Watching 1939: In Name Only (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film:  In Name Only (1939)

Release date:  Aug. 4, 1939

Cary Grant, Carole Lombard, Kay Francis, Charles Coburn, Helen Vinson, Katharine Alexander, Jonathan Hale, Nella Walker, Peggy Ann Garner, Maurice Moscovitch, Alan Bates, Spencer Charters, Grady Sutton (uncredited)

Studio:  RKO Radio Pictures

Director:  John Cromwell

Widowed mother and artist Julie Eden (Lombard) meets wealthy Alec Walker (Grant). As the two become friends and fall in love, Julie learns that he’s married to Maida (Francis), who Alec’s parents (Coburn, Walker) adore. Alec has long been unhappy with Maida, who he knows married him for his money, but Maida is unwilling to let him go.

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Watching 1939: Made for Each Other (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film:  Made for Each Other (1939)

Release date:  Feb. 10, 1939

Cast:  Carole Lombard, James Stewart, Charles Coburn, Lucile Watson, Bonnie Belle Barber, Eddie Quillan, Alma Kruger, Irving Bacon, Louise Beavers, Ward Bond, Esther Dale, Harry Davenport, Olin Howland, Ruth Weston, Donald Briggs (uncredited)

Studio:  Selznick International Pictures

Director:  John Cromwell

While in Boston for business, attorney John Mason (Stewart) marries Jane (Lombard) after only knowing her for a few days. Not everyone is excited about the new couple’s marriage. John’s demanding boss, Judge Doolittle (Coburn), isn’t a fan of the marriage and doesn’t approve of honeymoons. Gossip also paired John with Doolittle’s daughter, Eunice (Weston). John’s mother (Watson) also passed out dead in a faint and is critical of everything Jane does. The couple faces tensions as they get to know each other, particularly with John’s job. The couple has a baby and on New Year’s Eve of 1938-39, the child comes critically ill.

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For the fallen: Performers and Artists killed during World War II

This article was updated on May 25, 2020. 

During World War II, some of Hollywood’s top stars went overseas to fight. From Clark Gable, James Stewart and Robert Taylor, each returned home to their careers, though they also were changed people from their war experiences.

But some performers didn’t return home from World War II.

In honor of Memorial Day, I would like to highlight those who were killed during World War II, whether it be on the battlefield, in training camp, helping with the war effort, or surrounded by mysterious circumstances. some of these people were actors who enlisted, while others were taking part in the war effort:

Phillips Holmes

Phillips Holmes (July 22, 1907 – August 12, 1942) Phillips Holmes was an American actor who starred in 48 films from 1928 to 1938, though the bulk of his films were made in the 1930s. Some of his filmography includes An American Tragedy (1931), Dinner at Eight (1933) and Great Expectations. In 1938, Holmes decided to turn his attention to the stage. However, when World War II began, Holmes and his brother Ralph enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941 before the United States entered the war. Holmes graduated from Air Ground School in Winnipeg. On Aug. 12, 1942, while flying to another base in Ottawa, their plane collided with another aircraft in Ontario and killed everyone on board. Holmes was 33 years old.

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Musical Monday: We’re Not Dressing (1934)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

we're not posterThis week’s musical:
“We’re Not Dressing” –Musical #264

Paramount Pictures

Norman Taurog

Carole Lombard, Bing Crosby, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Ethel Merman, Leon Erroll, Ray Milland, Jay Henry

-Heiress Doris Worthington (Lombard) is on a yatch trip with her friends (Erroll, Merman) and two princes who want to marry her (Milland, Henry). However, Doris keeps going between making eyes at and arguing with singing sailor Stephen Jones (Crosby). An accident causes the yacht to sink, and Jones ends up with Doris and her helpless, wealthy friends on an uninhabited island. None of them are used to working and Jones is the only one with survival skills. He soon has everyone except Doris working. Also on the island are husband and wife explorers (Burns, Allen).

Carole Lombard and Bing Crosby in "We're Not Dressing"

Carole Lombard and Bing Crosby in “We’re Not Dressing”

-The song “The Animal in Me” was performed by Ethel Merman but was cut from the film. It was later used instead in “The Big Broadcast of 1936” (1935). Merman’s song “He Reminds Me Of You” was also cut from the film.
-Based on a 1902 play, “The Admirable Crichton.”
-Filmed on Santana Catalina Island.

