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Holidays, Hollywood style   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.07.04 at 15:50

Current mood: jubilantjubilant

“Huh?,” you’re saying to yourself. What’s a Halloween-themed photo of Carole Lombard doing on July 4? As it turns out, while Lombard certainly was a patriot, I don’t believe she ever specifically posed for an Independence Day photo — unlike contemporaries such as Thelma Todd (seeing this should cool you off)…

…Dorothy Mackaill…

…or Marion Davies:

Many stars posed for holiday-related photos — some reverent, most kitschy. And the way Hollywood celebrated holidays is the subject of a book two Facebook friends of mine have collaborated on, a book that will be released later this year.

Karie Bible perhaps is best known as the tour guide for Hollywood Forever Cemetery (whose tour I discussed last August at, but also is co-author of “Location Filming in Los Angeles.” She co-authored this with Mary Mallory, author of “Hollywoodland” and a writer for The Daily Mirror local history blog.

The 7″ x 10″, 192-page book, set for release in October, will have 221 photos related to holidays throughout the year — New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, clear through Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The last of these is the only other one besides Halloween that I know of for which she was a photo subject:

Since I don’t have a list of who made the cut, I’ll put forth a few possible candidates. How about Mae West as Lady Liberty? (She certainly was a leader against censorship.)

Perennial starlet Toby Wing has a Valentine’s Day request:

Marilyn Monroe posed for many such photos, especially early in her career, though she doesn’t appear too displeased with this Turkey Day shoot, er, shot:

“Hollywood Celebrates the Holidays” is from Schiffer Publishing (, and also can be pre-ordered via Barnes & Noble ( and (

To close, my own July 4 celebration, courtesy of the Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper and his stars-and-stripes bat; he clubbed his 25th homer as the Nats rolled past San Francisco in Washington’s now-traditional Independence Day 11 a.m. (Eastern) start:

Posted July 4, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Excelsior! Set sail with Carole and Coop   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.07.03 at 12:34

Current mood: cheerfulcheerful

When Carole Lombard posed for some nautical portraits for Paramount in 1933, studio stablemate Gary Cooper came along as a special guest star of sorts, and they posed for this on-board shot. Now another image from that seaside session has surfaced, one that was used in an Italian magazine:

Carole and Coop graced the back cover of the Aug. 2, 1933 issue of Excelsior. The front belonged to an unidentified model also enjoying life at the shore:

Finally, here’s one of the inside pages:

You can buy this 16-page magazine for $10. Learn more at

Posted July 3, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Fireball,’ the film: Cast your Clark and Carole   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.07.02 at 21:59

Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

Earlier today, Brian Lee Anderson at the “Carole Lombard !!!” Facebook fan page brought up this topic, one I thought worth discussing here:

“I got asked today what actors I hope portray Carole and Clark in the film version of ‘Fireball’ … I said Jennifer Garner and Henry Cavill. Fun question…. Who would you like to see?”

That is a toughie. I’m not sure whether Robert Matzen, author of the book, has publicly said whom he’d wish to cast (which from his perspective is just as well; why alienate someone who might be interested in purchasing the movie rights?). Fortunately, the rest of us don’t have to worry about that, so we can deposit our two cents.

Here are the candidates mentioned so far (9:45 p.m. Pacific), in order of their being named:

Carole Lombard: Jennifer Garner, Melissa Joan Hart, Reese Witherspoon, Kate Hudson, Blake Lively, Kristin Chenoweth, Charlize Theron, Christina Applegate, Carey Mulligan, Amber Valletta.

Clark Gable: Henry Cavill, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Pratt, Hugh Jackman, George Clooney, Brad Pitt.

In a way, it makes you appreciate the difficulty Universal had in casting the leads for the 1976 biopic “Gable and Lombard.” Jill Clayburgh won the Carole role (selected over, among others, Candice Bergen), and James Brolin was cast as Clark after several stars of the time, fearing it was self-defeating to challenge Gable’s ghost. Both Clayburgh and Brolin gave it their all, but what ultimately doomed the film was a script that played fast and loose with history and never gave the impression that it fully understood these people.

So, whom would you cast as Clark and Carole? One, or both, from the lists mentioned above, or other candidates? You can answer here, or you can go to the Facebook thread, Either way, let’s hear from you.

