Archive for August 2015

A video blast from the past   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.30 at 23:37

Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

Thanks to Carole Lombard, my mind has returned to nearly three decades ago, when millions were experiencing the joy of videocassettes. It’s January 1986, and my mother — never the most technologically adept of ladies (OK, she was a Luddite) — jumped into the mid-eighties high-tech pool and bought a videocassette player/recorder. (Now that I recall, it was my brother, who then was living with her, who probably pushed her into it.)

Hearing the news, I decided they needed a present for their new gizmo, so I bought them a few blank VHS tapes and a pre-recorded videocassette. Recalling that Mom liked old movies, I bought her this — it was cheap and in the public domain:

Now you’ll note the copy lists “Nothing Sacred” as being in black and white, when it actually was in color…washed-out public domain color as I recall it, but color just the same. I brought it to them on Super Bowl Sunday 1986, and a few hours before the Chicago Bears blitzed the New England Patriots (the long-downtrodden Pats in the Super Bowl? What a concept!), we ran “Nothing Sacred.”

Mom enjoyed it, as Lombard was one of her favorites (though no match for Ruby Keeler, as I later learned), but best of all, we discovered the joys of video, and I discovered the joys of Lombard. A few months later, I bought my own machine (from JCPenney, which at the time sold electronics, microwaves and such), joined several video stores and got into the habit big-time. (“Be kind — please rewind.”)

Seeing this Canadian VHS tape on sale at eBay brought back a torrent of memories, and while this tape probably won’t elicit the same reaction from you, if you’re one of the few VHS collectors still around it could have some sentimental value. It’s said to be in very good condition, and its price has been knocked down from $6 to $5.10. What a bargain! However, the sale ends Wednesday. Interested? Visit to find out more.

And while you’re watching, immerse yourself in the total ’80s experience by wearing legwarmers and drinking a can of New Coke.

Posted August 31, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Carole, and Cortez   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.29 at 10:06

Current mood: confusedconfused

I pulled this pic of Carole Lombard and Ricardo Cortez from the May 1933 issue of Movie Classic at the Media History Digital Library two Augusts ago, but I’m not sure if I ever did anything with it. I wrote an entry about items in that issue (, and yet for some reason this didn’t make the cut. It’s from Paramount’s Irving Lippman, and it raises some questions.

Lombard and Cortez (real name Jacob Krantz, as we noted back in 2008 at made but one film together, “No One Man,” which was released early in 1932. However, this is said to be from more than a year later, and apparently is not a production still.

The caption features references to Lombard’s upcoming “Supernatural” as well as to a Cortez release, “Dead on Arrival.” (IMDb lists no film from the ’30s by that name.) Anyway, the photo is charming, and certainly explains why Cortez was among the more appealing actors of his time — even if the characters he portrayed didn’t always possess similar qualities.

This 8″ x 10″ original vintage pic now is available, albeit not in sepia:

You can purchase it for $16.99 or make an offer. Find out more by going to

Posted August 29, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Four from Cinelandia, and Vin is in for his 67th   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.28 at 21:31

Current mood: relievedrelieved

Whomever ran the Spanish-language film magazine Cinelandia was a fan of Carole Lombard. In the span of just under a decade (November 1929 to August 1939), Carole appeared on the monthly publication’s cover six times –– either by herself or with a co-star. That’s a pretty impressive ratio.

Above is the last of these six, a cover with Cary Grant from the upcoming “Memory of Love,” a title subsequently changed to “In Name Only.” Four months earlier, Lombard teamed with James Stewart to promote another film directed by John Cromwell, “Made For Each Other”:

Say you’re more interested in Lombard as a solo act? We have two examples of that, too. Check out this cover from July 1936…

…or this, from August 1937:

All are exquisite — and each of them can be bought for $19.99. You can find all four, plus some of the seller’s other Lombard goodies — including one of her multiple appearances on Cinelandia’s newsstand rival, Cine-Mundial –– by visiting

As I write this, the Dodgers have a 4-1 lead over the Chicago Cubs in the top of the ninth inning — and while that makes a lot of Angelenos happy, the big news tonight is that Vin Scully, who’s called the team’s games since 1950 (when the franchise was in Brooklyn), will return to the booth for the 2016 season…his 67th behind the mike.

The news was “announced” in the middle of the second inning — and we put that word in quotation marks because ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who’s listened to Scully call ballgames since his childhood in Las Vegas, dropped a group of cue cards telling the news without saying a word. Scully’s been at his job since before Kimmel was born (and that fact applies to me, too).

As I’ve noted before, Vin was doing Dodgers games at the start of the ’50s, when my parents and older sister Helen resided in Brooklyn and, like nearly every resident of the borough, followed the Dodgers passionately. (I didn’t arrive until 1955, by which time the family was upstate in Syracuse.) All three are gone now, but thanks to Scully, I get to share in something they enjoyed…and mark my words, Vin still is very good at what he does.

Scully’s in his 80s now and rarely if ever travels with the team — but he unquestionably is the most beloved figure in the organization, more so that Tom Lasorda, Sandy Koufax or anyone else. It’ll be good to have him back for essentially two-thirds of a century of baseball.

For more on the news and Vin’s remarkable career, go to

Posted August 28, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Next year’s TCM Classic Film Festival promises to be ‘Moving’   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.27 at 23:10

Current mood: ecstaticecstatic

At March’s TCM Classic Film Festival, Carole Lombard’s “My Man Godfrey” was among a group of films shown on a semi-opening night (actual festivities began the following morning). We don’t know if any Lombard films will crack the 2016 festival schedule, but there’s one thing we do know:

Next year’s event won’t take place in March. In fact, the festival will close up shop in May.

See that banner from the festival’s second year, in 2011? Take out the second “1,” put a “6” in its place and you have the dates for next year’s celebration of classic film.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, TCM maven Robert Osborne, who had to sit out this year’s event due to health concerns, will return to the helm in 2016, assisted by Ben Mankiewicz (and other champions of the channel, no doubt). The publication also reported that next year’s theme will be “Moving Pictures.”

But before you go “duh,” note the play on words. It refers to “movies that bring us to tears, rouse us to action and inspire us,” according to the festival’s managing director, Genevieve McGillicuddy. (With a name like that, you’d think she was a character in a Preston Sturges movie.) She added, “This year’s theme gets to the heart of why we spend the time that we do watching movies and why we share movies with other people.”

Held in Hollywood, as it has since the event’s inception in 2010, the principal venues again will be the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres and the Egyptian Theatre, and action centered around the famed Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. (As any Lombard fan worth his or her salt knows, that’s where Carole saw Russ Columbo perform at the Cinegrill, and where she and Clark Gable secretly cavorted in the penthouse suite before he finally could marry her.) However, McGillicuddy said a new site or two could be added to the mix.

I already know people who have announced online that they have made their hotel packages for the 2016 festival. If you want to do likewise, don’t waste time.

Posted August 28, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Carole and the canines   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.26 at 12:19

Current mood: lovedloved

Since today is National Dog Day, here is Carole Lombard with but a few of her canine pals:

If you’ve got a dog in your life, give it an extra dog biscuit today. Woof!

Posted August 26, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Doing some horsing around   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.25 at 13:24

Current mood: enviousenvious

It’s Carole Lombard and her inseperable equine pal Pico in this original 1937 photo from Paramount photographer William Walling. Want to learn more about it? Here’s the back of the pic, along with an enlarged version of the snipe:

“Beauty and the beast”? More like two beauties.

According to the seller, the photo is “Printed on an oversize [10″ x 13″] glossy stock, this vintage original photograph is in very fine+ condition with a 0.25-in. diagonal crease on the top right corner and a 1/8-in. diagonal crease on the bottom right corner.”

It’s being sold — not auctioned — on eBay for $150, or $25 monthly for six months. If you’re a fan of Lombard, horses or both, you can make this your own by visiting

Posted August 25, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

For Christmas, the Brits go Hollywood   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.23 at 21:41

Current mood: cheerfulcheerful

It’s late 1936, and Carole Lombard — who had conquered comedy in America by starring in “My Man Godfrey” that fall — now was doing likewise in Great Britain. So it’s no wonder she was included in Picture Show magazine’s Christmas Special issue. The cover featured Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers…

…as well as a photo feature on their latest film, “Swing Time”:

Britons curious over how Hollywood celebrated Christmas received a pictorial answer:

That accompanied full-page photos of Shirley Temple…

…Bette Davis…

…and Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer as MGM’s drastically overaged “Romeo and Juliet”:

William Powell and Myrna Loy are profiled in a stars’ birthday section, opposite a feature on gemstones…

…and there’s an article on “unique cinemas”:

And see what’s in the entire magazine in the table of contents, beneath a still of Margaret Sullavan and ex-husband Henry Fonda cavorting in “The Moon’s Our Home” (note the British spelling did away with the contraction). Lombard and Fonda’s good friend James Stewart pinch-hit for them in a 1940 Lux Radio Theater adaptation of “Moon.”

This 78-page magazine, measuring 8 1/2″ x 12″, is said to be in good condition, with minimal ageing.

Bidding opens at $14.99, with the auction scheduled to close at 7:24 p.m. (Eastern) next Sunday. If you’re interested, visit

Posted August 23, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Multiple ways to go ‘Gay (Bride,’ that is)   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.22 at 20:15

Current mood: amusedamused

That’s Carole Lombard with Chester Morris in a scene from Carole’s lone movie for MGM, 1934’s “The Gay Bride.” Lombard never was particularly fond of the film, and it isn’t top-tier Carole, but it’s nevertheless enjoyable and she looks lovely on the Culver City lot. Here’s the back of the above photo…

…now, with the snipe enlarged and isolated:

(Note it lists the movie’s original title, “Repeal,” which was the title of the story the film was adapted from. But with repeal having been enacted in December 1933, the original title lost some of its punch.)

This is one of five vintage stills from the film up for auction at eBay. Here are the others, none with snipes:

The seller says these photos “are in good condition with minor wear on corners.”

Bidding for this quintet of pics begins at $20, but the auction isn’t slated to end until 6:32 p.m. (Eastern) next Saturday. If you want to get in on this action, visit

A few weeks ago, when Kristin Chenoweth received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (, some of her “greatest hits” were piped over the public address system; this was one of them, although it was from a TV movie that wouldn’t air for another few days, “Descendants,” a second-generation glance at Disney heroes and villains. The normally good-girl Kristin got a chance to display her “Wicked” — oops, I mean wicked — side as she played Maleificent, and sung this ditty, “Evil Like Me,” to her daughter (played by Dove Cameron). It’s received nearly seven million YouTube hits, deservedly so because it’s plenty of fun, and I’m happy to share it with you. Enjoy!

Posted August 22, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

That ‘Sacred’ flyer is back, and happy birthday, Jackie   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.21 at 18:15

Current mood: ecstaticecstatic

It was six months ago tomorrow that we announced a sale on a handsome 6″ x 10″ flyer for Carole Lombard’s Technicolor comedy “Nothing Sacred”, placed into the program for the Southern Cal-UCLA football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Dec. 4, 1937 ( Oh, and that day SC outlasted the upstart Bruins, 19-13.

We see the film had premiered three days earlier, both at Grauman’s Chinese on Hollywood Boulevard and Loew’s State downtown.

The flyer, which may or may not be the same one that someone tried to sell in February, has resurfaced. But whereas the item had an earlier sale price of $135.95, this one’s available for nearly half that — $75.95. (The game program is not included.) The seller says it’s “in beautiful, unused condition with light toning due to its age and is single weight paper,” and suggests it would be good for framing. We agree.

Does the lower price make you more interested this time around? If so, visit

And we wish a happy 74th birthday today to one of my favorite singer-songwriters of the ’60s, the wonderful Jackie DeShannon. It just so happens that tonight also marks the 50th anniversary of the premiere of this video on the syndicated “Hollywood a Go Go” show, as Jackie performs — OK, lipsynchs — her composition “When You Walk in the Room.” In August 1965, this song probably was better known for the Searchers’ recent hit version, which is fine in its own right, than the original by DeShannon herself. (She had the misfortune of having this initially released the day after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, so it reached no higher than #99 on the Billboard Hot 100. Until the Beatles’ arrival in early 1964, American pop music essentially was in a holding pattern.)

I’ve long loved this performance (and ran it here before); note how Jackie slips up mouthing the words at the start, but effortlessly makes up for it with boundless charm. Then near the end, watch her dip her head seductively — it gets me every time. Two more things to note about this video: Facebook friend Randy Nauert and his band the Challengers, who backed Jackie many times on southern California stages in the mid-sixties (performances where she actually sang!), instrument-sync here, for lack of a better term. And the shirt DeShannon is wearing? It was a gift from John Lennon when she toured with the Beatles in 1964. Happy birthday, Jackie — and if I have anything to do with it, you’ll get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017.

Posted August 21, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Eating out, classic Hollywood style   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.20 at 22:26

Current mood: hungryhungry

Whether Carole Lombard was squired by William Powell, Russ Columbo or Clark Gable, they all knew the best way to this woman’s heart was to wine and dine her — and in the Hollywood and environs of cinema’s classic age, there were all sorts of wonderful places around town to take Lombard or someone else in their hearts.

Film historian Mary Mallory is set to discuss where the film elite would meet to eat this Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Will and Ariel Durant Library on 7140 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, about a mile or so from Ciro’s, where Clark and Carole are shown above from 1941.

Mallory will give a lecture on the famed restaurants of that bygone age (although a few, such as Musso & Frank, aren’t bygone at all). Adding to the nostalgic tone will be Will Ryan of the Cactus County Cowboys and the Saguaro Sisters with some vintage harmony.

As proof Mallory knows her stuff, read these entries of hers at the LA Daily Mirror local history blog, where she discusses Clara Bow’s “It” Cafe… (

…or the Pig ‘n’ Whistle on Hollywood Boulevard near the Egyptian Theater; it’s on the original site, but it’s not the original restaurant.

Mallory explains its history at

It should be plenty of fun — even if your idea of dining after the presentation is walking a few blocks west to In-N-Out Burger for a double-double.

Posted August 21, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized