Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Girl Week 2021


The whole week, I will be discussing movies where gals hold the fort in one form or another. Dell on Movies is hosting this blogfest and I am going to enjoy this plus it is getting me up and sitting at the actual computer which is good to do. I promise when I feel the burn, I will have a rest. Who will I showcase today and which film?


The great Carole Lombard starred in her only technicolour film as a woman who thinks she is dying from Radium poisoning. She is given money etc, from the townsfolk but she finds out the doctor made a boo-boo and she is perfectly healthy. She just wants to go to New York City so bad and the money would get her there. Enter Frederic March as a reporter trying to recoup his name by taking her to the Big Apple for free. She willingly obliges..um...not telling him that she is perfectly healthy. Let's just say things get out of hand and we can go from there. Lombard played this part of a not so nice person with a charm that makes you root for her. This is not an easy feat since she is ripping off many people, maybe not of their cash but of their empathy. It is a gem of a film and one of the first dark comedies, to be honest, but an excellent one.

Carole Lombard may not be that well known today but she was a huge star, married to the King of Hollywood, Clark Gable before she died, tragically, in a plane crash. She was selling War Bonds and her mom was with her when Carole wanted to get home faster so she could see her husband. Her mom and Gable's press agent were fearful of flying so they flipped a coin..and Lombard won. If not for the coin toss, they may have taken that train. Gable was beyond devastated and men had to hold him back from going up the mountain to see her. He quickly joined the war(after one more film) and was a gunner in 5 combat missions. I do believe he truly never recovered from her death but he did keep on living.

Carole was married once before to William Powell, another major star, divorcing just shy of 2 years. The nice thing is they remained friends for the rest of her life. Carole was known to be a great friend, not just with actors, but with everyone on set from the cameramen to the grips. She was involved and was going to marry Russ Columbo when he died(accidental shooting) in 1934. His siblings and Carole decided to keep the news from his mom who was in the hospital recovering from a serious heart attack. Writing letters, as if he were on the road and replaying old radio bits of him, they kept this up until the mom died in 1944, 2 years after Carole died. 

In the late 20s, her boyfriend at the time, was driving his car when he lost control and she was badly injured. The windshield shattered and scarred her face requiring more than one surgery. Later, knowing lighting and how to wear make up well, she could hide the scar. She could dress to the nines but go out hunting with the boys later. A well rounded dame! 

Carole was known to have a foul mouth (I knew I loved her) and could swear like a sailor often surprising her co-stars but, as Jimmy Stewart would say, she did it with such nonchalance that it seemed perfectly normal and she was still a lady (I am paraphrasing).

Carole also loved to laugh and loved practical jokes. When making this film, "Nothing Sacred", she knew what a huge womanizer Frederic March was (he would be out on his ear today) even though he was married (never stops these boys). He was trying to get to second base with Carole who was quite prepared to stop him in his tracks and did because when he felt the dildo she strapped on, he freaked out and ran out of the room and never bothered her again. Another instance, which I talked about in a previous post, was when she overheard Hitchcock saying that actors are like cattle. When he came to the set the next day he was greeted with cows! 

A great lady who left us too soon.

Other movies she made:

No Man Of Her Own (1932)-only film she starred in with Clark Gable

Bolero (1934)

Twentieth Century (1934)

My Man Godfrey (1936)- stars with ex William Powell

Made For Each Other (1939)

To Be Or Not To Be (1942)


  1. Hi, Birgit!

    Thanks for profiling actress Carole Lombard, queen of screwball comedy. I don't think I ever watched her color feature Nothing Sacred, but it looks great. I love everything about that trailer including the perfect diction of the narrator, the witty writing that went into it and the bits of scenes that tell me the film is funny and worth the time investment. I haven't heard mention of boxer - actor “Slapsie” Maxie Rosenbloom in ages, but he was practically a household name when I was a boy.

    What a terrible tragedy that Carole's life and career were cut short at the age of 33 when the flight crew of the plane on which she was traveling plowed the aircraft into a mountain near Las Vegas killing all 22 persons aboard! That was indeed a fateful toss of the coin! The tragedy was the culmination of a short life marked by other bumps, bruises and heartaches. What a story, hers!

    Sounds like Carole was my kinda gal. She had a great sense of humor, could swear like a longshoreman and was kind and generous to other actors and crew. Clearly, she was also a talented comedic actress. Thanks again for shining the spotlight on Carole Lombard, dear friend BB. See you tamale!

    1. It’s a fun movie and I really hope to see more of her movies. She died too young because the pilots didn’t know how low they were. The lights were off because of the war so it was really rough going..obviously

  2. I'm enjoying reading about these women who I have only heard of, but never seen act in a film. I like what she did to Hitchcock, and I enjoyed reading about how she was married to Clark Gable. It's too bad she had to die so young. I can only imagine what a wonderful person she must have been (the swearing aside, tee hee).

    1. Yes, she loved the jokes and she loved Clark Gable often going on his hunting trips. They owned a ranch and called each other Ma and Pa. I heard the ranch is gone and it’s all houses now.

  3. Yes, Carole Lombard was a gem and taken too soon. I think I saw the Marin/Lewis version of this movie before I got around to seeing this one. And is there a third version floating around somewhere?

    1. I didn’t know Martin and Lewis did a version. It would be interesting To see.

    2. Living it Up. 1954. If I recall correctly, Jerry Lewis plays Carole Lombard's role. Dean Martin is the doctor (who's role is beefed up in this version). And the reporter is gender flipped to female so she can be paired with Martin.

  4. Great spotlight on the phenomenal Carole Lombard! I adore her, she could play practically anything but comedy was definitely her forte.

    This is a fun film and it provides a rare chance to see Carole in color, though the Technicolor is so accentuated it give a false feeling to the hue. Surely everyone wasn't so orange! Enjoyable though it may be it doesn't rank in my top 10 of her films, it would be in the top 20 though.

    I've seen all her extant films (except some bits in silents) and my top ten would run this way:

    Hands Across the Table
    The Princess Comes Across (both with Fred MacMurray-they were very simpatico screen partnes)
    In Name Only
    To Be or Not to Be
    Swing High, Swing Low
    My Man Godfrey
    Love Before Breakfast
    Brief Moment

    Keep the great stuff coming!

    1. I hang my head low because I have not seen as many as you have. You are so lucky. I know her and Fred MacMurray made 4 films together. I have seen her in Twentieth Century which I almost chose. The one with Shirley Temple, To Be or Not To Be, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Made For Each Other and My Man Godfrey which is so much fun. I have marked these down that I haven’t seen. Is Brief Moment your top one or Hands across the Table?

    2. Hands Across the Table is number one!

      There's also her film with Gable, No Man of Her Own, which is of interest for them costarring but it's not a film of any great distinction outside of that fact.

  5. I forgot about Carole Lombard dying so young. This was another fascinating read. Thanks.

  6. Hi Birgit - I know you'll be leaving lots of references to films, as too your commenters - excellent for us to come back to at some stage - thank you ... cheers Hilary