Archive for February 2014

Shuffling the deck to find a fourth queen   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.02.28 at 00:37
Current mood: energeticenergetic

carole lombard ginger rogers closeup larger

We’re in Hollywood heaven, where Ginger Rogers is paying a visit to good friend Carole Lombard.

Carole: Glad you came through when I asked you to come over, but where the heck is Irene Dunne?
Ginger: Irene had to back out…she’s rehearsing for an upcoming recital.
Carole: (peeved) Recital? Recital? Jeez, how prissy. No wonder Orson Welles can’t stand her.
Ginger: (smiles) So what’d you want us over here for?
Carole: For this, something you two old queens — and no, that’s not a sexual reference —
Ginger: But one referring to our status as former champions of the Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney, as you are the current champ now.
Carole: Yes, Miss Rogers, you’re incredibly perceptive.
Ginger: Whew!
Carole: Anyway, here’s something you both might appreciate. (She pulls down a canvas from a wall.) Behold…

carole lombard 2014 favorite classic movie actress tourney banner 01a

…my last Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney banner. You, me and Irene, having won the past three tourneys, are out of the running this time around. It really doesn’t bother me — winning once is enough, let others grab the glory — but my campaign manager is crestfallen. So he made that banner as a parting gift for old times’ sake.
Ginger: He was your secret weapon, coming up with all sorts of imaginative banners. (Lombard nods and smiles.)
Carole: Remember the banner where he used camera trickery to turn me into a giant?

carole lombard 2013 favorite classic movie actress tourney banner 02a

Ginger: Lombardzilla!
Carole: There are some directors whom I wish I could have pulled from their bedroom, a la King Kong, and laid down the law to! Which reminds me — is Fay Wray in this year’s event? Wonderful lady, much, much more than a “scream queen.”
Ginger: I have all the brackets…let me check. (Pulls an envelope from her handbag, then opens and peruses it.) Good news for Fay — she is. (Rogers hands Lombard a sheet with the pairings for the 1930s bracket.)

favorite classic movie actress tourney 2014aa


They Had Faces
#1 Greta Garbo vs. #8 Fay Wray
#4 Kay Francis vs. #5 Miriam Hopkins
#2 Ruth Chatterton vs. #7 Sylvia Sidney
#3 Ann Dvorak vs. #6 Anita Page

Pre-Code Women
#1 Barbara Stanwyck vs. #8 Thelma Todd
#4 Marlene Dietrich vs. #5 Joan Crawford
#2 Norma Shearer vs. #7 Mary Astor
#3 Claudette Colbert vs. #6 Glenda Farrell

Funny Ladies
#1 Myrna Loy vs. #8 Marie Dressler
#4 Constance Bennett vs. #5 Margaret Dumont
#2 Jean Arthur vs. #7 Maureen O’Sullivan
#3 Jean Harlow vs. #6 Una Merkel

All-Around Entertainers
#1 Jeanette MacDonald vs. #8 Luise Rainer
#4 Joan Blondell vs. #5 Ruby Keeler
#2 Mae West vs. #7 Billie Burke
#3 Eleanor Powell vs. #6 Margaret Sullavan

Carole: Some fascinating first-round pairings. Kay vs. Miriam — that’s indeed going to be trouble in paradise! Perhaps Herbert Marshall should cast the tie-breaking vote. And Harlow vs. Merkel…could the “bombshell” fall prey to her best friend?
Ginger: This year, the ’30s bracket is being handled by Roz Russell: Dazzling Star (, which did the ’40s bracket last year.
Carole: (mildly surprised) So who’s running the ’40s this time around?
Ginger: Journeys In Classic Film, aka the Veronica Lake site (
Carole: And what are the pairings for that one?
Ginger: I knew you were going to ask. (She hands Lombard another sheet of paper.) The seedings weren’t listed here, unfortunately.


