacred.” The piece was called “Valiant Is The Word For Carole,” a takeoff on the 1936 Gladys George drama “Valiant Is The Word For Carrie.” (Many of you who are Three Stooges fans probably know one of their shorts from about this time was called “Violent Is The Word For Curly.”) It’s a fun read, with some nice, rarely-seen pics:

carole lombard movie life november 1937aa
carole lombard movie life november 1937b
carole lombard movie life november 1937ca

Other people in Lombard’s life made the issue, too. Take Clark Gable, who in this two-page spread showed the outdoors side of self that Carole would soon come to know:

movie life november 1937a
movie life november 1937b

Gable leading lady and Lombard friend Myrna Loy showed off her new home in the Hollywood Hills:

movie life november 1937c

The last line of the above story noted Loy’s latest pairing with former Lombard husband William Powell, “Double Wedding.” And Movie Life gave it a four-page pictorial:

movie life november 1937d
movie life november 1937e
movie life november 1937f
movie life november 1937g

“Double Wedding” is deemed one of the lesser works in the Powell-Loy canon, perhaps in part because during its filming, Jean Harlow died, and Powell — who was romantically involved with her — understandably found it difficult to cope with her loss.

Lombard would have to wait until the January 1938 issue to grace Movie Life’s cover, one she would have to share with the truly most wooden of leading men:

carole lombard movie life january 1938a cover

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Posted December 11, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized