Carole Lombard - The Glamour Collection (Hands Across the Table/ Love Before Breakfast/ Man of the World/ The Princess Comes Across/ True Confession/ We're Not Dressing)
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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 (This being 1934, Norman Krasna's otherwise excellent script restricts Bellamy to the romantic sidelines with outdated feel-good sentiment.)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
Top Customer Reviews
Even the three better known titles - HANDS ACROSS THE TABLE, THE PRINCESS COMES ACROSS, WE'RE NOT DRESSING - are not that common, although they were all released on video in the 1990's. Carole Lombard was a major Paramount star but she made virtually all of her most famous films on loanout or after she left the studio.
All the crying about "multi movies" crammed on to discs seems a total waste of tears. I've watched LOVE BEFORE BREAKFAST and MAN OF THE WORLD and the prints are excellent, not perfect perhaps but definitely superior to prints that Warner Bros. used for LIBELED LADY and several THIN MAN titles - movies that WERE released "one to a disc" and cost about as much as the collection of FIVE Lombard films.
Universal gets a bum rap for their various multi-movie sets from a lot of people who don't even bother viewing the movies first!! Maybe some people think it's worth $20 to have a case and paper sleeve for every movie, but not this kid. MAN OF THE WORLD is one of Carole's first leading lady parts - she is only 22 here - and she's very beautiful but her future husband William Powell dominates this story of a con man who unexpectedly finds love. This movie isn't very good but it is a thrill to see a Lombard and Powell rarity. LOVE BEFORE BREAKFAST on the other hand is an absolute delight.Read more ›
The first disc contains the earliest three movies. A 23-year old Lombard is merely the innocent leading lady to William Powell (before they were briefly married in real life) in 1931's "Man of the World", directed by Richard Wallace and written by Herman J. Mankiewicz, a pre-code dramedy about a sophisticated con man, an American in Paris named Michael Trevor, who attempts to take advantage of Mary Kendall, the niece of a foolhardy millionaire he has befriended. As Trevor, Powell gets surprisingly dour in the heavier second half, and little of Lombard's natural élan is on display playing the love-blind Mary.Read more ›
I have to disagree with many of the classic film fans here who so passionately oppose multi-disc sets. Let's face it, when it comes to classic films we fans can not expect the royal treatment films like "My Man Godfrey", or "Gone With the Wind" receive to be given to programmers like "We're Not Dressing", and "Man of the World". If not for this set, these films would just be laying in a vault somewhere collecting dust. I would rather have these cheap flipper discs with quality video presentations than nothing. It's unreasonable to expect Universal to dote on every old film they release. Instead of directing anger at Universal, I'm going to give them praise for giving fans the chance to watch films that have been rarely seen since their original release.
The way these films are packaged is likely to be similar to the Gary Cooper collection released last year ie. five films with great quality prints squeezed onto two double-sided discs in a no-frills slip-covered fold out box.
For those of us who don't care about fancy packaging and only about great looking classic films at affordable prices this is exactly the way we want these early gems released. Well done, Universal keep 'em coming.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great Collection of Carole Lombard Movies, and for the price its worth every cent.Published 14 days ago by Jacinta
This collection has some nice movies in it. Some I liked more than other, but you'll have to decide for yourself. So get busy!Published 3 months ago by Great Expectations
All of these movies that Carole Lombard performed in are very well done.Published 5 months ago by Vincent Doraz
For the price I'm not complaining. Carole Lombard is one of my favorites so I consider this a good buy!Published 10 months ago by ixora
Carole Lombard one of those rare women who can be dazzling sexy and crazy funny. Jean Harlow could do that too. Such a tragedy we lost them both when they were so young. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Richard G. Lewis
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