Hollywood Heavy-Hitters
Bette Davis vs. Katharine Hepburn
Betty Grable vs. Judy Garland
Rosalind Russell vs. Loretta Young
Ava Gardner vs. Jane Russell

Femme Fatales
Rita Hayworth vs. Joan Bennett
Veronica Lake vs. Jane Greer
Lauren Bacall vs. Gene Tierney
Linda Darnell vs. Claire Trevor

Pint-Sized Cuties
Margaret O’Brien vs. Shirley Temple
Ann Carter vs. Peggy Ann Garner
Jane Withers vs. Joan Leslie
Teresa Wright vs. Deanna Durbin

European Enchantresses
Vivien Leigh vs. Greer Garson
Olivia De Havilland vs. Joan Fontaine
Ingrid Bergman vs. Angela Lansbury
Hedy Lamarr vs. Maureen O’Hara

Carole: Oh, sister, that De Havilland-Fontaine match will be a war…same thing for Bette vs. Kate. Will all of them use Oscars as weapons?
Ginger: I would hope not — those things are heavy. I’m telling you because, unlike me, you’ve obviously never handled one, at least not one that belonged to you.(Gives Lombard a smirk.)
Carole: (seething) Curse you, Luise Rainer! (Pauses.) Nah, I was only kidding. That “Pint-Sized Cuties” division is a weird mix…Margaret O’Brien and Teresa Wright? Peggy Ann Garner and Joan Leslie? And what are Shirley Temple and Jane Withers doing in the ’40s? (Rogers shrugs.)
Ginger: It’s off to the ’50s we go, this year coordinated by A Mythical Monkey Writes About The Movies ( The pairings are here. (Lombard reaches for a third sheet from Rogers.)



Babes And Bombshells
#1 Grace Kelly vs. #8 Jayne Mansfield
#4 Sophia Loren vs. #5 Anne Francis
#2 Kim Novak vs. #7 Carroll Baker
#3 Gloria Grahame vs. #6 Lana Turner

Oscar Faves
#1 Audrey Hepburn vs. #8 Shirley Booth
#4 Eva Marie Saint vs. #5 Shelley Winters
#2 Joanne Woodward vs. #7 Judy Holliday
#3 Susan Hayward vs. #6 Kim Hunter

Sweet And Sassy
#1 Deborah Kerr vs. #8 Jennifer Jones
#4 Thelma Ritter vs. #5 Anne Baxter
#2 Janet Leigh vs. #7 June Allyson
#3 Eleanor Parker vs. #6 Jean Hagen

Singers And Dancers
#1 Doris Day vs. #8 Ann Miller
#4 Cyd Charisse vs. #5 Dorothy Dandridge
#2 Marilyn Monroe vs. #7 Kay Kendall
#3 Debbie Reynolds vs. #6 Betty Hutton

I don’t expect you to be that familiar with the ’50s, Carole, but–
Carole: I keep up. TCM, Fox Movie Channel, that huge DVD collection we have up here. Last night, Joan Blondell treated me to a showing of “Convention City,” and now I have to return the favor by showing her “Marriage In Transit.” Oh boy. Clark always speaks well of Grace and Sophia — Doris and Marilyn, too. And perhaps I could’ve been a good Hitchcock blonde, non-comedy division, but it would’ve been tough to top Eva Marie Saint.
Ginger: We end things with the swingin’ sixties…
Carole: (bemused) Trying to picture myself in a minidress at age 59 or so.
Ginger: With your legs and athleticism, you could have done it. As for beating me in tennis, though…
Carole: (shakes her head) That’s it — I’m challenging you to a match, best-of-three sets! But first, I need to see those 1960s brackets.
Ginger: All Good Things (, which came up with the idea of the tourney, is running the ’60s show this year. (She hands Lombard her final sheet.)



British Invasion
#1 Diana Rigg vs. #8 Hayley Mills
#4 Julie Christie vs. #5 Jean Simmons
#2 Elizabeth Taylor vs. #7 Vanessa Redgrave
#3 Julie Andrews vs. #6 Maggie Smith

A Foreign Affair
#1 Catherine Deneuve vs. #8 Anouk Aimee
#4 Claudia Cardinale vs. #5 Liv Ullmann
#2 Romy Schneider vs. #7 Jeanne Moreau
#3 Anna Karina vs. #6 Francoise Dorleac

All-American Girls
#1 Anne Bancroft vs. #8 Tuesday Weld
#4 Faye Dunaway vs. #5 Paula Prentiss
#2 Jane Fonda vs. #7 Sharon Tate
#3 Lee Remick vs. #6 Patricia Neal