-During the credits, the waves are used as a transition.

-Gracie Allen and George Burns

Droopy the Bear swoons for Bing Crosby's singing.

Droopy the Bear swoons for Bing Crosby’s singing.

Notable Songs:
-“Goodnight, Little Lady” performed by Bing Crosby
-“She Reminds Me of You” performed by Bing Crosby
-“I Positively Refuse to Sing” performed by Bing Crosby
-“Love They Neighbor” performed by Bing Crosby
-“It’s Just an Old Spanish Custom” performed by Ethel Merman and Leon Errol (Only notable because it’s only one of two songs the famous singer performs)

My Review:
If you’re looking for a film complete with a shipwreck and dancing bear who swoons for Bing Crosby’s crooning, this is your movie.
“We’re Not Dressing” is odd, off-beat and mildly irritating at times. But for me- none of that is really a commentary on any of the stars. Except maybe for Leon Errol. He always annoys me.
Lombard and her gaggle of socialites are sailing on the Pacific ocean. We are never told what their destination was supposed to be, but I don’t think that is actually important in the script. I think the fact that they were aimlessly sailing in a yacht with two princes was just to emphasize spoiled Lombard’s wealth.

Lombard and her two princes- Ray Milland and Jay Henry.

Lombard and her two princes- Ray Milland and Jay Henry.

Also to reiterate the wealth is her pet bear named Droopy. Droopy loves when Bing Crosby sings. At one point Droopy the Bear even roller-skates around the boat.
The boat crashes when drunken Leon Errol attempts to steer the boat, causing it to capsize.
Once on the island, Lombard is angry because Crosby won’t act as a servant to her, even though she fired him while they were on the boat. Predictably, Lombard ends up falling in love with Crosby.
Bing Crosby’s character is probably the only sane person in the bunch. He also gives the best performance. But you better love Crosby’s crooning if you watch this film, because he sings roughly seven songs in this 74 minute film.
Carole Lombard is beautiful and her comedy isn’t overwhelming (I love My Man Godfrey, but I feel like I have to catch my breath at the end). Her character is very huffy though, so that was a bit annoying.
Ethel Merman was wasted, singing only two songs, and so were Gracie Allen and George Burns. For me, Allen and Burns were the true bright spot of this movie.
With a cast boasting so many big names, I think the real issue here is the goofy story line.
I won’t say I didn’t like “We’re Not Dressing,” it just sort of left me feeling scattered and scratching my head at the end, wondering what I just watched.

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Classic Christmas Addiction

Part of why I love Christmas is getting to watch my favorite classic holiday films such as “Christmas in Connecticut”, “White Christmas” and “Remember the Night.”

But I also love looking at Christmas related photos with classic actors and actresses.

Every day since December 1, I’ve been posting a Christmas related photo on Comet Over Hollywood’s Facebook Page, and searching for the day’s photo can be an addicting task.

Even long after I find the photo of the day, I keep browsing-marveling at the ridiculousness of vintage Christmas photos.

I’ve found these classic photos can be divided into categories. Here are some examples:

Glamour: These photos show actors looking beautiful and wealthy at their homes during Christmas.


Gina Lollabrigida looking glamorous in her Christmas tree

Copy of Carole Lombard

Carole Lombard

glam paulette goddard

Paulette Goddard

glam jean harlow1

Jean Harlow

glam Anite Page

Anita Page in 1932

glam christmas jennifer jones

Jennifer Jones

Adorable and cute: These involve child actors or actresses looking sweet and angelic. 

cute jackie cooper

Jackie Cooper

Bacall And Bogart

The Bogart: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall and their son Stephen.

cute leslie

Joan Leslie

cute keatons

Buster Keaton and Natalie Talmadge with Junior and Bob

cute our gang

The children of Our Gang

cuteNatalie Wood

Little Natalie Wood

cute Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple in 1935

cute Priscilla Lane

Priscilla Lane

rita hayworth

Rita Hayworth

Ridiculous or funny: Photos that try way to hard to make a photo Christmasy or make it a sexy Christmas photo.

