Archive for January 2014

TCM documents Oscar’s 85 years   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.01.31 at 23:14
Current mood: accomplishedaccomplished

carole lombard my man godfrey page review 82a

The closest Carole Lombard ever came to claiming an Academy Award occurred in 1936, when she was nominated for best actress; co-star William Powell was nominated for the second time in three years, but failed to win (which he also failed to do in 1947 for “Life With Father.” The same fate befell Mischa Auer and Alice Brady in the new category of supporting roles, although Brady would capture the supporting actress Oscar a year later for “In Old Chicago.”

Tomorrow, Turner Classic Movies begins its annual Academy Award extravaganza, “31 Days Of Oscar.” As I’ve stated here before, many TCM addicts have surprisingly little love for this promotion — not because they may or may not like the movies offered (all of them either won or were nominated for Oscars), but most are films they’ve seen before. It’s as if your favorite free-form FM station (kiddies, if your parents went to college from the ’60s through the ’80s, they can tell you all about this) suddenly switched to playing nothing but the likes of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” or “Respect” for a month. (This February, I might waive that disdain if such a station played plenty of Beatles tracks to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the British invasion they spearheaded.)

But give TCM credit for realizing every year, it has to find a new way to put lipstick on this proverbial pig. Last year’s theme was settings for films, everything from Los Angeles and New York to outer space and prehistoric times. This year, it’s kicking off the event with a prime-time original documentary, airing at 8 p.m. (Eastern) Saturday…

and the oscar goes to... 00b

It’s a joint effort between TCM and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which might cause some trepidation among a few of you. But according to a review from the Associated Press, there’s relatively little cause to worry; every time “And The Oscar Goes To…” threatens to become too reverent, something comes along to knock the Academy down a peg, such as the 24-year gap between wins for black actors (Hattie MacDaniel for “Gone With The Wind” in 1939 to Sidney Poitier for “Lilies Of The Field” in 1963). Or the Academy’s initial stand against the growth of industry unions such as the Writers Guild of America or Screen Actors Guild. Jeffrey Friedman and Robert Epstein, both Academy members, co-directed the film and had final cut; here are Epstein (left) and Friedman at the Jan. 23 premiere screening in a still provided by AMPAS:

and the oscar goes to... epstein and friedman 00

TCM host Ben Mankiewicz was there as well:

and the oscar goes to... ben mankiewicz 00

My friend Lara Gabrielle Fowler, who runs the fine blog “Backlots,” came down from the Bay Area to attend the screening (http://backlots.net/2014/01/25/and-the-oscar-goes-to-a-premiere-screening-at-the-academy-of-motion-picture-arts-and-sciences/), as were quite a few other classic film bloggers. Fowler wrote:

“I was pleasantly surprised to see that the film is quite unbiased in its attitude toward the Oscars. Instead of the Academy flouting what it does as somehow the be-all, end-all in Hollywood, it highlights several people who emphasize the idea that the Oscars are not really what Hollywood is all about.” 

She then cited this excerpt:

“My absolute favorite quote from the film came from a director who said that everyone thinks the Oscars are the real Hollywood. They are not, he said. He continued on to say that the real Hollywood is seen when the actors, directors and crew members show up on the set the day after the lavish Oscar party, wearing jeans and eating bad doughnuts and drinking stale coffee. Hollywood is not the Oscars, he emphasized. Hollywood belongs to the people who work all day and all night for the perfect shot and put their blood, sweat and tears into what they do.

“Following that quote, the entire theater burst into applause.”

Nothing against classic film bloggers such as Lara — they may have clapped, too — but I’m guessing most of the applause at the AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills that night came from people who work in the industry, people who understand being in the motion picture business goes far beyond the red carpet glamour we’ll see this March 2. Movies have changed in so many ways since the 1930s, but the hard work that goes into the process is something that Lombard and many of her contemporaries appreciated:

carole lombard sinners in the sun 26a

Fowler thought some of the film was a bit disjointed, and that tighter editing between the premiere and the TCM airing could improve things a bit; we’ll have to wait and see.

We’ll have more Academy-related news in an upcoming entry. Stay tuned.