Song And Dance
#1 Natalie Wood vs. #8 Liza Minnelli
#4 Ann-Margret vs. #5 Barbra Streisand
#2 Shirley Jones vs #7 Raquel Welch
#3 Shirley MacLaine vs. #6 Rita Moreno


Carole: Not sure about this bracket, although if last year’s results are indicative, it’s going to be hard to beat that Dame — Diana Rigg, I mean. Liked that TV series she was on…it answered the question, “What would Nick and Nora have been like if they were in the ’60s, without the dog, and mod?” Not that anyone ever asked that question.
Ginger: Don’t sell Liz Taylor short.
Carole: I don’t — I see her here every now and then, and she’s a hoot.
Ginger: Here are the top seeds in each bracket:

favorite classic movie actress tourney 2014b

So whom do you like to take it all?
Carole: There are plenty of good candidates, but until proven otherwise, go with the ’30s winner…and that could be Loy, Stanwyck, Garbo, all sorts of ladies. In fact, a few of the contenders have been seeking my support.

carole lombard claudette colbert 01
carole lombard myrna loy 01d

Ginger: And?
Carole: For now, I’m staying neutral. I have an awful lot of friends here, and I don’t want to alienate any of them.
Ginger: Now you know how I felt last year. By the way, the first-round matches begin Sunday.
Carole: But before the tourney, that tennis match to see who’s queen of the courts! (Both Lombard and Rogers snap the fingers and magically change into tennis whites, each with racquet in hand. They race to the nearest court.)

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Posted February 28, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

A nice pattern to follow   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.02.27 at 09:08
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

carole lombard p1202-1081b

Carole Lombard’s status as a style leader made her a natural to be one of the stars featured by the Hollywood Pattern company, a division of Conde Nast, and this vintage pattern is currently up for sale at eBay:

carole lombard hollywood pattern 835aa

It looks to be from the mid-1930s; Lombard is labeled with Paramount Pictures, so it’s probably from 1938 at the latest.

carole lombard hollywood pattern 835ba

The seller describes it as:

“One piece Frock – Dress and Jacket. Sleeveless frock has drop shoulder armhole in one with yoke. Center front opening on yoke is finished with ties. Blouse gathers below yoke and at waistline under tied belt. Collarless jacket has wide lapels and long sleeves in one with front yoke.

“Misses size: 16 Bust: 34 inches.”

Here are some more illustrations:

carole lombard hollywood pattern 835ea
carole lombard hollywood pattern 835ca
carole lombard hollywood pattern 835da

More on the condition of the pattern, which is being sold as is, from the seller:

“In good condition for its age. Pattern is complete with instructions. Envelope has some wear and tear. Instruction sheet is fragile. Pattern appears to still be factory folded. Note: there is a little spotting from age.”

Keep in mind, of course, that sizing has changed since the 1930s…which is something you probably know if you collect vintage clothing or patterns.

Hollywood Pattern 835 is being sold for $49.99; if you’re interested in this fashion collectible, go to (Incidentally, you can learn more about Hollywood Pattern, and find plenty of images of their packages, by visiting

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Posted February 27, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Well-schooled in ‘Hollywood’   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.02.26 at 09:17
Current mood: impressedimpressed

carole lombard hollywood october 1932 large

Carole Lombard wouldn’t be a Hollywood magazine cover subject until October 1932, but the previous year — the March 1931 issue, to be precise — the fan mag, via an Otto Dyar portrait, made her part of its inside cavalcade of pics:

carole lombard hollywood march 1931b

The story of her origins doesn’t quite hold up (if anyone told Carole to focus on schooling for a few years, it was her mother, and Lombard’s time on stage was minimal), but the photo, evoking the William E. Thomas Pathe portraits of a few years before, reveals the sex appeal that helped win her a Paramount contract. The issue also featured another Paramount sex symbol, Clara Bow, whose star was starting to set as Carole’s was beginning to rise:

hollywood march 1931ca

There’s a pre-MGM shot of Jean Harlow, who’d had a small role in the Bow vehicle “The Saturday Night Kid” two years before:

hollywood march 1931ea

Charles “Buddy” Rogers, star of Lombard’s first Paramount picture “Safety In Numbers” in 1930, is pictured at home:

hollywood march 1931da

Hollywood’s most chic teenager, Loretta Young, shows off her style in a two-page pictorial:

hollywood march 1931fa
hollywood march 1931ga

That month’s cover subject was Marguerite Churchill, taken by Edwin Bower Hesser:

hollywood march 1931a cover

Inside was an ad for Gary Cooper’s latest film, “Fighting Caravans,” proof that Paramount was attempting to bridge his popularity between women who liked him in romances, such as “I Take This Woman” with Lombard later in the year, and the male-oriented western crowd:

hollywood march 1931ba

Leggy Anita Page, for whom 1931 would be a year of decline, still had enough star power to illustrate an ad for Hollywood’s sister publication from Fawcett, Screen Play:

hollywood march 1931aa

The 42-page magazine measures 8″ x 12″ and is in good condition with “some very light ageing,” according to the seller. The auction for this item has just begun, with an opening bid of $9.99 and bidding set to end at 7:01 p.m. (Eastern) next Tuesday. If you’re interested, find out additional information by going to

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Posted February 26, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Looking back: February 1934   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.02.25 at 21:25
Current mood: cheerfulcheerful

carole lombard p1202-631c

Carole Lombard would spend much of February 1934 working on two films…first, the Paramount musical comedy “We’re Not Dressing” with Bing Crosby, then what would be the most pivotal film in her career, “Twentieth Century,” where her performance — matching vaunted co-star John Barrymore stride for stride — figuratively would vault her into the who’s who of actresses. But that month, Lombard learned she’d cracked the list for a real-life Who’s Who, yet another advancement in the Hollywood hierarchy. No wonder she felt a bit “puffed up,” in the words of the Feb. 16 Anniston (Ala.) Star:

carole lombard 021634 anniston star

Those who hadn’t heard Lombard was on board the “Twentieth Century” soon got the word from Columbia, since this likely is its news release that ran in the Feb. 10Reno Evening Gazette, a paper she may occasionally have read while establishing her six weeks’ Nevada residency the previous summer:

carole lombard 021034 reno evening gazette

The same day, the Lowell (Mass.) Sun ran this item, probably from the Paramount news bureau, since her upcoming film for the studio is in the lead paragraph and the first three stars mentioned — Claudette Colbert, Marlene Dietrich and Mae West — all hail from the Paramount roster:

carole lombard 021034c lowell sun

And speaking of “Bolero,” Paramount was beginning its publicity push. Here are a few ads from Hollywood trade papers. It was part of the studio’s “big five” releases that month:

carole lombard bolero trade ad 00

This four-page spread appeared in the trades — and note the hype given not to female lead Lombard, but to red-hot fan dancer Sally Rand. Through “Bolero,” she was achieving the movie success that eluded her in the late ’20s (ironically, Sally had been a WAMPAS “baby star,” while Lombard never gained similar honors):

carole lombard bolero trade ad 02
carole lombard bolero trade ad 01
carole lombard bolero trade ad 03

“Bolero” was released that month, and in many markets its premiere coincided with Washington’s birthday (Feb. 22 fell on a Thursday that year). In my hometown of Syracuse, it opened at the Paramount on South Saiina Street…

carole lombard 022134a syracuse herald

…while in another ad from the Feb. 21 Syracuse Herald, RKO Keith’s up the block premiered upstart Columbia’s “It Happened One Night,” which in its earlier incarnation as the vehicle “Night Bus” was a production Lombard declined in favor of “Bolero,” a seemingly choice film from her home turf. (To be fair, at the time, Robert Montgomery — hardly the same tier box-office draw as Clark Gable — was envisioned as the “Night Bus” male lead, and quite a few actors of both genders weren’t interested in a loanout to Harry Cohn’s studio.)

carole lombard 022134b syracuse herald

Meanwhile, Carole’s 1933 Columbia release “Brief Moment” was playing in Canada, and a story about it in the Winnipeg Free Press apparently was written by a staff member, not taken from a release, as it accuses Lombard of lacking fire. (A few months from now, perhaps we’ll see this critic’s reaction to her work in “Twentieth Century” and see whether it was hot enough for him.)