Dorothy Jordan and Gwenn Lee, I don't even understand what's happening.

Dorothy Jordan and Gwenn Lee, I don’t even understand what’s happening.

Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford flirting with Santa in 1932

Janet Leigh

Janet Leigh with a Christmas tree hat

Esther Williams

Esther Williams in unreasonable winter clothing

funny Maureen Osullivan

Maureen O’Sullivan…..dressed as a choir boy.

funny Margaret Obrien

Margaret O’Brien…wrapped as a package?

funny Clifton Webb

Clifton Webb as the most unlikely Santa Claus

Visit Comet for more holiday fun this month!

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Beauty Tip #27: The 1940s Snood

This is the twenty-seventh  installment of the monthly classic actress beauty tips that I have read about and tested.  

For me, the 1940s is the best fashion era.

Carole Lombard sporting a snood.

Carole Lombard sporting a snood.

The clothing, the makeup and the hairstyles all leave me drooling. One of my favorite 1940s fashion styles that I see in the movies is the “snood.”

A snood is head scarf, usually netted in the 1940s, that fits almost like a hood. Hair is fitted inside a sort of a sack that sits on the back of the head.

Snoods were worn in the Middle Ages, 1860s and were again reintroduced during World War II, not only for fashion but to keep hair from getting caught in machinery while doing war work.

The first time I wore my snood.

The first time I wore my snood.

As my hair has been getting longer, I was trying to figure out different ways to style it and keep it out of my face, so I decided to bring my classic film tastes and love for 1940s fashion into my life and bought a snood.

While some snoods tie, mine is elastic.

To wear it, I brushed my hair back away from my face, pinned it in place behind my ears with two bobby pins on each side, and put my hair inside the snood. I set the snood about half way back on my head.

While I was worried about looking like a lunch lady with a hair net, I’ve gotten several compliments on the snood and only a few from friends, jokingly saying I look like a sheep herder.

To review: I love wearing my snood and it successfully keeps my hair out of my face while giving me both a modern, yet vintage look. The one I bought was only $5 on ebay, but I plan to buy more decorative snoods in the future.

Here are some other classic actresses sporting the snood look:

Barbara Stanwyck with Henry Fonda in "The Lady Eve" (1941) wearing a snood.

Barbara Stanwyck with Henry Fonda in “The Lady Eve” (1941) wearing a snood.

Ginger Rogers in "The Major and the Minor" with a snood.

Ginger Rogers in “The Major and the Minor” with a snood.

Ann Sheridan in "Thank Your Lucky Stars" (1943) with a snood

Ann Sheridan in “Thank Your Lucky Stars” (1943) with a snood

Stop by back in January for another classic actress beauty tip.

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A vigil for Carole

Today marks 70 years since Carole Lombard died in a plane crash in Nevada on her way home from selling war bonds.

She was one of America’s most beautiful, funny and sincere actresses.

I wanted to take a moment and pay tribute to Carole, her films and her patriotism.

If you have Twitter, I would like to try to get #VigilforCaroleLombard trending today. Thank you!

Patriotic Carole: Shortly after America entered the war, Carole Lombard was recruited by MGM’s publicity department to sell War Bonds, according to the History Channel. She was returning home from selling War Bonds in her home state of Indiana when her plane crashed outside of Las Vegas, killing 20 passengers including Carole and her mother. The following photos are from a War Bond Rally where she raised $2 million.

Carole selling war bonds (LIFE)

Singing the "Star Spangled Banner" during a war bond sale. (LIFE)

Selling war bonds (LIFE)

Carole and Clark: It’s no secret that Carole Lombard and Clark Gable are my favorite Hollywood couple. They were married in March 1939 until her death in 1942. Most people, including myself, think that the couple were soul mates.  The two still acted, but seemed to be living a simpler life on their ranch; raising chickens and Clark teaching Carole how to farm. Gable was devastated after her death and began drinking heavily. He enlisted in the Army and told friends that he didn’t care if he came back or not. Carole had a dachshund named Commissioner that followed Clark Gable around after she died.

Hands down favorite photo of Carole and husband, Clark Gable.

Carole and Clark having an intimate conversation.

Beautiful in color on their ranch in San Fernando Valley.

Clark taught Carole about farming, and she was eager to learn.

Gable bought prize winning $20,000 chickens. Unknowingly, Lombard gave these chickens to needy families. Gable joked they had an expensive chicken dinner!

Another all time favorite photo of mine-Clark and Carole quail hunting.

Carole in pigtails, quail hunting.

This is the cutest photo.

Carole and a chicken!

Carole and her dachshund Commissioner.

Carole the movie star: In my opinion, Carole is one of the most beautiful and versatile of the classic Hollywood stars: she could be sexy, hilarious and dramatic. She had flawless skin, golden hair and fabulous style. But she was also one of the guys on set, cussing like a sailor and making jokes.

Carole the glamorous film star.

Carole on the radio. I love her hat and fur. Very glamorous.

Perfect example of Carole Lombard: sexy and hilarious.

I think this is from "Lady By Choice." Feel free to correct me

The look I strive for. My role model.

 Carole Lombard: 1908 – 1942

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Caroletennial (+3)- The simple glamour girl

The Gables: Words can not describe how I feel about this photo.

Since Thursday, October 6, Vincent over at Carole and Co blog has been hosting a blogathon celebrating the 103 birthday of the lovely and fascinating Carole Lombard.  I adore Carole Lombard and have been wanting to participate in the blogathon but I’ve had a hard time picking the right topic to discuss.

Though I am a huge fan of Carole, I unfortunately don’t too know much about her life. However, I have been reading about her life with Clark Gable lately and I’ve fallen even more in love with Carole.

I originally got interested in Carole Lombard for her glamour, sex appeal and fantastic taste in clothing. But I fell in love with the down home and earthy Carole she became with Clark Gable.

I’ve read articles that criticized how Carole changed when she and Clark started courting and got married. She wasn’t seen at night clubs as much and it was harder to get interviews with her. But all of this makes sense to me, she was in her 30s and was ready to start settling down.

Clark Gable was more interested in farming, outdoors and exploring than acting and Carole picked up on these interests.  I’ve read criticisms that Carole shouldn’t have changed herself and taken on the interests of her husband.  Carole said, “A woman’s a fool who doesn’t make her husbands interest her own,” according to a post from I’m inclined to agree with her.

Enough of my opinions.

Here are a few photos that made me fall in love with the homespun, Earthy Carole Lombard instead of the glittering, shining movie star.

Out doors Carole

Looking lovely in pigtails with a gun.

Carole fishing

Had to post this one because I think its hilarious and might show a bit of her character. (LIFE)

This post is for Carole and Co's Caroletennial (+3) blogathon!

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Actress Beauty Tip #17: Carole Lombard Curls

**Firstly, happy birthday to my dad-famous to all of you for his insightful “Summer Place” comments 🙂 **

This is the seventeenth installment of the monthly classic actress beauty tips that I have read about and tested.

1930s Carole Lombard hairstyle I was trying to copy

In honor of Carole Lombard’s birthday on October 6 (what also happens to be my mother’s birthday), I wanted to try to style my hair like her’s.

I’ve always loved the way her hair is a soft halo around her face, particularly in the late 1930s and early 1940s.  However my hair is too short to accurately copy that styles so I decided to try Carole”s early 1930s look.

I’m not the best at styling my hair so I kept it simple and used heat curlers.

After heating the curlers, I divided my hair into four sections-2 on my left and right side and one in the back. Then I rolled my hair under and all the way up to the root.  I kept my hair parted to the side when I rolled my hair. I let the curlers sit in my hair and then unrolled them. This was the result:

Front shot of my hair

Side shot

Back shot of my hair-had a hard time in the back with the short hair along my neck

To review:  I was pretty pleased with the way my hair turned out and thought it was sorta similar to early 1930s Carole. I did have a hard time rolling my hair because it was slick. If any of you have this issue, maybe try spraying a light coat of hairspray on your hair first- I’m going try this next time. My hair has been short since October 2009, but I plan on growing it out this year-that way I can test some 1940s actress hairstyles for more beauty tip fun.

Check back next month for November’s beauty tip. Also check back this weekend for more Carole Lombard fun for the Carole Lombard blogathon celebrating Carole’s 103 birthday!

Check out Carole & Co's blogathon!

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