Carole Lombard: The Glamour Collection (Hands Across the Table / Love Before Breakfast / Man of the World / The Princess Comes Across / True Confession / and more)
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An amazingly talented comedy actress with the face of an angel, Carole Lombard illuminated the silver screen with her sparkling wit and dazzling beauty. Now fans have a chance to reunite with six of her most hilarious and heartwarming films, together in one unforgettable collection.Join Carole as she travels to the seductive streets of Paris in Man of the World; gets shipwrecked on a tropical island in We're Not Dressing; chases after the millionaire of her dreams in Hands Across the Table; chooses between two romantic rivals in Love Before Breakfast; travels the high seas to murder and mayhem in The Princess Comes Across; and takes to the witness stand in True Confession. It's a DVD collector's dream come true with one of Hollywood's brightest stars!
In the 1930s, nobody combined glamour, romantic comedy, and drama better than Carole Lombard. Having entered show-biz at the age of 12, the former Jane Alice Peters (b. Oct. 6, 1908, in Fort Wayne, Indiana) distinguished herself from equally stellar contemporaries like Katharine Hepburn, Claudette Colbert, and Jean Arthur by establishing her versatility as a fashion icon whose beauty was matched by playful intelligence and a bright, independent persona (on screen and off) that predated feminism by 40 years and made her an appealing foil for admiring male costars. As this delightful half-dozen of her lesser-known features makes abundantly clear, her meteoric success was entirely well-deserved, and The Glamour Collection shows her as a star on the rise, gaining confidence and adoring fans with each new picture. As one of Paramount's most valued contract players, she starred in five of the six films included here (Love Before Breakfast was a loan-out to Universal), beginning with 1931's Man of the World, a Parisian romance written by Herman J. Mankiewicz (10 years before Citizen Kane) and headlined by future Thin Man star William Powell as an expatriate con artist who falls for Lombard's spoiled heiress--a romantic pairing made all the more believable by the stars' real-life marriage later that year.
A loose adaptation of The Admirable Crichton, We're Not Dressing (1934) is Depression-era entertainment at its most diverting, employing a full stable of Paramount players (including George Burns and Gracie Allen, Ethel Merman, and a young "Raymond" Milland) in a shipwreck romance between socialite Lombard and singing sailor Bing Crosby, who croons songs aplenty (including "Stormy Weather") and shares equal screen-time with an affectionate bear! Directed by Norman Taurog (best known for his later work with Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, and Elvis Presley), it's every bit as fun as the Marx Brothers hits from the same period. Arguably the best film in this set, Hands Across the Table is noteworthy for the typically stylish direction of Mitchell Leisen, who brings his reliable sophistication to the tale of a New York manicurist (Lombard) who must choose between potential suitors Fred McMurray (as a would-be heir to a fortune) and disabled ex-pilot Ralph Bellamy. (This being 1934, Norman Krasna's otherwise excellent script restricts Bellamy to the romantic sidelines with outdated feel-good sentiment.) Love Before Breakfast (1936) is a similarly enjoyable but typically chauvinistic dose of '30s high-society love-play, in which Lombard bounces between boyfriend Cesar Romero and a Wall Street tycoon (Preston Foster) who knows what's best for her and bosses her around accordingly. In the mystery/comedy The Princess Comes Across (1936), McMurray returns as a lovestruck bandleader, falling for Lombard's radiant Swedish princess (played as a playful nod to Greta Garbo) on a cruiser bound for Hollywood.
After completing the classic Nothing Sacred, Lombard (who married Clark Gable in 1939) teamed with McMurray yet again in True Confession (1937), a black screwball thriller/comedy elevated by the presence of comedy stalwarts John Barrymore, Edgar Kennedy and Una Merkel. It rounds out The Glamour Collection in fine form (Lucille Ball is said to have modeled her TV persona after Lombard's character), and leads the way to such later classics as Made for Each Other (1939) and To Be or Not to Be (1942). Tragically, Lombard's outstanding career was cut short when she perished (along with her mother and 20 other passengers) in a 1942 plane crash. Fortunately for DVD collectors, these six films (all remarkably well-preserved with clear image and sound) serve as a fitting tribute to Lombard's unique talent, allowing movie lovers of all ages to rediscover one of the most alluring queens of the silver screen. --Jeff Shannon
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There are many bonuses in this assortment of 6 Lombard films; a superb portrayal by William Powell - who was married to Lombard at one point in his life - in as downbeat a film as he ever made: "Man of the World" which contrasts perfectly to the nutty portrayal Bing Crosby turns in during We're Not Dressing which also features a cameo by future film great Ray Miland (see if you can spot him). Lombard is hysterically funny mimicking Hollywood queen Greta Garbo in The Princess Comes Across, a film shot by the great cinematographer Ted Tezlaff. Hands Across The Table and True Confession are two of Lombard's best known films if not two that show off her talents in stellar fashion.
All the films included are eminently watchable, all are beautifully rendered on this re-mastering so that it can be said with no exaggeration that this collection is an outstanding introduction to the body of work Carole Lombard turned in during her tragically abreviated life, and it can also round out film collections that feature her better known works like "Twentieth Century" and "To Be Or Not To Be".
The other three titles, "We're Not Dressing", "Hands Across the Table" and " The Princess Comes Across" are dark prints in comparison to the previous versions issued on video cassette in 1995 by MCA/Universal, but otherwise are highly watchable. The sound quality on these movies is also excellent.
By this collection while you can, for the price it is a steal. It is well worth $100 or more!
Man of the world
This is a romantic story in which William Powell played an ex-newspaperman who escaped from the US to Paris and earned his living by blackmailing his fellow Americans. Carole Lombard caught his attention as a niece of a wealthy uncle. From here, the formulaic falling in love and William Powell's struggle with his guilty conscience ensued. However, the film managed to avoid falling into clichés. The dialogues were well-written and well-delivered. The way the two walked under moonlight just this close to revealing their feelings for each other was alluring. The subdued and sophisticated William Powell was definitely a Man of the World. Coupled together with the beautiful Carole Lombard with her sweet and mesmerizing camera face, it is a classic. And the ending is not the usual Hollywood ending which makes it a pleasant surprise. In real life, William Powell and Carole Lombard got married after making this movie.
Love before breakfast
Carole Lombard looked exactly the rich, beautiful and ready to be spoilt/tamed lady the movie needed. A light comedy where Preston Foster used a bag of tricks to lure her away from her finace. What made this more attractive than its present counterparts are its superior dialogues, the classy stars whose luxurious and carefree lifestyle were not forced but appeared more natural and refined. Imagine this film was produced 72 years ago, it was also credited with originality. A short, entertaining and romantic comedy.