carole lombard 021734b winnipeg free presscarole lombard 021734a winnipeg free press

In contrast, what ran in the Feb. 11 San Antonio Express has the faint aroma of a rewritten press release:

carole lombard 021134 san antonio express

Back in Syracuse, “Brief Moment” had reached the “nabes,” specifically the Franklin on South Avenue, a theater I regularly passed in my childhood while riding the bus downtown. In this Feb. 10 ad from the Syracuse Herald, it’s topping a double bill with one of those low-grade oaters John Wayne made until “Stagecoach” vaulted him to star status five years later. (And note “The Eagle And The Hawk” is on the other side of town at the Avon.):

carole lombard 021034 syracuse herald

Lombard’s legs long had been lauded, but in February another part of her anatomy came in for praise…her lips. Artist Henry Clive examined the lips of eight prominent actresses (whether he saw them in person or merely through pictures is unknown), but said in the Feb. 21 Ardmore (Okla.) Daily Ardmoreite the ones that belonged to Carole “disclosed a girl who could weather emotional storms without concern” (such as a critic saying she lacked fire):

carole lombard 022134 daily ardmorite

Two days later, the Moberly (Mo.) Monitor-Index ran images of five of those pairs of lips (Lombard’s are in the lower right-hand corner):

carole lombard 022334 moberly monitor-index

OK, you’re wondering, where are the amusing anecdotes that made Lombard a legend? Well, we have two for you this month. The first hails from the Tyrone (Pa.)Daily Herald of Feb. 13, and deals with a gag she pulled on “We’re Not Dressing” director Norman Taurog:

carole lombard 021334 tyrone daily herald

I’ll bet Mack Sennett was smiling when he read that one.

Work was hard on “We’re Not Dressing,” despite much of it being shot at Catalina Island, so it’s no wonder that when Lombard hosted a party at her Beverly Hills home (the move to her Hollywood Boulevard residence wouldn’t occur until April), she sought to get out of her shoes. So guests got to see her silk-stockinged feet roam the carpet that night, according to Hearst columnist Louella Parsons in the Feb. 19 San Antonio Light:

carole lombard 021934 san antonio light

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Posted February 25, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Silver Screen,’ January 1936: Interviewed there, answered that   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.02.24 at 22:45
Current mood: amusedamused

carole lombard p1202-1290a bud fraker

It’s the latter part of 1935, and Carole Lombard is riding high with her first full-fledged, top-billed Paramount success in “Hands Across The Table.” As a result, Silver Screen magazine contacts writer Elizabeth Wilson and asks her to interview her for an upcoming story set to run in its January 1936 issue.

Fine and dandy, you say, and Wilson — as is the case for just about everyone in or related to the film industry — likes Lombard. There’s just one problem: What can Carole talk about that she hasn’t done before, either with Elizabeth or other fan mag writers?

That’s the quandary facing the writer in this story; whether this situation is real or a put-on for her readers is up for you to decide. And as is the case for so many of these articles, we don’t know whether Lombard actually said these things or if Wilson was putting words in her mouth. Whatever, it’s an amusing look at conflicts between star actress and star reporter:

carole lombard silver screen january 1936a
carole lombard silver screen january 1936b
carole lombard silver screen january 1936c

Funny piece…and if Carole’s memory really was that good, she must have been her generation’s Marilu Henner (the lovely actress from the sitcom “Taxi” whose memory is said to be exceptional). The story reads as if Lombard was giving her a hard time; nothing could be further from the truth. Wilson was among her closest friends in the Hollywood press corps, and Elizabeth wrote at least 10 stories about her over the years.

That was about it for Carole content in that issue, which had Ginger Rogers in a Marland Stone illustration on the cover…

silver screen january 1936 cover

…but there were some other interesting items as well.