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Posted January 31, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Covering Carole in a continental manner   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.01.30 at 13:07
Current mood: accomplishedaccomplished

carole lombard kinorevue czech 1938a

As we’ve previously seen, Carole Lombard was a popular magazine cover subject not only in North America, but in Europe, too. As proof, here she is gracing a 1938 issue of the Czechoslovakian publication Kinorevue, a magazine that continued into at least 1939 despite Germany’s annexation of the country, as this cover of Carole and James Stewart is indicative:

carole lombard kinorevue 1939 czechoslovakia

The ’38 magazine is being auctioned at eBay; it measures 10.5″ x 7.5″ and has 20 pages, and according to the seller is in very good condition. The minimum bid is $9.99, and bidding is set to close at 6:39 p.m. (Eastern) Wednesday. Interested, or merely want to Czech it out (sorry, couldn’t resist)? Go tohttp://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-CAROLE-LOMBARD-Kinorevue-Czech-Mag-1938-Beautiful/310860441859?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.RVI%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131017132637%26meid%3D4486258687221597464%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D20131017132637%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D141179780963.

That same seller has two more Lombard mags available, both from Belgium earlier that decade and sold as a combo.

carole lombard az 111332b

This is A to Z, from Nov. 13, 1932. It was followed several months later by…

carole lombard ons volk belgium 021933b

...Ons Volk, from Feb. 19, 1933.

Each magazine is 32 pages long (A to Z measures 12″ x 9″, Ons Volk 11.5″ x 8.5″), and each has some light ageing but are in good condition. The magazine duo has an opening bid of $5.99, and its bidding will expire two minutes before Kinorevue. Place your bid or find out more by visitinghttp://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-CAROLE-LOMBARD-AZ-1932-Ons-Volk-1933-Two-Euro-Magazines/321310634733?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.RVI%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131017132637%26meid%3D4486681345122367636%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D20131017132637%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D141179780963.

And finally, a reminder to those of you in the Los Angeles area:

loretta young centennial birthday tribute 00a

The Loretta Young Centennial Birthday Tribute (belated though it may be) is set for tonight at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. The life and achievements of this Hollywood legend will be saluted through memorabilia, film clips and more, and it promises to be plenty of fun. And for those of you who do go, thank Linda Lewis (Loretta’s daughter-in-law) for making this possible.

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Posted January 30, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Looking back: January 1934   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.01.29 at 00:00
Current mood: workingworking

carole lombard george raft 01 leroy prinz

Carole Lombard was close to finishing “Bolero” when 1933 concluded (she and George Raft here get instructions from Paramount choreographer Leroy Prinz), little knowing come midnight on New Year’s Eve that 1934 would be the most tumultuous year of her life to date, filled with both the heights of professional glory and the depths of personal tragedy.

She apparently had New Year’s Eve dinner at Elizabeth Stack’s house (I believe that was Robert Stack’s mother), where she looked stunning according to Louella Parsons in her Hearst column, which ran Jan. 1 in the San Antonio Light:

carole lombard 010134a san antonio light

While “Bolero” was about ready to wrap up, several other Lombard films were making the rounds of the hinterlands — such as “From Hell To Heaven” from early 1933, only now playing the Ideal Theater in Corsicana, Texas, according to that town’s Daily Sun:

carole lombard 010334 corsicana daily sun

Casting was volatile throughout the industry at the start of 1934, and on the 6th, the Reno Evening Gazette reported Carole would be the female lead in “The Man Who Broke His Heart”:

carole lombard 010634 reno evening gazette

The following day, the Zanesville (Ohio) Times-Signal identified another cast member:

carole lombard 010734 zanesville times-signal

But she never appeared in that film, nor would that be its finished title. We learned of Lombard’s replacement (Carole apparently had been set to replace Mae Clarke, who got an MGM assignment) in the Jan. 10 Hagerstown (Md.) Daily Mail...

carole lombard 011034b hagerstown daily mail

…and “The Man Who Broke His Heart” would wind up as “Wharf Angel.” That “newcomer,” Dorothy Dell, would be one of the tragedies of 1934, dying in a car accident that summer at age 19.

Loanouts were becoming commonplace as 1934 began, and Carole was readying for one at Columbia, where she had already made three films, or so wrote theMansfield (Ohio) News-Journal on Jan. 3. (Of course, “Night Bus” — that Capra movie with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert — was about to be renamed “It Happened One Night,” en route to making Hollywood history.

carole lombard 010334a mansfield news-journal

But what would that Lombard movie be? The Jan. 10 edition of Hagerstown’s other paper, the Morning Herald, said it would be something called “Sonata”…

carole lombard 011034 hagerstown herald-mail

…but that day’s Syracuse Herald begged to differ, saying Carole was one of two candidates to play opposite John Barrymore in “Twentieth Century”:

carole lombard 011034 syracuse herald

Louella provided the answer in the Jan. 12 San Antonio Light, and aside from a title change for “Sonata” (it was renamed “Sisters Under The Skin” and released that April), she was on target (and wouldn’t you have loved to have attended that Screen Actors Guild ball?):

carole lombard 011234 san antonio light

The timing of these assignments paid off — much to Lombard’s delight, as the Mansfield paper reported on Jan. 13:

carole lombard 011334 mansfield news-journal

And indeed it would be “just about the best break in pictures that Carole has had.”

What about that Katya Sergava, her supposed rival for the part? Sergava, a native of Russia born in 1910, was a one-time ballerina who appeared in a handful of ’30s films, and in 1943 appeared in the dream ballet sequence in the original Broadway run of “Oklahoma!” Sergava remained in New York, occasionally acted on TV shows based there, and died in November 2005. (Two years earlier, an erroneous obituary ran in the Daily Telegraph of London, and the New York Timescopied it without researching — much to the delight of the rival New York Post.)

Winning the female lead for “Twentieth Century” undoubtedly was the biggest Lombard news for January 1934, but there were a few other items of note to accompany this Max Factor ad from the Jan. 29 Lowell (Mass.) Sun:

carole lombard 012934 lowell sun

During that month, Paramount fashion maven Travis Banton traveled to New York and apparently held a press conference; it resulted in at least two stories where Carole was mentioned, first in the Jan. 21 Oakland Tribune...

carole lombard 012134a oakland tribune

…while a slightly different story ran in the Jan. 30 Helena (Mont.) Daily Independent:

carole lombard 013034 helena daily independent

That same day, the Hammond Times in Indiana ran a piece where the eyes have it — six pairs, in fact, including Lombard’s, in a feature on eyebrows:

carole lombard 013034 hammond times

I’m guessing this was a Paramount news release, since all six actresses listed were under contract there.

Lombard’s laugh was lauded, along with that of a few other stars, in the Jan. 28 Zanesville paper:

carole lombard 012834b zanesville times-signal

Here’s an odd one, from the Jan. 21 Burlington (N.C.) Daily Times News. The item connects Lombard with a fellow Paramount star whom she’s rarely associated with — in fact, I’ve never read of any tie-in between them at all:

carole lombard 012134a burlington daily times news

Perhaps Carole was thankful to Mae West for keeping Paramount afloat during the darkest days of the Depression. (Save for Marlene Dietrich, West rarely socialized with her fellow actresses at the studio.)

Maybe Mae never came by Lombard’s dressing room, but plenty of others did, according to this item from the Jan. 29 Edwardsville (Ill.) Intelligencer:

carole lombard 012934 edwardsville intelligencer

In early ’34, Carole was socially seen with Raft, Russ Columbo (according to Parsons in the Jan. 10 San Antonio Light)…

carole lombard 011034 san antonio light

…and was even occasionally squired by her ex, William Powell — or at least that’s what was written in the Jan. 26 Lawrence Journal World by Richard Doan, a former University of Kansas student residing in the film capital:

carole lombard 012634a lawrence journal world

Apparently Doan didn’t make much of an impact in Hollywood, as he has no listing in the Internet Movie Database.

Finally, remember a few years ago, when we ran a 1933 ad which used this pose of Lombard:

carole lombard 060833a oakland tribune

Well, Walter Winchell’s column (here from the Jan. 31 Wisconsin State Journal of Madison) reported Carole had some regrets about agreeing to appear in that ad, and said she no longer would endorse products:

carole lombard 013134 wisconsin state journal

How long did that policy last? Not very; this ran Feb. 21 in the Baltimore Sun:

carole lombard lux ad 022134a baltimore sun

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Posted January 29, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Call it the ‘Loretta-tennial(+1)!’ this Thursday   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.01.28 at 00:06
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

carole lombard carole-tennial banner 00f

Some of you may recall the initial blogathon hosted by “Carole & Co.”, coinciding with the 103rd anniversary of Carole Lombard’s birth in October 2011, so we called it the “Carole-tennial(+3)!” We’re borrowing the “-tennial” part of that term to alert you to an upcoming salute to another Hollywood legend, set for this Thursday. It’s the Loretta Young Centennial Birthday Tribute.

