‘Modern Screen,’ October 1940: Just how does she do it?   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.10.20 at 20:10
Current mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

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And by “do it,” we’re referring to Carole Lombard’s acting prowess, something that in 1940 often was ignored while the press instead focused on her status as Mrs. Clark Gable number three. But see that word “Success,” roughly belt-high to her while she poses for a promotional still from “They Knew What They Wanted”? That’s the angle, in acting terms,Modern Screen decided to explore in its October issue. (The first four words of the headline are “The Secret Of Lombard’s.”)

And we’re glad they did, because it provides a rarely seen insight into what made Carole the actress tick, from several people who knew Lombard well. (Some of this is indistinguishable from Carole the off-screen personality, but there are some subtle differences, too.) Save for an anecdote near the end, Lombard herself isn’t quoted here, which is just as well; her ability to act wasn’t something she could readily explain (just as many of baseball’s greatest hitters aren’t always able to analyze what makes them succeed).

So here’s a story that explains the whys and wherefores of Carole Lombard, actress. Enjoy these comments from some of Carole’s closest associates.

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Directors Garson Kanin, Mitchell Leisen and George Stevens; cinematographer Harry Stradling; and still photographer Fred Nendrickson are among those in the story who vouch for Lombard’s acting talent. Good piece, isn’t it?

Carole was found elsewhere in the issue, such as in this Lux soap ad:

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And on the homefront, some Gable and Lombard anecdotes:

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Joan Crawford never made a film titled “Broadway Serenade”; could any Crawford fan know what film the magazine is referring to?

This issue’s cover subject was future Crawford rival Bette Davis…

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…while one of the highlights inside is a delightful profile of one of the few non-stars in the industry known by most casual fans, that most independent and misquoted of moguls, the one and only Samuel Goldwyn:

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And wouldn’t you know it — the first film ad in that issue was for Goldwyn’s latest film, “The Westerner”:

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There also were ads for MGM’s “Strike Up The Band”…

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…Columbia’s “The Howards Of Virginia,” which many deem among the least of Cary Grant’s starring vehicles…

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…Warners’ “Tugboat Annie Sails Again,” an attempt to revive the franchise six years after Marie Dressler’s passing (look at the lead characters’ names; I’m guessing a young Jay Ward probably saw this film)…

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…Twentieth Century-Fox’s “Brigham Young,” where Darryl F. Zanuck tried to shoehorn the story of the Mormon leader into a routine western adventure tale, soft-pedaling polygamy and such (it also was marketed with the title “Brigham Young — Frontiersman”)…

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…and Universal’s latest from its meal ticket, Deanna Durbin:

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This 90-page magazine, listed in “very good” condition (the seller describes it as “Cover in very good condition with some wear, crease lines at the bottom edge, edge wear, crease near spine, inside pages are in very good to excellent condition with some with some having a tiny bent at the top edge”) can be yours for $37.97. Interested? Then check outhttp://www.ebay.com/itm/BETTE-DAVIS-1940-Carole-Lombard-WILLIAM-HOLDEN-Ronald-Colman-JUDY-GARLAND-Bing/121460895423?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D26215%26meid%3D8c10dd744c9a425e8cadc7b757ab5abc%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D10926%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D121460895423 to buy or for more information.

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Posted October 20, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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