Posted July 3, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Horsing around at Hollywood Park   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.07.01 at 21:38

Current mood: pensivepensive

Carole Lombard loved horses nearly as much as she loved making movies, as this photo from the spring of 1939 makes evident. It was taken at Hollywood Park in Inglewood; we know that from the back:

Let’s isolate and clarify the snipe so we can read it; since this is an RKO press release, the snipe was typed on the studio publicity department’s rather unique typewriter:

More information: This happened during shooting for her film “In Name Only” (at the time when its working title was “Memory of Love”). The horse posing with Carole is Valley Lass, part of a stable owned by the movie’s director, John Cromwell. (By now, Lombard herself could’ve been a Valley lass, if she and new husband Clark Gable had finally been able to move into the Encino ranch they had purchased.)

We know Clark and Carole regularly played the horses at the Santa Anita track in Arcadia, but it’s entirely possible they visited Hollywood Park a few times, too. A few weeks ago, Hollywood Park, racetrack version, itself faded into history when the grandstand was razed. A massive development is set for the site, blending housing, retail, an amphitheater and, most important for Angelenos, a football stadium that likely will host a National Football League team when the project is completed. (Since St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is developing the property, his franchise is expected to return to southern California. The Los Angeles Rams played at the Coliseum after moving from Cleveland in 1946 and stayed there through 1979; the team then spent 15 years sharing Anaheim Stadium with baseball’s Angels before moving east.) We’ll see what happens with that — one or both of two other franchises, the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers, are eyeing a site in Carson, a few miles south of Inglewood, if one or both teams can’t work out a deal for a new stadium in their respective markets.

But let’s get back to this rare photograph, an 8″ x 10″ the seller says is in very good condition (“there are some minor creases at the top edge and the corners”). Bidding begins at $15, with the auction set to end at 11:06 p.m. (Eastern) next Wendesday. If you’d like to ride home a winner with this one or simply are curious, check out

Posted July 1, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Backless — and peerless   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.06.30 at 15:25

Current mood: restlessrestless

How’d you like some early ’30s Carole Lombard glamour? Thanks to Otto Dyar, we have a splendid example…and it can be yours.

The above shot, showing lots of bareback from Carole, is up for auction at eBay. We even know the specifics, because the snipe and other information are on back:

According to the seller, this 8″ x 10″ is in “Very good condition with a 1″ loss to the top right corner, pinholes in the corners, corner/edge wear, and general storage/handling wear.” As of this writing, five bids have been made, topping at $26. Bidding ends at 10:23 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday.

If you’d like to try your hand at securing this photo, then make your bid at

Posted June 30, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Carole and Clara go collegiate (old-school)   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.06.29 at 16:34

Current mood: amusedamused

Some Carole Lombard news worth cheering about…if you still own a VHS player. That’s because a videocassette of two silent campus comedies from the 1920s, starring the legendary Lombard and the earlier icon Clara Bow, now is available via eBay.

The Bow film is 1925’s “The Plastic Age,” which some claim features Lombard as an extra. I’ve never been able to confirm that, but it’s well-known that future second husband Clark Gable has a small part, some half a dozen years before he returned to Hollywood and gained genuine stardom. This still provides proof:

Bow is her usual vivacious self, playing a college flapper torn between two athletes. And of course in “Run, Girl, Run,” Lombard herself plays an athlete in the midst of Mack Sennett hijinks.

The tape is a former rental which according to the seller “plays great,” and can be yours for $9.99. If interested, visit

Posted June 29, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

The ‘Power’ to get ‘From Hell to Heaven’   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.06.28 at 20:00

Current mood: curiouscurious

Two relatively obscure Carole Lombard films that have not yet secured an official DVD release now are available for purchase online.

The photo on top shows Lombard with William Boyd in a scene from the 1928 Pathe silent “Power,” a film that co-stars Alan Hale Sr. and marked the movie debut of Joan Bennett.

“Power” probably is in the public domain (her three Pathe talkies have that status), and it’s likely that this was derived from a 16mm print of uncertain quality. It should also be noted that Lombard’s part is a rather small one. Nevertheless, there are some Carole completists who will want this for their collection.

The DVD sells for $19.99, and it can be yours by going to

The status of the other film being offered, from the same seller, is more problematic.

“From Hell to Heaven,” released in early 1933 with Lombard as top-billed (that’s Jack Oakie with Carole), was a Paramount offering when it hit theaters, but was it part of the pre-1948 package the studio later sold to MCA, which then gave the rights to Universal? Most of Carole’s films from Paramount now are Universal property, but a few have slipped into public domain (e.g., “Swing High, Swing Low”). Does “From Hell to Heaven” have similar status? To be honest, I don’t know.

This is only going for $15.99, and I’m not sure whether that’s indicative of the quality of the print. To purchase or learn ore, visit

Posted June 28, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized


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