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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Why Carole Lombard Can Pop Up At My Typewriter Anytime

The famous 'Howard the Typewriter' scene from True Confession (1937), involving Carole Lombard as cheerfully compulsive liar Helen Bartlett with Una Merkel as Daisy and Irish actor Tom Dugan as "Typewriter Man" (Mr Macdougal?) . The poor old typewriter gets bounced around a lot!
It's 73 years and a week since Carole Lombard, the highest paid and most gorgeous Hollywood star of the late 1930s, died, aged 33, in a plane crash at Double Up Peak, 32 miles south-west of Las Vegas. Happily, she left behind ample photographic and filmic evidence of her stunning beauty.
These included images, still and moving, of her using typewriters.
At least two of Lombard's movies, Up Pops the Devil in 1931 and True Confession (1937), prominently featured typewriters.
Up Pops the Devil was about an advertising man (Steve Merrick, played by Norman Foster) who quits his job to become a novelist, upsetting his wife (Anne Merrick, played by Lombard) and straining their marriage. 
Quite why the typebars on Norman Foster's typewriter are raised in this way I cannot imagine. Maybe he'd hit them with the frying pan and cooking ladle?

Screwball comedy True Confession was a box office success and one of Lombard's "wackiest" films. She played pathological liar Helen Bartlett, who wrongly confesses to murder. Bartlett is a typewriting "writer" but cannot think of anything to write and instead lives in her fantasy world of telling lies.  
Carole Lombard with press agent Russell Birdwell in 1938.


Bill M said...

Love the video. Too bad the typewriter was not a Hermes Baby.

Robert Messenger said...

Good point Bill but it might not have rattled so much when it hit the coach!

Robert Messenger said...

Couch I mean

Richard P said...

Fun -- I hadn't seen the movie.

I think my favorite photo of her is the one in the cookbook.

VP81955 said...

Here's another recipe from her if you're into soups. It's from my classic Hollywood blog, Carole & Co., which celebrates its eighth anniversary today: