Archive for August 2015

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

A scrapbook, at the big 6-0   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.19 at 17:47

Current mood: accomplishedaccomplished

Not to sound presumptuous, but I like to think that somewhere today, Carole Lombard is celestially celebrating my birthday with Clark Gable and many other of her friends — just as I honor the anniversary of her birth every Oct. 6. It’s a milestone for me today, as I’ve reached age 60 (and have the gray hair to prove it). It’s still difficult to fathom; at this stage of your life, many begin to sum up life’s ledger, but I believe I have many things yet to accomplish…and pray I’ll have enough time on this earth to accomplish them. But to borrow an old Johnny Mathis song title, it’s not for me to say.

Meanwhile, I have this site among my hobbies — and today came across the handiwork of some hobbyist somewhere, a Lombard scrapbook. It’s a huge endeavor in multiple ways; for one thing, it measures 16″ x 12″. For another, it consists of more than 50 pages and 100 pictires. Better yet, the seller has provided several pages from the volume for us to see, and I’m delighted to share them with you.

Lots of fascinating pics…but wait, there’s more!

All of these look to be from 1941 or earlier. Might that be where it ended? The answer is no, as there are at least two posthumous clippings:

The seller notes, “Spiral notebook is old and tethered and coming apart.”

“But all pages are in good condition with wear only on edges and corner.”

My mother once told me that when she was a teen in the mid-1930s, she compiled a scrapbook of Ruby Keeler clippings and mailed them to her — but I don’t believe she ever got them back. I wonder if I would have done likewise for Lombard had I been a teen in the late ’30s?

Anyway, this is a one-of-a-kind item from someone who had as much affection for Carole then as I do now. The opening bid is a mere 99 cents, but the auction isn’t slated to end until 3:09 p.m. (Eastern) a week from Saturday, so who knows what the winning bid will be? If you’d like to take your chances and bid on this rarity, learn more about it at

Finally, my condolences to the family and friends of Yvonne Craig, the 1960s actress probably best known for portraying Batgirl on the 1966-68 “Batman” series; she died of breast cancer Monday at age 78. A reliable character actress and popular pinup, Craig received plenty of film and TV work from the late ’50s into the ’70s. I met her at a memorabilia show in New Jersey in the mid-1990s, and she was plenty of fun to talk with.

A similar recollection of Craig comes from blogger, comic book artist, cartoon director and pop culture maven Mark Evanier, and it’s worth a read — particularly for his anecdote’s punchline, something Carole might have said:

Posted August 19, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Lombard with a page-boy   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.18 at 04:11

Current mood: flirtyflirty

No, as far as is known Carole Lombard never attempted wearing that iconic 1920s hairstyle; she’s at right in this photo, wearing “a diaphanous bra top and short pants,” revealing lots of leg. It’s the other woman in this photo, taken for Mack Sennett in late 1927 or early ’28, who’s trying to emulate Colleen Moore (the star then most associated with the ‘do) or Louise Brooks, who’d appear in the 1931 Lombard film “It Pays to Advertise,” though she’s in a separate scene and it’s not known whether they ever met (

And just who is this other woman? Her name is Jean Keller, a Sennett girl for a brief time. Born Jan. 3, 1911 in Santa Monica (was this where Mack discovered her?), Keller’s movie output consisted of four uncredited appearances, three in Sennett shorts with Lombard — “The Girl From Everywhere” (1927), as well as “The Swim Princess” and “Run, Girl, Run” (both 1928). She died in Nevada in 1990, and I have no idea whether she had children or ever told friends or family stories about working with Lombard.

Here’s the back of the pic identifying her:

This photo is doubleweight and measures 10 1/2″ x 13 1/2″; the seller calls it “spectacular” and adds it’s in fine condition. This is a rarity, to be sure, and you can buy it for $165 or for $28 for six months. Just go to to find out more.

Posted August 18, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

She’s been framed!   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.16 at 09:25

Current mood: curiouscurious

Does this give Carole Lombard sufficient “street cred”? Actually, I created it using the free app (thank you, Dr. Dre, whose Beats firm came up with this), and I like to think that somewhere, Carole’s enjoying this tribute to her initial hometown. (If you hear of a lightning bolt striking someone in Los Angeles on this hot, but otherwise sunny day, you’ll know I was wrong, in which case it’s been nice knowing you.)

Our topic for today actually concerns this:

It’s a lovely framed photo of Carole, probably from 1933 or ’34, measuring 9″ by 10 3/4″ and in “a beautiful carved wood frame,” as the seller states. I have no idea when this was framed, or whether it’s a vintage image or a reprint. I suppose whomever wins this auction could remove the back and find out if they’re really that curious:

Bidding begins at $9.99, with the auction closing at 12:45 p.m. (Eastern) Wednesday. To bid or find out more, go to

Posted August 16, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

The Anti-Damsel Blogathon: ‘Produced’ by Carole Lombard   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.08.15 at 17:39

Current mood: contemplativecontemplative

When you read about the life of Carole Lombard, often it’s difficult to believe that the prime of her career began slightly more than eight decades ago…and that we’re slightly more than 17 months away from the 75th anniversary of her premature passing. There’s such a modern, timeless air about her, you almost expect to see her on Hollywood Boulevard, just stepping out of Musso & Frank’s with a few of her writer pals. (I’ve often said that if we could go back to 1935, herd all the stars of the day into a time machine and deposit them in 2015, Carole would have less difficulty adjusting than nearly all of her contemporaries.) In other words, the lady was ahead of her time.

And this entry is part of the Anti-Damsel Blogathon, which is just as its name implies — a salute to women of classic Hollywood, in both silents and talkies, who kicked ass, took names and empowered themselves both on and off screen. It’s hosted by the Last Drive-In ( and Movies Silently (

In other words, think Emma Peel, only minus the karate kicks…and what red-blooded man would object to being rescued by Lombard? (She’s shown below helping pull people from an overturned bus in “Vigil in the Night.”)

During an early ’70s TV interview, Diana Rigg — beginning the transition from Avenger to dame of the West End, cited Carole as a type of actress to emulate. I sense Lombard would have returned the favor regarding Rigg.

But empowerment transcends the physical, and even if Carole hadn’t been such a fine athlete, she definitely was empowered. An ardent feminist — a trait she learned from the Baha’i faith of her mother — Lombard believed women could achieve just about anything (,

So it should come as little surprise that Lombard’s interest in the film industry went far beyond appearing in front of the camera, although she had an uncanny feel for lighting and cinematography and was renowned in the business for her sense regarding scripts. Carole truly felt at home in the movie business…and let’s emphasize that word, “business.”

This is a carbon copy of the contract Carole signed in September 1940 to appear in the RKO comedy “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.” Those of you who are regular readers of Carole & Co. may note we ran this several days ago as part of an entry on an auction for the item at eBay. Nobody bid on it earlier this week, so it’s once again in the mix with an opening bid of $2,500. The auction ends at 3:45 p.m. (Eastern) Friday; if interested, visit

What the contract doesn’t say is that Lombard herself put up some of the money for the movie, making her a de facto producer — which may be how she was able to arrange 5 percent of gross revenue beyond the $150,000 she received from RKO. Several months later, when Ernst Lubitsch heeded Jack Benny’s request to have Carole replace Miriam Hopkins (who wanted more speaking lines in the script), she wielded enough industry clout to sign a similar deal. (At the time, Lombard essentially was a freelancer — unlike most of her contemporaries, bound by ironclad studio contracts — and was to have made “They All Kissed the Bride” at Columbia following “To Be Or Not To Be.”)

People who knew Lombard later said she had little desire to direct movies (unlike her one-time Paramount stablemate, Ida Lupino), but was interested in producing movies, starring herself as well as others. And given her track record, she almost certainly would have succeeded.

Posted August 15, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized