Saluting ‘two unforgotten girls’   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.06.03 at 18:57
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

carole lombard pathe 05djean harlow edwin bower hesser 00a</a>

Both became Hollywood legends, not just for their on-screen artistry but for the grace and kindness that made each among the most popular people in the film community, and both left us much too soon. Yet it’s often overlooked that Carole Lombard and Jean Harlow each got their start in silents, both working for masters of comedy — Carole with Mack Sennett, Jean with Hal Roach (although Harlow appeared in only a handful of Roach two-reelers, compared to Lombard’s year-plus apprenticeship with Sennett).

Now an item available on eBay helps preserve that aspect of the careers of…

carole lombard jean harlow 00

It’s a 250-foot segment of 16 mm film profiling Lombard and Harlow, almost certainly from Robert Youngson’s first compilation of silent comic bits, 1958’s “The Golden Age Of Comedy.” Carole’s piece is from her 1928 two-reeler “Run, Girl, Run,” where she portrays a beautiful, if somewhat daffy, college track star:

carole lombard jean harlow 01a

OK, you’ve probably seen that image before, as it was used for a publicity still. But some other screencaps likely are new to you, such as this, showing Lombard and her diminutive coach, Daphne Pollard…

carole lombard jean harlow 02

…or this one, showing Carole on the run (it’s fun to imagine what was going on in her mind at the time — recalling her days as a schoolgirl track champion, perhaps?):

carole lombard jean harlow 03

This looks to be the scene where the first aid crew comes to the rescue of Lombard’s heavyset pal Madalynne Fields (she will, of course, prove too large to lift):

carole lombard jean harlow 04

Harlow is profiled in the 1929 Laurel & Hardy short “Double Whoopee,” and while she’s on screen only briefly, it’s definitely memorable. You can see her in the back of the cab pulling up to the hotel where Stan and Ollie are doormen:

carole lombard jean harlow 05

Hardy can’t wait to provide service to this blonde beauty:

carole lombard jean harlow 06

That’s followed by two screencaps of Harlow with Hardy…and it’s amazing to note how mature and sophisticated Jean looks, considering she either had just turned 16 or was about to. (“Double Whoopee” premiered in mid-May 1929, two-and-a-half months after her birthday.)

carole lombard jean harlow 07
carole lombard jean harlow 08

For some reason, the punchline of the scene isn’t shown among the screencaps, so we’ll add it for you. Laurel unknowingly shuts the taxi door behind Harlow, tearing the back of her gown, and, well…

jean harlow double whoopee 06

This is in very good condition, according to the seller; it is “in sound [Youngson’s narration over a soundtrack] but has some splices,” with “no vinegar or any smell.” (And like all 16 mm film, this is on safety stock.) Bidding starts at $9.95, with the auction closing at 1:22 p.m. (Eastern) Saturday. If you’re a 16 mm collector and would like to learn more, visit

And that Lombard portrait at the top, from her Pathe/Sennett days? It’s being auctioned at eBay too; it’s a whopping 11″ x 14″ (I’m not sure whether it’s vintage), and bidding for the item opens at $10. Bids close at 2:49 p.m. (Eastern) Monday, a stunning pic for any fan of the early Carole. Go to to find out more.


Posted June 3, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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