Posted by vp19 on 2014.05.06 at 09:25
Current mood: curious
The reputations of Carole Lombard’s films change through the decades. Some are viewed as classics from day one (“My Man Godfrey”), others gradually rise to classic status after an iffy reception at the start (“To Be Or Not To Be”), others initially perceived as programmers soon are seen as more than that (“Virtue,” “Hands Across The Table,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”).
But others just sit there, unnoticed, particularly those movies who not yet have been blessed by inclusion on video or DVD. That forlorn status unfortunately describes many of Lombard’s early Paramount films, which — aside from the 2006 Glamour Collection — Universal (now the owner of several hundred pre-1948 Paramount titles) has done little, if anything, with. And while Universal (a division of Comcast) could follow Warners’ lead and aggressively go into the video-on-demand market, particularly for less popular films, it hasn’t done so yet.
“Sinners In The Sun” (for which Carole posed for the publicity portrait above), a 1932 drama, is one of those movies currently in video limbo. So somebody decided to take matters into their own hands.
This is the result.
As far as I know, “Sinners In The Sun” is not in the public domain, nor can it be found on YouTube, unlike some other Lombard films with no authorized video release. And while I normally don’t promote bootlegs on this site — not for fear of biting the hand that feeds me, but from a caveat emptor perspective –here’s an exception. Actually, I am surprised “Sinners” isn’t available…not because of Lombard, but due to the presence of one of its supporting players…
…Cary Grant. It’s his second cinematic appearance, and one wonders if this would be out today had it come before his first go-round on film, “This Is The Night.” (That ersatz Lubitsch romp, whose co-stars include Roland Young, Charlie Ruggles and the delectable Thelma Todd, is pre-Code fun; while I’ve never seen “Sinners In The Sun,” from all accounts it’s nowhere as appealing.)
What’s interesting is that the seller doesn’t try to pass this off as a hidden masterpiece. Read the description of the item on eBay:
Paramount Pictures seldom fully utilized the talents of contract player Carole Lombard, as witness such tedious programmers as “Sinners in the Sun.” Lombard plays Doris Blake, an elegant fashion model who spurns her auto-mechanic suitor Jimmy Martin (Chester Morris) in favor of married millionaire Eric Nelson (Walter Byron). Securing a job as a chauffeur, Jimmy marries his employer, wealthy heiress Claire (Adrienne Ames), on the rebound. Ultimately, both hero and heroine realize that (here comes the message) MONEY ISN’T EVERYTHING, whereupon both turn their backs on money and creature comforts to find happiness with each other. Somewhere near the bottom of the cast list is Cary Grant, who would later co-star with Carole Lombard in the infinitely better romantic drama “In Name Only.”
Talk about (apparent) truth in advertising. (And while Lombard and Grant both were in “The Eagle And The Hawk,” her only scenes in the film were with Fredric March.)
So essentially, this one is for Carole or Cary completists; obviously on an item such as this, not taken directly from a studio print, its quality can’t be guaranteed. It sells for $14.99, and you can buy or learn more by visiting http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sinners-in-the-Sun-1932-DVD-Carole-Lombard-Chester-Morris-Adrienne-Ames-/291140490779?pt=US_DVD_HD_DVD_Blu_ray&hash=item43c953561b.