It’s no secret that Ed Sullivan of Sunday night TV show fame had been a Broadway columnist (for the New York Daily News) before his sudden shift in career, but did you know he not only occasionally also covered Hollywood, but at times wrote for fan magazines? We have proof in this story about Joan Crawford beginning to wonder whether Greta Garbo’s choice to steer clear of the press wasn’t such a bad idea:

silver screen january 1936a
silver screen january 1936b
silver screen january 1936c

Ed mentions his first meeting with Lombard, how well he got along with Carole, and her thoughts about newspapermen. (To add a little Sullivan historical perspective: When this issue hit newsstands in early December 1935, Elvis Presley had yet to celebrate his first birthday, and it would be more than four years before any of the Beatles would be born.) Oh, and Joan, since you were about 30 at the time of this interview, we’re not buying that you grew three inches in the past six years…that would be a ridiculously late growth spurt.

Kay Francis, certainly taller than Crawford, also was the subject of a story:

silver screen january 1936d
silver screen january 1936ea
silver screen january 1936fa

Note that at the time, Kay was linked with screenwriter and future director Delmer Daves, who lived down the street from Jane Alice Peters and the rest of her family around 1920.

And of course there were movie ads, such as MGM’s customary spot color work for its latest hit, the Marx Brothers’ “A Night At The Opera”…

silver screen january 1936g

…Warners promoting “Captain Blood” and its new star, Errol Flynn…

silver screen january 1936h

…RKO hyping Katharine Hepburn in “Sylvia Scarlett”…

silver screen january 1936i

…and 20th Century-Fox left with a Rochelle Hudson vehicle:

silver screen january 1936j

Finally, we remember comic actor/writer/director Harold Ramis, best known for “Ghostbusters” and “Groundhog Day,” who left us today at age 69. Here’s a tribute that’s sort of appropriate (and one he would appreciate) that he did for SCTV from Jan. 13, 1977:

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Posted February 24, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

My Carole is a…centerfold?   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.02.23 at 02:13
Current mood: shockedshocked

carole lombard pathe william e. thomas larger

As we all know by now, Carole Lombard was not averse to being the subject of what we might call, er, sensual photography, such as the image above taken by William E. Thomas. But when I read an ad for an eBay item that promised a “Wonderful Carole Lombard centerfold,” I did a double-take. Had Carole crossed the erotic line decades before Hugh Hefner (whom, I should note, is a fan of Lombard and other classic movie stars and has contributed some of his Playboy profits to film restoration and preservation), going to a place where even pal Jean Harlow may have feared to tread?

An investigation revealed both relief and disappointment:

* 1. It wasn’t a “centerfold” at all; no pages folded out. It merely was a two-page spread in the center of the magazine.
* 2. Carole kept her clothes on (though there was a swimsuit pic).
* 3. The issue was from Dec. 26, 1936, which probably explains #2.

Anyway, here it is from the Spanish-language magazine Films Selectos...

carole lombard films selectos 122636b

We’ve written about this Spanish publication before ( — it published from 1930 to 1938, with a primary focus on American stars. The cover of this particular issue featured Joan Crawford and red-hot Robert Taylor, co-stars of “The Gorgeous Hussy”:

films selectos 122636a cover

Inside were images of Norma Shearer (from “Romeo And Juliet”) and June Lang…

films selectos 122636aa

…not to mention two of Lombard’s co-stars from 1933, Randolph Scott and Charles Laughton…

films selectos 122636ba

…and the always-welcome Edward G. Robinson on the back cover:

films selectos 122636a back cover

This large-format magazine has 24 pages (including covers) and is in good condition, according to the seller. You want specifics?

Front cover: 
* Neatly taped along spine (formerly a bound copy)
* Tiny tear at top edge and right edge
* Light, small creases at bottom right and left corners
* Handling wear
Note: The 4 corners were made with rounded edges

Back cover:
* Long diagonal crease from upper right corner to lower left corner
* Handling wear

You can buy it now for $35 or place a bid beginning at $20. The auction is slated to close at 9:09 p.m. (Eastern) next Saturday. All the information you need is available at

I should also note that in doing research on Films Selectos, I’ve come across a site that might be Spain’s equivalent of the Media History Digital Library — FilmoTeca de Catalunya (, which includes a digital repository featuring films, documents and so much more…including publications (more than two dozen of them, including Films Selectos). You can check it out at

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Posted February 23, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Hollywood,’ December 1938: Her aim is true   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.02.22 at 22:21
Current mood: amusedamused

carole lombard hollywood december 1938aa

By late 1938, Carole Lombard’s passion for skeet shooting was well known to the public (, and that December,Hollywood magazine used it as the basis for a one-page photo spread, as seen above.

That wasn’t the only place in the magazine to find Carole. Her comments about taxes earlier in the year were noted in a roundup, along with the one of the first photos of Joan Bennett in her new, Hedy Lamarr-shaded brunette hair:

carole lombard hollywood december 1938bb

Incidentally, in 1941, both actresses were cited in a lyric of Cole Porter’s “Let’s Not Talk About Love” (“Let’s speak of Lamarr, that Hedy so fair/Why does she let Joan Bennett wear all her old hair?”) for his musical “Let’s Face It.”

Finally, you may remember the successful campaign a few years back to save Cahuenga Peak — a stretch of land near the fabled Hollywood sign ( To raise public awareness, a website was launched where people could place their names “on” the sign…and that site still is around ( After seeing a few examples of that online day, I decided to try my hand at it, first to promote this site (the generator has no ampersand or period, but it gets the message across just the same)…

carole lombard carole & co. save cahuenga park 00a

…and next, to honor the lady who inspired it:

carole lombard hollywood sign 00b

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Posted February 22, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Hollywood,’ December 1937: Facing the rumor mill   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.02.21 at 01:58
Current mood: mischievousmischievous

carole lombard hollywood december 1937fa

According to Hollywood magazine in its December 1937 issue, this photo of Carole Lombard and Clark Gable at a tennis tournament in Los Angeles squelched rumors they had called it a day. Elsewhere in that issue, Lombard discussed the topic with writer Edward Churchill, and her tone was sort of a precursor to Elvis Costello’s “I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused” some four decades later:

carole lombard hollywood december 1937aa
carole lombard hollywood december 1937ba

It’s easy to see why Lombard was ticked off. Some of the rumors mentioned in that story understandably bothered her (e.g., her health), while others were in retrospect ludicrous (if a recording of that final Jack Benny program from the 1936-37 season exists — and virtually all his episodes have survived — I’ll have to give it a listen to hear what all the fuss was about). And while Carole possessed her own sort of magic, unless she had the powers of Samantha, Sabrina or Jeannie, she couldn’t have been both in bed and at the Venice pier at the same time.

Here’s the gown referred to in that caption on the front page:

carole lombard hollywood december 1937ca

There were a few other Lombard-related tidbits in that issue, such as this blurb about her reportedly wanting to build on some ranch property:

carole lombard hollywood december 1937ea

And remember Eleanor Fisher, winner of a contest from True Confessions magazine, who had a small role in “True Confession” for her only screen credit ( She’s shown in a photo spread with John Barrymore (and let’s hope “the Great Profile” was on his best behavior with her):

carole lombard hollywood december 1937db

Some good non-Lombard stuff was included in this five-cent issue, whose cover showed Gary Cooper and Sigrid Gurie from Samuel Goldwyn’s “The Adventures Of Marco Polo”:

hollywood december 1937 cover large

Rumors were among the drawbacks of stardom noted by Loretta Young:

hollywood december 1937ea
hollywood december 1937fa
hollywood december 1937ga

There’s a short feature on Joan Crawford, music lover, who discusses her training, and hopes, for a singing career (little knowing that more than 15 years and an Academy Award later, her voice would be dubbed for the over-the-top “Torch Song”)…

hollywood december 1937aa

An actress and singer who didn’t need dubbing, Alice Faye, provides ladies with a “romance test.” For any of you who may wish to play it, check the following two pages, jot down your answers and at the end of the entry, we’ll reveal the answers so you can note your score:

hollywood december 1937ba
hollywood december 1937ca

This particular issue was teeming with film ads, although lordly MGM spread the wealth around its seasonal releases:

hollywood december 1937ha

“Ebb Tide” may have been “the first sea picture in (three-strip Techni)color,” but Paramount had to settle to advertise it in black-and-white:

hollywood december 1937ia

Was Warners’ “Tovarich” truly “the most exciting screen event of all time”? Probably not, but teaming Charles Boyer and Claudette Colbert made for a sophisticated comedy:

hollywood december 1937ja

Mischa Auer and Alice Brady, both late of “My Man Godfrey,” were back at “the new Universal” (which by now had been “new” for more than a year) for “Merry-Go-Round Of 1938,” and Bert Lahr was among those joining them in the fun:

hollywood december 1937ka

Faith Baldwin’s stories were adapted into all sorts of films (including Lombard’s “Love Before Breakfast”), and the relatively obscure “Portia On Trial” was adapted by Republic:

hollywood december 1937la

Most of Eddie Cantor’s hit movies were made for Goldwyn, but here’s one he made at 20th Century-Fox:

hollywood december 1937ma

There’s plenty more on hand in this issue, and it’s up for auction at eBay. The seller lists its condition as “acceptable,” and adds “it is in Good-minus condition — minor wear and very light stains around edges of covers. Inside pages have light stains along edges but no pages are stuck together.”

If you’re interested in collecting classic Hollywood fan mags, this might be an inexpensive place to start your collection; the starting bid is $6.99, and the auction is scheduled to close at 7:23 p.m. (Eastern) Wednesday. Curious? Then check it out by going to

Oh, and as promised, here are the answers (and scoring) to Alice Faye’s “romance test”…dig out your responses, and I hope it isn’t a rumor that our women tested well!

hollywood december 1937da

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Posted February 21, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Ready to honeymoon in Hawaii   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.02.20 at 19:31
Current mood: optimisticoptimistic

carole lombard william powell 062731c honeymoon front topWhen both newlyweds are actors, they should know how to properly pose for the camera, and Carole Lombard and William Powell don’t disappoint as they give press photographers what they were looking for only hours after their wedding. The couple were aboard the oceanliner Malolo, heading to Hawaii and honeymoon bliss; we know this from the snipe below the photo:

carole lombard william powell 062731 honeymoon front bottom

(Actually, the honeymoon wasn’t that filled with bliss, a precursor of what was to come. Carole became ill while in Hawaii, and the marriage dissolved slightly more than two years later, though Lombard and Powell remained amicable.)

This photo is vintage, from the Acme syndicated agency, as proven by the printing on the back:

carole lombard william powell 062731a honeymoon back

(The “United Press International” stamp shows it had been retained for several decades, since the United Press merged with Hearst’s International News Service in 1958.)

This vintage image measures 7″ x 9″, and bidding begins at a quite reasonable $14.95, although the auction won’t close until 10:08 p.m. (Eastern) Wednesday. Should you wish to place a bid, or are curious to learn more, visit

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Posted February 20, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

From the p1202 files: Two vintage visions in white   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.02.19 at 19:03
Current mood: enthralledenthralled

carole lombard p1202-570b

Few things more please Carole Lombard memorabilia hunters than finding (to them) previously unseen Paramount p1202 portraits, poses that prove her prowess as one of the beauties of classic Hollywood. That’s the case above with p1202-570, likely snapped during 1933 with Carole stunning in a white gown at the bottom of a staircase, every inch an Olympian goddess.

But that’s not the only such image on display today — take a look at this one, p1202-1130:

carole lombard p1202-1130a

Think you’ve seen that one before? Perhaps you’ve mixed it up with another, more common image from that 1935 session where Carole wore a white suit, p1202-1133:

carole lombard p1202-1133a

What’s more, both 570 and 1130 are vintage and at auction on eBay.

The former measures 7.5″ x 9.5″; the seller describes its condition as “Good. All borders have been trimmed. Some light creases. There is a marked line forming a square” around Lombard. The opening bid is $18.99, and the auction is set to end at 8:37 p.m. (Eastern) next Tuesday. To place a bid or merely learn more, go to

The latter is from a different seller. It’s 7.25″ x 9.75″, and the seller states it “has been trimmed; has glue and paper remnants on back, a crease in the bottom corner and a little paper loss in the bottom part of the photo on back.” The bidding here starts at $19.95, but you don’t have much time left to bid — it’s slated to close at 9:02 p.m. (Eastern) on Friday. Find out more information by visiting

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Posted February 19, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized