‘Screen Guide,’ November 1938: Keeping an eye on the ex   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.01.04 at 20:14
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

36 godfrey 015b

Whereas the October 1938 issue of Screen Guide contained plenty of Carole Lombard material, its November follow-up was relatively meager. And while Lombard’s romance with Clark Gable was making global headlines, and leading people to wonder just what would happen next, this issue’s copy examined Carole and her first husband, the ailing William Powell (shown above earlier that year in a rehearsal for the “Lux Radio Theater” adaptation of “My Man Godfrey”). Specifically, it was found in its feature, “Gossip Guide”:

carole lombard screen guide november 1938a
screen guide november 1938a
screen guide november 1938b

Let’s enlarge and isolate what it wrote about Lombard:

carole lombard screen guide november 1938aa

That concept at the top is tantalizing…Lombard and Powell, directed by Ernst Lubitsch (and part of Myron Selznick’s apparently independent unit). Powell worked on one of Lubitsch’s silents, but fate prevented him from starring in a Lubitsch talking feature. (His illness prevented him from starring opposite Greta Garbo in “Ninotchka,” and Melvyn Douglas got that plum assignment.) And Carole getting a smart script as some sort of precursor to Maria Tura? Sounds delightful.

But alas, it never happened. The magazine similarly was wrong regarding “Made For Each Other” — it was made, albeit with an ending that in retrospect wasn’t satisfactory. However, Carole did not play a career woman; if I recall correctly, her character’s work status before marrying James Stewart’s attorney John Mason was undetermined. (And did she have a maiden name in the film? I don’t think so — here it claims it was her birth nane, Jane Peters.) Plus, there are some interesting anecdotes about Lombard’s week as a publicist, her motor scooter on the Selznick lot and her desire for privacy while with Gable.

The November 1938 cover subject was the red-hot Dorothy Lamour, who had inherited Carole’s dressing room at Paramount:

screen guide november 1938 cover

That story referred to on the cover, “Should Stars Marry Each Other?” contains a few ties to Lombard. She’s mentioned on the first page…

screen guide november 1938c

…while Carole and Bill, whose marriage was deemed a “failure,” were shown on the second:

carole lombard screen guide november 1938b

Other items in this issue included a two-page story on the Beverly Wilshire, a favorite hideaway of the stars:

screen guide november 1938d
screen guide november 1938e

I’m sure some of the more prurient readers of Screen Guide wondered whether Lombard ever shared that bed with Gable.

Another page showed pics of a dog charity benefit…and take a look at that expression on Martha Raye’s face:

screen guide november 1938f

A few films found ad space in this issue. MGM filled its usual inside front cover spot with the latest Nelson Eddy-Jeanette MacDonald operetta, “Sweethearts,” in Technicolor…

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…Warners promoted “Four Daughters”…

screen guide november 1938h

…while “Submarine Patrol,” one of John Ford’s lesser-known features, got the push from Twentieth Century-Fox:

screen guide november 1938i

Finally, we and the rest of the music world mourn the passing of Phil Everly, who died Friday, 16 days shy of his 75th birthday. He and older brother Don made timeless music and were among the earliest inductees to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. I saw the Everly Brothers perform three times in the 1980s after a decade-long split, and they still had those thrilling harmonies to accompany peerless musicianship. They really don’t have any firsthand link to classic Hollywood — after signing with the Warners record label in 1960, they did a screen test and realized it wasn’t for them — but the Everlys do have a sort of tie-in with the queen of post-World War II glamour, Marilyn Monroe.

marilyn monroe 124a last sitting

In late June 1962, Monroe met fashion photographer Bert Stern for a Vogue photo shoot, neither realizing it would be the last such session for the 36-year-old star. To relax his subjects, Stern would play music during the session (something George Hurrell also was known for), and one of the records he chose that day was the Everlys’ recent LP “Both Sides Of A Evening.” As albums go, it’s rather spotty — the brothers were in a dispute with publisher Wesley Rose, and thus were denied access to songs from Boudleaux and Felice Bryant — but they did rework a nearly 30-year-old standard into one of their most beautiful recordings, and it’s one of this album’s tracks. Here is “Don’t Blame Me” (that brilliant intro is from ace guitarist Hank Garland, one of the many Nashville pros to be found on Everly sessions), and I like to think Monroe thrilled to the Everlys’ exquisite harmonies as much as you or I would.

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Posted January 4, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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