loretta young 16c midnight mary adrian

What we’re calling the “Loretta-tennial(+1)!” (she was born Jan. 6, 1913) will be at 8 p.m. at the Alex Theater in Glendale. Her son Christopher Lewis (his wife, Linda Lewis, is a Facebook friend of mine) and celebrity and industry friends will take the audience on a journey through the life of the Academy and Emmy Award-winning actress.

Loretta Young’s work and contributions to the entertainment industry has become more appreciated in recent years, though thankfully she saw the beginnings of the pre-Code revival — which brought many of her early films to the forefront — before her passing in August 2000. One of filmdom’s most ethereal actresses, Young already was a movie veteran and noted star by the time her teen years had ended. Here’s an autographed picture of Loretta, all of 17, outside the Vine Street Brown Derby in 1930:

loretta young 1930b brown derby

Young remained a solid box office draw for the rest of the 1930s and into the ’40s, and was rewarded with a best actress Academy Award in 1947 for “The Farmer’s Daughter.” By this time, she had developed plenty of business savvy, and with the rise of television in the early ’50s, she transitioned to the new medium with the drama anthology “The Loretta Young Show”; her grand entrances gave the series glamour, though the wardrobe in the roles she played could range from the everyday to the exotic, such as in a 1957 episode where she portrayed Egyptian legend Nefertiti (below). She won an Emmy for her efforts.

loretta young 1957a nefertiti

The Glendale event also will feature movie clips, conversations, testimonies and dramatizations of pivotal events in her life, such as when 14-year-old Gretchen Young (second from left, below) got a small part in the 1927 Colleen Moore comedy “Her Wild Oat”…not to mention a new first name:

colleen moore her wild oat 03a loretta young

Also on display will be an exclusive exhibit of Loretta’s famous dresses and cherished possessions. From the start, she was considered one of filmdom’s best-dressed stars, as witnessed from this display in the March 1932 issue of The New Movie Magazine:

loretta young 00a the new movie magazine march 1932
loretta young 01a the new movie magazine march 1932

She continued to be stylish into her later years, as this photo makes evident:

loretta young gown 00a

Tickets are $35 and $55, and can be ordered at http://www.eventsinus.com/alex-theatre-glendale/prospect-house-entertainment-glendale-arts-present-loretta-young-centennial-birthday-tribute-tickets-30-jan.html. I hope many of you who are in the area will attend, and that you’ll have a wonderful time at the “Loretta-tennial(+1!).”

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Posted January 28, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

The bride is back   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.01.27 at 08:58
Current mood: contemplativecontemplative

carole lombard pathe 04b front

We’ve run this Carole Lombard bridal picture from her Pathe days before (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/555643.html) — specifically, it’s Pathe CL-112 — but it’s now on the market again, complete with snipe to let you know it’s vintage:

carole lombard pathe 04a back

It’s from the spring of 1929, and I’m guessing the Robert Armstrong film referred to is “The Racketeer.”

The photo, from the Glassner collection, can be bought for $150; if you’re interested, find out more about it at http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-original-movie-photo-1920s-/331116138291?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d180f4f33

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Posted January 27, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Busy, or chic, as a beaver   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.01.26 at 09:39
Current mood: coldcold

carole lombard p1202-971b front

Real fur never fell out of favor during Carole Lombard’s lifetime (although she was a renowned animal lover), so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see her in this outfit for a photo issued in late 1934 to promote her upcoming Paramount film “Rumba.” We learn what type of fur it is from the back of this vintage image, p1202-971:

carole lombard p1202-971a back

Yep, it’s beaver (“the smartest of furs”), from an outfit designed by Travis Banton. And if you somehow thought that signature on the front of the photo belonged to Lombard, the “not an autograph” marking above the snipe should set you straight, and the seller isn’t claiming it’s the real deal. (Why someone would mark thefront of a photo — there are no crop marks indicating it was used for a newspaper or other publication — is anyone’s guess.)

Nope, here’s what a Lombard signature looks like:

carole lombard autograph 89a

The story behind this is interesting. The seller’s uncle was a newspaper columnist and movie critic. When he wrote a review, he would send a clipping to its star and he or she would write him back. (Presumably most of these reviews were positive.) He must have liked one of Carole’s films, because this is what she sent him — an 8″ x 10″ matte photo, with “Cordially, Carole Lombard” written in blue ink. (Yes, while Lombard was noted for signing autographs in green ink, that wasn’t always possible.) The signature is certainly hers.

While the seller has no certificate of authenticity, these and other autographed photos were taken to an “Antiques Roadshow” appearance in Boise, Idaho, where the appraiser valued each of them. For this image, the value is $5,500, although any potential buyer can make an offer. You can find out more by visitinghttp://www.ebay.com/itm/1930s-Original-RARE-Early-Signed-Photograph-from-Carole-Lombard/171226727714?_trksid=p2045573.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20002%26meid%3D4390696773322392706%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D8920%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D370993557231%26.

As for the beaver pic (and please, no double entendre), it’s an 8″ x 10″ single-weight photo in very good+ condition; bidding begins at $24.95, with bids closing at 11:51 p.m. (Eastern) Friday. Interested? Bid, or get additional information, at http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-1934-ORIGINAL-PHOTO-GLAMOUR-FASHION-PORTRAIT-Travis-Banton-Fur/370993557231?_trksid=p2045573.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20002%26meid%3D4390897081064482261%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D8920%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D171226727714%26.

Given the cold spell in the East of late, I could use a fur...faux, of course.

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Posted January 26, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Liberty,’ Nov. 14, 1936: Is Carole Lombard in love at last?   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.01.25 at 22:55
Current mood: accomplishedaccomplished

carole lombard 110636b la times changing name 00

In November 1936, about the time Carole Lombard entered the Los Angeles Hall of Records to officially change her name from Jane Alice Peters, Bernarr Macfadden’s Liberty magazine ran a story about her, focusing not so much on her career as an actress but her personal — heck, romantic –– life.

We ran this article in March 2012 (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/492884.html), but at the time we didn’t have a good copy of the story (the wording came courtesy of http://dearmrgable.com), but now we have the pages available. Heck, we have the cover, too:

carole lombard liberty 111436 cover

Now, the story:

carole lombard liberty 111436a
carole lombard liberty 111436b
carole lombard liberty 111436c

As Liberty was a general-interest magazine, there really wasn’t much else in that issue which was movie-oriented, but with the Super Bowl coming up in just over a week, this article provides an interesting perspective on football in that era. In 1936, most considered football a collegiate game, but a former star and coach said the professional game was coming up fast:

carole lombard liberty 111436d
carole lombard liberty 111436e
carole lombard liberty 111436f

It discusses the famed “sneaker” game between the Chicago Bears and New York Giants at the Polo Grounds in 1934, and it’s amazing to see that franchises such as the Bears, Giants and Boston Redskins (they would move to Washington in 1937) were valued at $100,000.

Finally, one of my favorite actors now has an online presence. It’s veteran character actor William Schallert, who I interviewed some years ago (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/190884.html) and comes from a family with deep roots in classic Hollywood. There are photos, a scrapbook and more…you can even purchase autographed photos.

william schallert 00

The site is at http://william-schallert.com/index.html.

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Posted January 25, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Having a heat wave? So what — LA’s on ice!   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.01.24 at 00:59
Current mood: excitedexcited

carole lombard baseball 00c

A question: If Carole Lombard were alive today, would she be a sports fan? (By “alive,” I mean being around in 2014 at roughly the same age she was in her prime, in other words born sometime during the 1980s. The Lombard born in 1908 would be 105 today, and even her incredible energy probably would have waned by now. Heck, she might have forgiven 104-year-old Luise Rainer for beating her out for the best actress Oscar in 1936.)

I ask the sports fan question because it leads to another one: Did Lombard ever see a hockey game? We know she loved baseball, boxing and college football, played sandlot ball in her youth, took part in basketball, track and volleyball in school, and as an adult regularly swam and played tennis (and perhaps golf to a lesser extent). But hockey (the ice variety)? The jury is out. Some say Carole was returning from a hockey game with her beau when she was in the auto accident that led to surgery and Fox canceling her contract; others claim the event was basketball. The answer is as unclear as the precise date of the accident.

But let’s assume our hypothetical, modern-day Lombard was a sports fan in her beloved Los Angeles. (In today’s entertainment landscape, if this Carole were an actress, she might be on a sitcom instead of in films, given how relatively few good movie roles there are for women. But that’s another topic for another time.) There’s a good chance that she would be at a baseball stadium tomorrow night — but if she were of sufficient celebrity stature today, instead of throwing out the first ball, as above, she might drop the first puck.

That’s because Dodger Stadium is about to host one of the most unusual events in its 52-year history…an NHL game. As Jack Paar would have said, I kid you not. Saturday, the Los Angeles Kings will take on their arch-rivals, the Anaheim Ducks, as outdoor hockey makes its way to southern California. Center ice is roughly at the spot occupied by second base from April to September (and, if the Dodgers’ mega-budget comes through, perhaps this October as well).

los angeles dodger stadium rink for 2014 kings ducks game 00a

Wait, you say. Hasn’t it been a very warm — heck, hot –– January in Los Angeles? How could an endeavor such as this actually take place without it becoming an aesthetic embarrassment? The answer, of course, lies in technology.

Advanced refrigeration techniques — not to mention an insulated, heat-reflecting Mylar blanket that covers the rink during the day — make it possibly to play hockey at Chavez Ravine…especially since the game will be played at night (face-off is slated for 7:15 p.m. PT), and by then the temperature in the stadium should be about 60 degrees. Not frigid for the fans, as it’s roughly the same temp as most indoor NHL rinks, but cold enough to make the ice surface stand up. With help from a Zamboni between periods, of course. Here’s how Dodger Stadium, hockey-style, looks at night:

los angeles dodger stadium rink for 2014 kings ducks game 01a

You can watch time-lapse photography of the rink installation at http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=23&id=532452&lang=en.

Both teams will work out on the rink today, a day after the first leg of their home-and-home series at the Honda Center in Anaheim. (That game was won by the Ducks, 2-1.) It should be a good contest, not only because of the rivalry but since they are two of the NHL’s stronger teams. Anaheim leads the Pacific Division, and its 81 points are most in the league. Los Angeles is third in the division and is arguably the NHL’s best defensive team.

Hockey in southern California hasn’t always had this high a profile. Over the years, L.A. had teams in some western minor leagues, but didn’t get a taste of the NHL until the Kings were formed as part of the 1967-68 six-team expansion that doubled the league’s size. And for most of their first two decades, few outside a devoted core partook of Los Angeles hockey. But that all changed in 1988.

wayne gretzky los angeles kings 00

That August, the Kings acquired Wayne Gretzky from the Edmonton Oilers, whom he had led to four Stanley Cups. Suddenly, Los Angeles hockey had star power, and the area responded. While the Gretzky-era Kings never won the Cup, he made them a hot ticket…and over in Anaheim, the Walt Disney Company responded by getting an expansion franchise in the early ’90s and naming them the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, after a popular Disney hockey movie. (The “Mighty” later was dropped when the franchise was sold and de-Disneyfied.)

Both franchises gradually have built solid followings, and each has claimed pro hockey’s highest honor. The Ducks won the Cup in 2007, while the Kings finally won theirs in 2012. And our latter-day Lombard probably would have remembered both local triumphs.

Saturday’s game will also feature some uniquely L.A. touches, as KISS will perform and beach volleyball will be set up near the left-field bleachers. Those of you in the U.S. can see the Kings and Ducks on the NBC Sports Network at 9:30 p.m. (Eastern).

By the way, the home of the East Coast’s wealthiest MLB franchise — New York’s Yankee Stadium — is to be the site of two outdoor games within the next few days, as the New York Rangers battle each of their metropolitan rivals. On Sunday, the New Jersey Devils invade the Bronx, while on Wednesday, the latest installment of the Rangers-New York Islanders battle takes place.

Outdoor hockey continues to be popular. Next year’s NHL Winter Classic will take place in Washington, probably at Nationals Park. And I’m certain my friend Carole Sampeck of The Lombard Archive would be thrilled to see her Dallas Stars play an outdoor game at the Cotton Bowl or Rangers Ballpark someday.

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Posted January 24, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Time to engage in some ‘Shadoplay’   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.01.23 at 00:57
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

carole lombard shadoplay september 1934 cover large

Shadoplay, the budget subsidiary to the far more successful Photoplay, wasn’t too much longer for this world when Carole Lombard and Gary Cooper graced the cover of its September 1934 issue. The magazine ended its run the following year, having made little impact either editorially or on the newsstand.

This issue currently is available on eBay, and the seller not only provided prospective buyers with the cover, but a glimpse of what was inside. See that headline at the bottom of the cover — “Hollywood’s Happiest Woman”? Well, it doesn’t refer to Lombard, but to another popular blonde beauty, hard-working Warners mainstay Joan Blondell:

carole lombard shadoplay september 1934ea

On the other hand, there was a sad story on teenage Paramount starlet Dorothy Dell, who had died in an auto accident in June. (Lombard replaced her as the female lead in “Now And Forever,” with Cooper and Shirley Temple.)

carole lombard shadoplay september 1934da

There’s plenty of other intriguing material in this issue, from a portrait of Madge Evans to ads from Max Factor (with Jean Harlow) and Lux (with Dorothy Jordan) to studio ads hyping “Chained,” “Dames” and “Imitation Of Life”:

carole lombard shadoplay september 1934aa
carole lombard shadoplay september 1934ba
carole lombard shadoplay september 1934ca
carole lombard shadoplay september 1934fa
carole lombard shadoplay september 1934ga
carole lombard shadoplay september 1934ha
carole lombard shadoplay september 1934ia

Oh, you say you’ve never heard of that Harlow film “Born To Be Kissed”? That’s because MGM changed the title to “The Girl From Missouri” after the Production Code was more strictly enforced in mid-1934.

The seller writes the issue “is in really good condition. no tears or major wear. All pages are in good condition with very little discoloration.”

Bids begin at $40 for this magazine. with bidding scheduled to end at 6:38 p.m. (Eastern) Saturday. Think you’d like to add this to your collection? You can bid, or find out more, by going to http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Shadoplay-Magazine-Sept-1934-Carole-Lombard-Gary-Cooper-/390753657488?pt=Magazines&hash=item5afabba290.

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Posted January 23, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Hurrell returns to Laguna, thanks to his biographer   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.01.22 at 18:54
Current mood: artisticartistic

carole lombard george hurrell 09b front

The man who took that portrait of Carole Lombard was George Hurrell, whose iconic photography continues influencing style more than eight decades after he began working with Hollywood legends. And if you’re in southern California, tomorrow night in Laguna Beach you can meet his biographer, learn more about Hurrell and purchase an autographed copy of that universally-acclaimed biography, “George Hurrell’s Hollywood: Glamour Portraits 1925-1992”:

carole lombard george hurrell's hollywood cover 00b

(It’s a hefty tome, holding hundreds of Hurrell portraits.)

Mark A. Vieira will appear at the Laguna Art Museum at 7 p.m. Thursday; admission is free, but reservations are required (find out the particulars athttps://lagunaartmuseum.org/book-signing-with-mark-a-vieira/). Last year, the museum hosted a Hurrell exhibit…

george hurrell laguna to hollywood 00a

…which was appropriate since the photographer lived for much of the 1920s in the fabled art colony.

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Vieira will sign copies of his book and give a talk on Hurrell’s life and career. The photographer rose to prominence in the 1930s, taking portraits of Lombard, Joan Crawford…

george hurrell joan crawford 00a

…Myrna Loy…

george hurrell myrna loy 00a

…Marion Davies…

george hurrell marion davies 00b

…Loretta Young…

george hurrell loretta young 00a

…and so many more.

But as Hollywood styles changed and glamour was de-emphasized, Hurrell faded from prominence after World War II, retreating to commercial photography, only to be rediscovered in the 1970s — while he not only was still around to enjoy it, but could capitalize on it through portraits of latter-day stars such as Farrah Fawcett…

george hurrell farrah fawcett 02b

…and Paul McCartney…

george hurrell paul mccartney 00a

…before Hurrell’s death in 1992.

Vieira knows of what he writes, since he worked with the master for many of those later years:

george hurrell mark a vieira 00a

This event should be worth a visit for anyone interested in classic Hollywood glamour photography — which, given the nature of this site, probably includes most of you.

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Posted January 22, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized