Entries , April 6-April 16   Leave a comment

Size her up!

Posted by vp19 on 2014.04.16 at 21:53
Current mood: draineddrained

carole lombard p1202-1489b

So what’s the scale of your affection for Carole Lombard: big, bigger or biggest? An eBay seller wants to know, because four Lombard Paramount portraits — each struck from the original studio negatives, including the one above, p1202-1489 — are for sale at three different sizes.

You can buy an 8″ x 10″ for $15, choose an 11″ x 14″ for $20, or go gigantic with a 24″ x 36″ for $35.

Other pix of Carole available are p1202-216…

carole lombard p1202-216e

…p1202-1412…

carole lombard p1202-1412e

…and p1202-1476:

carole lombard p1202-1476c

Here are the listings for each pic at each size:

For p1202-216…
8″ x 10″: http://www.ebay.com/itm/glamour-CAROL-LOMBARD-8×10-photo-from-original-negative-IM120-/351050436321?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51bc3c8ee1
11″ x 14″: http://www.ebay.com/itm/glamour-CAROL-LOMBARD-11×14-photo-from-original-negative-IM120-/380886663432?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item58ae9d4108
24″ x 36″: http://www.ebay.com/itm/glamour-CAROL-LOMBARD-24×36-poster-photo-from-original-negative-IM120-/380886663430?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item58ae9d4106

For p1202-1412…
8″ x 10″: http://www.ebay.com/itm/sexy-glamour-CAROL-LOMBARD-8×10-photo-from-original-negative-IM117-/380886663435?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item58ae9d410b
11″ x 14″: http://www.ebay.com/itm/sexy-glamour-CAROL-LOMBARD-11×14-photo-from-original-negative-IM117-/191138906649?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c80c44219
24″ x 36″: http://www.ebay.com/itm/sexy-glamour-CAROL-LOMBARD-24×36-poster-photo-from-original-negative-IM117-/351050436332?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51bc3c8eec

For p1202-1476…
8″ x 10″: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stunning-CAROL-LOMBARD-8×10-photo-from-original-negative-IM196-/380886663426?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item58ae9d4102
11″ x 14″: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stunning-CAROL-LOMBARD-11×14-photo-from-original-negative-IM196-/351050436339?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51bc3c8ef3
24″ x 36″: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stunning-CAROL-LOMBARD-24×36-poster-photo-from-original-negative-IM196-/191138906648?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c80c44218

For p1202-1489…
8″ x 10″: http://www.ebay.com/itm/glamour-CAROL-LOMBARD-8×10-photo-from-original-negative-IM198-/380886663424?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item58ae9d4100
11″ x 14″: http://www.ebay.com/itm/glamour-CAROL-LOMBARD-11×14-photo-high-resolution-original-negative-IM198-/351050436289?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51bc3c8ec1
24″ x 36″: http://www.ebay.com/itm/glamour-CAROL-LOMBARD-24×36-poster-photo-high-resol-original-negative-IM198-/191138906596?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c80c441e4

And as you can tell from the presence of the pictures, I’m back east, again using my desktop computer. More and more, it appears I will be taking it west with me later this year; precisely when remains to be seen.


carole lombard 02

Homeward bound (but shall return)

Posted by vp19 on 2014.04.15 at 01:23
Current mood: excitedexcited

About 12 hours from now, I’ll be leaving Carole Lombard and classic Hollywood behind (in a purely geographical sense), as I’ll be traveling from Los Angeles to Washington, via Minneapolis-St. Paul. The week I’ve spent here has been illuminating, making me all the more certain this is where I want to make my new home.

Precisely where that home will be remains uncertain; I have at least one definite possibility and hope to have a few more soon. I may require another visit, this time focused solely on a place to live, before I confirm where I’ll be moving to, and when. A decision of this magnitude doesn’t come cheaply — what do I take with me? What will I leave behind (or try to sell)? What can I store, and where?

While I’m hardly what one would call wealthy, I have enough resources on hand to make the move, and a source of income to keep me going once I head west. It’s simply a matter of how to go about doing it.

Congratulations, Los Angeles; you’ve got another person from the east under your seductive spell, just as you did to a Jane Alice Peters 100 years ago. Stay tuned.


carole lombard 01

Happy 20th, TCM!

Posted by vp19 on 2014.04.14 at 14:14
Current mood: accomplishedaccomplished

It was twenty years ago today…and no, Sgt. Pepper had nothing to do with it. On this day in 1994, Turner Classic Movies signed on, appropriately with Ted Turner’s all-time favorite movie, “Gone With The Wind,” starring Carole Lombard’s second husband, Clark Gable.

A big deal in retrospect, not so much then. For the past few years, Turner Network Television had been showing all sorts of goodies from Turner’s large film library of vintage MGM, Warners and RKO titles. What differed TCM from the original TNT was the absence of commercials…and as TCM’s film holdings grew and grew, rival channels such as American Movie Classics were left in the dust and gradually changed their programming approach.

TCM has won its viewers’ trust through people such as Robert Osborne, a genuine film historian who’s written a number of books, through clever programming such as Star of the Month, the August favorite Summer Under The Stars, and events such as the recently concluded TCM Classic Film Festival. No wonder it’s gathered an array of avid fans.

I would celebrate today by watching TCM…but alas, my hotel doesn’t carry it. No matter; I’m leaving for home tomorrow and will be back on Wednesday. But remember, Los Angeles, I shall return.


carole lombard 07

Making friends at the festival

Posted by vp19 on 2014.04.13 at 22:33
Current mood: optimisticoptimistic

It’s been a blast meeting people at this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, people wh share my enthusiasm for Carole Lombard in particular and classic movies in general.

Had a pair of sustained conversations — one Saturday evening, the other this afternoon — with Lara Gabrielle Fowler, administrator of Backlots (http://backlots.net). Lara is working on a book about Marion Davies, and judging from the research she tells me she’s doing, this project will feature plenty of information about the sweetheart of San Simeon that’s never found its way into print before. To that end, she’s also planning to move to Los Angeles, though she would only have to journey a few hundred miles, from the Bay Area.

Another person I met face-to-face, although prior commitments prevented her from joining us Saturday for tea and coffee, was Jessica Pickens, owner of Comet Over Hollywood (http://www.cometoverhollywood.com), a site well worth checking out. Sorry I was unable to spend more time with her

That’s the good news. The bad news is that while Lara and Jessica got to see films — and plenty of them — during the festival, I lacked such luck. Without a pass, I was limited to stand-by status, and my viewing was limited to seeing “The Thin Man” at the Egyptian Friday morning. Over the weekend, I made two efforts to see “Employees’ Entrance” and one more for “Fifth Avenue Girl,” but there was no room at any of the showings. Frustrating, yes, but no complaints; after all, I planned this late in the process…and lest I remind you, the primary reason for my visit was not to see the TCM Classic Film Festival, but to find an apartment in Los Angeles. I’ll check on some more leads Monday before leaving Tuesday.

Next year, I intend to attend the TCM festival as a full-fledged participant — and assuming it’s again held in Hollywood, this time, I won’t need to stay in a hotel.


carole lombard 06

Guess who got a Carole & Co. business card?

Posted by vp19 on 2014.04.12 at 18:05
Current mood: pleasedpleased

It’s someone you know and probably like…and a Carole Lombard fan, to boot. If you’re in Hollywood this week at the TCM Classic Film Festival, there’s a good chance you’ve seen or met him. He’s Ben Mankiewicz, one of Turner Classic Movies’ hosts and part of a venerable film (and political) family.

Friday, Ben was walking along Hollywood Boulevard while I was waiting for a bus. I said hello, shook his hand and told him I enjoyed his work on TCM (and I do). He noted I, like him, had Washington roots from the Nationals cap I was wearing. (I didn’t have the heart to tell him the Nats had dropped a heartbreaker in Atlanta earlier that night.) I then noted a had a card for my classic Hollywood site, dug one from my pocket, and handed it to him.

Mankiewicz has been quoted as saying Lombard is among his very favorite classic Hollywood personalities, and family relatives either wrote screenplays for Carole or knew her.

Ben, if you do come around this site, please pardon me for the name-dropping (though our visitors include numerous people either associated with film history or currently involved with the industry as writers or actors). I hope you’ll enjoy visiting Carole & Co., and continued personal and professional success.

And if any of you at the TCM Classic Film Festival would like a Carole & Co. business card, just look for the guy wearing the curly W (and no, not the one standing for Walgreens).


carole lombard 05

Making an entrance like Myrna

Posted by vp19 on 2014.04.11 at 15:57
Current mood: dorkydorky

Grauman’s Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard played an important role in the life of one of Carole Lombard’s good friends, Myrna Loy. One of her first jobs in the entertainment industry was as one of Sid Grauman’s dancers in the stage shows accompanying films after the Egyptian opened in 1922.

I mention this because Myrna’s spirit must have inhabited me this morning…well, sort of. Let me explain.

As I planned my trip to Los Angeles too late to arrange for a pass or press credentials for the TCM Classic Film Festival, any events I attend will be on a stand-by basis — and so it was for this morning’s screening of “The Thin Man” at the Egyptian. Fortunately, seating was available, so I paid my $20 (cash only) and was able to enter. As it was nearing 9 a.m. (Pacific), I was hungry (hadn’t yet eaten breakfast) and while in line at the lobby noticed a concession stand in the distance…anddidn’t a downward step in front of me.

Just as Myrna did in “The Thin Man” when we first meet her Nora Charles character, I fell — but unlike Nora, I wasn’t carrying holiday presents, nor handling a terrier on a leash. And my fall certainly lacked a Loy-like grace.

I was helped up by ushers who walked me down to an aisle seat on the fourth row…where a TCM Julianne Moore profile of Loy (including the aforementioned stumbling scene) preceded the feature.

I’ve watched “The Thin Man” several times on TCM and other TV outlets, but seeing it on a big screen, with an audience savoring that one-of-a-kind chemistry between Myrna and William Powell, adds so much to the experience. I don’t know whether either of my parents saw the movie in theaters, but if they did, they must have thrilled to it.

Oh, and to Johnny Depp: Don’t even think about a remake, as has been rumored. Powell’s shoes (or martini glasses) are too big for you to fill, and that would go likewise for whichever actress was cast as Nora.

My earlier tumble led the ushers to consider me a cripple, and I was gingerly helped up the stairwell as if I were 85 rather than 58. But once reaching the lobby, it was worth it, because there was the knowledgeable and lovely Kimberly of http://www.GlamAmor.com, a splendid site dedicated to classic Hollywood style. Great lady.

Returning to my hotel to soothe my feet, I stopped at Larry Edmunds Bookshop, a Hollywood institution since 1938 (Robert Matzen’s “Fireball,” about Lombard’s ill-fated Flight 3, is available there), bought a few cinema-related books, and the gracious staff allowed me to leave some Carole & Co. business cards alongside a few of the other freebies.

Don’t know if I’ll attend any other festival events today, as my nephew and his family are coming from Riverside County to meet me for dinner. But I’ll try to make up for it tomorrow.


carole lombard 04

And the festival begins

Posted by vp19 on 2014.04.10 at 21:39
Current mood: happyhappy

The 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival kicked off in earnest today, and I dropped by the legendary Hollywood Roosevelt to be a part of it. (To a point, alas; since I arranged my trip to Los Angeles too late to secure either a pass or media credentials, any showings I see will be on a stand-by basis. But it’s the atmosphere that makes this event fun.)

The general public could watch what was going on this afternoon, since the passholder-only Club TCM didn’t begin until evening. And I got to see Mr. TCM, Robert Osborne, in the flesh himself, interviewing famed director-producer-actor Mel Brooks (it’s the 40th anniversary of “Blazing Saddles,” which will be shown at the festival. Both now are in their 80s, but from the lively conversation, you’d never have known it. Brooks is a comedic legend, of course, but he’s produced several dramatic films (e.g., “The Elephant Man”), and he really knows and loves his movies.

I bought a TCM festival bag from the TCM Boutique we noted recently, and also discreetly handed out about 100 or so Carole & Co. business cards in the Roosevelt lobby. One person said she had visited the site before and loved it, while another person handed me her card, for http://TheMovieGal.com, and two others asked for (and received) multiple cards to pass along to friends.

I’ll have more cards to hand out Friday, with hopes I’ll be able to take part in a screening or two. Hope to see you there.


carole lombard 03

Apartment hunting begins, and it’s time for Dodger baseball

Posted by vp19 on 2014.04.09 at 19:34
Current mood: optimisticoptimistic

Again, greetings from Los Angeles, where in my dream to excavate more research on Carole Lombard and classic Hollywood, I am hoping to relocate sometime later this year. Today I had my first apartment visit, a converted 1920s hotel in Koreatown (or, to pun on the title of an old Fifth Dimension hit, California Seoul). The building was nice — one of the three studio apartments I saw there even had a view of the “HOLLYWOOD” sign, an appropriate touch for any film historian — but I’m not committing to anything just yet, and probably won’t for the remainder of my trip. Too many things still are up in the air, and I’d like to evaluate as many options as possible.

Yesterday’s highlight was my first game at Dodger Stadium in more than 17 years, an interleague game against the Detroit Tigers, and with the combination of a zippered hoodie Dodger blue sweatshirt as a giveaway plus the onslaught of the Michigan diaspora (who normally visit Anaheim for their Tiger fix), the place was packed. So much so, in fact, that the Dodger Stadium Express bus from Union Station took nearly an hour to reach Chavez Ravine.

For a ballpark that’s 52 years old, Dodger Stadium remains youthful and immaculate. From my loge box seat just behind home plate (by far the best seat I’ve ever had at that ballpark), I saw a fascinating game — one that looked to be a rare early-season slugfest there when the teams traded early solo homers, then settled into a typical pitchers’ duel (defending AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer for Detroit, former Washington National Dan Haren for the Dodgers). However, neither would figure in the decision, as LA scored one in the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers evened it up in the ninth, and Carl Crawford’s RBI hit in the 10th sent Dodger fans home happy. A good win for the locals…but as a Nationals fan, if the Dodger finish a game ahead of Washington in playoff seeding or a race for the second wild-card, I’ll never forgive myself. (They’ll meet six times this season, three in D.C. in early May and three in Los Angeles at the start of September.)

Oh, and one more thing: When taking Metro to Union Station to and from the ballgame, guess who was there to provide inspiration? Carole, of course…specifically the transportation mural which includes Lombard.

Tomorrow, more apartment searching and the opening of the TCM Classic Film Festival (although ironically, TCM is not part of my hotel’s cable lineup).


carole lombard 02

A morning stroll through the Walk of Fame

Posted by vp19 on 2014.04.08 at 15:44
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

The last time I genuinely experienced the Hollywood Walk of Fame was in September 1996, and much has changed since then; Carole Lombard’s star, for instance.

It’s still on Hollywood Boulevard, slightly east of the Hollywood Roosevelt where she spent plenty of time with both Russ Columbo (at the Cinegrill) and Clark Gable (at the penthouse suite that now bears their names), but it’s now in front of a Baja Fresh Mexican restaurant. Or should I say, the restaurant was built behind it. (A bit further east along the boulevard, a McDonald’s stands near stars for Marilyn Monroe and Ginger Rogers, among others. Wonder if that added a bit to the sales price?)

What would Carole think? Hard to say, though she probably ate her share of Mexican cuisine (El Cholo, on Western Avenue, has been around since the 1920s, and we know she regularly went south of the border to Agua Caliente while married to William Powell).

The Walk of Fame remains as fascinating as ever, and it says something about how much I’m now immersed in classic Hollywood that I now recognize far more of these names than I did while visiting in 1989 and 1996. (I also visited LA in March 2000, but my time spent on the Boulevard was limited to waiting for a cab near Hollywood and Vine on a drizzly Saturday night after getting off the Metro following a Kings game at Staples Center.)

Some of the stars are in rather appropriate places. For instance, John Barrymore’s is in front of Musso & Frank’s Grill, which has been around since 1919 and where he probably dined (and drank). Others are beautifully juxtaposed; TV icon Betty White’s star is next to that of her late husband, game show host Allen Ludden (“The password is...love“).

Across on the south side of the Boulevard, the star for famed TV producer Dick Wolf is adjacent to one for Jack Webb, whose “Dragnet” radio and TV series inspired Wolf to create his own police procedural shows. (Wolf even produced a revived “Dragnet,” with Ed O’Neill — yes, that Ed O’Neill, who also has a star on the Boulevard — as Joe Friday, but it didn’t catch on.)

A stop at the Roosevelt showed the lobby being set up for the TCM Classic Film Festival later this weekend; all sorts of goodies saluting the channel were being assembled for the TCM Boutique. I’m not certain how much of this I’ll be able to partake, since I don’t have a festival pass, but at least I’ll be on the periphery. If you’re going, I’ll try to see you there…and also envy you.

Again, I apologize for the lack of photos, but I’m still learning the ropes with this laptop. Additionally, I apologize to those of you who regularly use my WordPress alternate site, as I’ve been unable to copy my laptop entries. Once I return east, I’ll aim to set everything right.


carole lombard 01

Say hello to Hollywood

Posted by vp19 on 2014.04.07 at 23:29
Current mood: excitedexcited

Apologies to Billy Joel, but I have arrived in Los Angeles, specifically at the Motel 6 on Whitley Street, just north of Hollywood Boulevard. It’s the same venue I stayed at during my first trip to LA nearly 25 years ago, only then it was a hostel.

The trip will blend business and pleasure — tomorrow night, I’m traveling to Dodger Stadium to see an interleague game with the Tigers (have a good seat — a loge box behind home plate, just beneath the Vin Scully Press Box). Wednesday, I’ll begin my search for an apartment, with hopes I’ll find something and move in later this year.

And later this week, the TCM Classic Film Festival takes place a few blocks from my lodging, and while it’s too late to procure a pass, I’m hoping to see a few screenings on a standby basis.

It’s great to be here!


carole lombard 07

A ‘Lady By (Choice’ Collection)

Posted by vp19 on 2014.04.06 at 20:40
Current mood: annoyedannoyed

You already can obtain Carole Lombard’s last of five films for Columbia, 1934’s “Lady By Choice,” as part of the three-movie “Carole Lombard In The Thirties” collection — but if you want only that film, you now have that option.

Sony Pictures Choice Collection, a manufacture-on-demand program, issued “Choice” several months ago, and it’s already received at least two reviews from sites that cover DVD releases.

DVD Talk (http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/64339/lady-by-choice-sony-choice-collection/) calls it an “okay comedy/drama/romance…genial enough, with [May] Robson getting laughs and tears by equally broad means, and gorgeous Lombard fascinating us (as usual) with that strange, modern quality of hers.”

The writer, Paul Mavis, praised the video transfer, though he also admitted he hadn’t seen the version from ‘Carole Lombard In The Thirties.” I have, however, and it’s a 16 x 9 full-screen ratio, just as Mavis describes the Sony Choice version. Not good hews if you prefer the original 1.33-1 format.

DVD Verdict (http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/ladybychoice.php) isn’t quite as knowledgeable about the film as DVD Talk is, but approves the film with reservations, calling the print “dirty, with a fair bit of damage.” It’s deemed “maybe not an essential film in Carole Lombard’s body of work, but it’s a heck of a lot of fun, with great performances, a funny script and a nice message that’s a little less cloying than what was often found in romantic comedies of the day.”

Amazon has “Lady By Choice” available at http://www.amazon.com/LADY-BY-CHOICE-Carole-Lombard/dp/B00H51BI6C/ref=sr_1_1/183-4992183-6334505?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1396830874&sr=1-1&keywords=lady+by+choice.

(Incidentally, if you’re wondering why this entry lacks images, it’s because it’s the first entry on my new laptop, and I’m still getting the hang of the thing.)

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Posted April 17, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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