shirley temple christmas

In the January 1935 issue of Hollywood magazine, they printed “Santa’s book” of good and bad points for film stars. So who’s getting what they wanted for Christmas and who is getting coal?

CLARK GABLE

Good Points: For giving is It Happened One Night. Being always thoughtful of others. When a friend had no place to keep her dog, he gave it a home on his ranch.

Bad Points: Balks at picture assignments with women stars. Drives studio frantic by disappearing between pictures, when he is wanted for story conferences.

Gifts: More dogs to take care of

 

CAROLE LOMBARD

Good Points: Proved she could act in Twentieth Century. Came back to start Repeal like a good trouper, though still suffering from the shock of Russ Colombo’s death.

Bad Points: Still cusses when excited. But improving. Gets mad at stupid producers who want her to make stupid pictures, and makes one now and then in spite of herself. Put your foot down, Carole!

Gifts: A real vacation

JOAN CRAWFORD

Good Points: Kept her head and won respect by not rushing into another marriage. Has stuck by her career. Left off that extra splash of lipstick this year. Always gives us good pictures.

Bad Points: Suspicion that she has gone a bit coo-coo on cars. That big white limousine, and now that all white, satin upholstered roadster. Joan! How could you? And that horn can be be heard fully three miles!

Gifts: A plain Ford

JEAN HARLOW

Good Points: Well, you finally finished that book, Jean! I like you to stick to things that way. Add good point; not letting personal problems sour her. Made her mother happy with beautiful room in new home. Lifted Bill Powell out of the dumps.

Bad Points: O, hum, with 115 pounds distributed like that, what are Jean’s bad points? Hasn’t sent the editor a copy of “Today is Tonight,” her first book. Maybe he’ll find one in his stocking!

Gifts: A letter from every fan

SHIRLEY TEMPLE

Good Points: Refuses to be spoiled by compliments. Is Mrs. Santa Claus’ favorite actress. Can now spell her name and count. Invited all Hollywood (almost) to her birthday party.

Bad Points: Shirley, you mustn’t ask for so much gum–I heard you! After all, Mama isn’t made of gum! But I guess you’ve been a very good girl.

Gifts: Carton of gum

MARLENE DIETRICH

Good Points: When her studio make-up woman gave a little house-warming, Marlene came to the party and brought a gift. Keeps democratic; always lunches at Paramount cafe with common horde.

Bad Points: Caused great anguish and disappointment on return from Europe with trunks and trunks of gorgeous clothes–and then refused to appear in them, though all Hollywood waited in expectation, The meanie!

Gifts: Another director

BING CROSBY

Good Points: Now there is a fine lad; hope he continues to be a good boy, and gives us more like She Loves Me Not. Add two more good points–the twins. (Give Mrs. Crosby some credit there).

Bad Points: Got put in the doghouse during the making of We’re Not Dressing for keeping Director Taurog out all night. He and Carole Lombard tied a rope to the still man’s camera and hoisted it to the roof. Makes Paramount worry by putting on weight.

Gifts: Triplets!

WILLIAM POWELL

Good Points: The Thin Man–worth a dozen good marks. Got our favorite child, Jean Harlow, out of the dumps. Built a new home with a swimming pool for his nine-year-old boy.

Bad Points: Can’t find any black marks to chalk down against Bill. He has a good word for everybody, and everybody has a good word for him.

Gifts: Monogrammed hankies and scarf.

CLAUDETTE COLBERT

Good Points: For earning and keeping the admiration of all fans. Because her form has nothing but good points. For giving is her share of It Happened One Night.

Bad Points: Hates to take stills and is always trying to get out of it. Takes too many people’s advice and worries too much about meaningless criticisms if trivial matters.

Gifts: That long planned trip to Europe

GEORGE RAFT

Good Points: For never forgetting a friend.

Bad Points: That fist fight at the Brown Derby.

Gift: A night club

GARY COOPER

Good Points: Settling down to being a good husband. Never kicks about a picture role. Let Shirley steal one picture and gave her a present for it!

Bad Points: Has terrible memory or else a convienent forgetter. Spoiled one scene by putting on wrong tie and forgetting where the right one had been tossed.

Gift: A rifle

GRETA GARBO

Good Points: For just being the most fascinating star in pictures. For doing The Painted Veil. For creeping out of her shell a bit.

Bad Points: That inhuman hermit complex. Refusing to sign a new contract and keeping Metro and all her fans in suspense.

Gifts: A husband

 

From April 1935:

What would you do if you only had 24 hours to live?

carole lombard

Carole Lombard…wants to gather her friends around her for the last bow. Instead of just a few, she prefers a large gay cocktail gathering in her home.

“Because,” she said to me, “I think it would be great to go out with a ring of laughter and music in your ears, don’t you?”

cary grant

Cary Grant:

“By cable, telephones, wires and radios I would get in direct communication with the few people I have hurt during my life. With death hovering near, I could explain and ask their forgiveness, a thing that seems too difficult to do in the midst of life and loving. I would make my peace with them, and then I would go to some out of the way church and make peace with God.”

claudette colbert

Claudette Colbert:

“First, I hope I could arrange for those precious twenty-four hours to take place in New York City, and I’d like the day to be a Wednesday or a Saturday. I would want it this way so I could attend a matinee and another performance in the evening. You see, I would like to witness two whopping good plays on my last day on earth. And, somehow, I think I would like to find death in the same place where I first found life, in the theater.”

gary cooper

Gary Cooper:

“I’d charter a plane and fly up to the family’s ranch in Wyoming. The trip should take five hours, leaving nineteen for a swim and some fishing in the waterfall pool near the ranch house, a short ride into the mountains and one campfire meal. I can’t think of anything else more satisfying for my final day.”

bette davis

Bette Davis:

“I can forget every worry, fear and irritation in the High Sierras. I am sure I could even forget impending death there. I would want Ham, my husband with me, and, if possible, our two dogs. We have a special camping place in the northeastern corner of Kern County, California, that few people know about. I’d like to pitch camp there, catch one rainbow trout, cook it over an open fire, eat it, and then watch one of those impossibly beautiful mountain sunsets.”

clark gable

For Clark Gable there would be no heroics or dramatics. He would dispense with farewells, last talks with friends and loved ones, and would live his one short day as it were just another casual date on his calendar. “I’d like to go to work at the studio as usual, see familiar faces, do familiar things, eat familiar foods, that’s all.” And then after a full minute’s hesitation he added: “Oh, yes, just one more thing, I’d like to see a sunrise.”

Some of my favorite finds when I am scouring through old fan magazines are candids of random stars together. “I never knew that Blank ever even met Blank!” I often think, particularly now during “awards show season”, how the generations to come won’t feel similar joy, since there are thousands of pictures taken at every red carpet event, awards show and party and so thus the surprise of seeing stars posing together has dwindled.

Here are some shots of Clark with other Tinseltown folk…

clark gable robert taylor

with Robert Taylor

george burns gracie allen clark gable

with George Burns and Gracie Allen

clark gable errol flynn

with Errol Flynn

clark gable judy garland

with Judy Garland

clark gable margaret o'brien

with Margaret O'Brien

mickey rooney clark gable

with Mickey Rooney

marlene dietrich clark gable

with Marlene Dietrich

paulette goddard clark gable

with Paulette Goddard

jack lemmon clark gable

with Jack Lemmon

marilyn maxwell clark gable

with Marilyn Maxwell

roy rogers clark gable

with Roy Rogers

clark gable ann dvorak

with Ann Dvorak

clark gable susan peters

with Susan Peters

clark gable elizabeth taylor

with Elizabeth Taylor

clark gable ginger rogers

with Ginger Rogers

clark gable ann sheridan

with Ann Sheridan

clark gable shirley temple

with Shirley Temple

clark gable jayne mansfield

with Jayne Mansfield

clark gable marie dressler

with Marie Dressler

clark gable katharine hepburn

with Katharine Hepburn

clark gable james stewart

with Jimmy Stewart

 

nancy davis clark gable

with Nancy Davis

gary cooper clark gable

with Gary Cooper

clark gable bette davis

with Bette Davis

clark gable spencer tracy robert taylor william powell

with Spencer Tracy, Robert Taylor and William Powell

See more in the gallery.

The Los Angeles premiere of Gone with the Wind was 71 years ago this very evening.  Jean Garceau, Clark and Carole’s faithful secretary, attended the event with them. Here is how she described it:

The theater was decorated inside and out in keeping with the background and theme of the film. Huge searchlights probed the sky, bands played, streets were roped off and uniformed attendants held back the crowds as the police permitted only those cars with passes to draw up in front of the theater.

A long flower-decked canopy extended to the sidewalk and a master of ceremonies stood there to welcome the stars, announce their names over a loudspeaker and guide them towards a battery of microphones and cameras where they paused to extend their greetings as camera flashbulbs popped and fans shrieked their approval. Then they proceeded down the canopied walk into the theater.

When [my husband Russ] and I arrived, I was a step ahead of him after we left our car. The flashbulbs were blinding and I lost him in the crowd, partly because my long velvet cape billowed out so far he couldn’t reach me and partly because I was trying to avoid the cameras. We didn’t find each other until we reached the entrance, which seemed an interminably long time for me. For months afterward, Russ accused me of “going Hollywood” and trying to shake him so I could “make an entrance.”

Clark and Carole’s car was right behind us. Irene had designed a princess-like gold lame evening gown ad cape for Carole and she was breathtakingly lovely in it. Pandemonium broke loose in the stands when the fans caught sight of the Gables, and they were mobbed by cameramen. They posed with Marion Davis and Raoul Walsh.

Father Gable, Edna and Pinkie were there too, but Father Gable, who refused to ever wear a tuxedo, preferred to arrive quietly and occupy the seats Clark had reserved for them without being identified. Gone with the Wind was the only premiere Clark’s father ever attended.

It was an unforgettable evening. Every star in Hollywood was there and I’ve never seen a more glittering array of gowns and jewels, for everyone comes to “see and be seen.” Russ and I felt very elegant.

Of course I thought the picture was wonderful and Clark was superb. But there was so much going on that I actually enjoyed the picture more when I went back later to see if for the second time.

The premiere was THE premiere of the year and all of classic Hollywood’s elite attended.

Of course, here’s Clark and Carole. Carole’s gown and wrap were described as “stippled gold”.

Clark Gable, Carole Lombard

Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier. Her ensemble was described as “a white ermine coat over  [fuchsia] sequin-sprinkled souffle with its matching veil and sequined bag.”

Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier

Ginger Rogers, on the arm of GWTW costume designer Walter Plunkett. He also designed Ginger’s ensemble, which was described as “a very smart tunic gown of palest blue and silver lame, exactly matched by the turban which serves to conceal her currently dark hair. Her wrap is silver fox.”  Fun fact: By the time the pictures were printed, everyone knew, but Ginger had dyed her hair brown for the first time for her role in The Primrose Path and wore the turban so nobody would know until that film’s premiere.Ginger Rogers, Walter Plunkett

Cesar Romero and Joan Crawford. She also sported a white ermine wrap. Her dress was “flowing white crepe, tightly belted with heavy embroidery of gold beads to match the neckline.”cesar romero, joan crawford

Norma Shearer and George Raft. Yet another white ermine wrap (I am sensing a trend!)  Her dress was described as “blue appliqued satin.”

George Raft, Norma Shearer

Lana Turner, flaunting “a lynx coat which is very nearly as stunning as her tricky feather bird. The latter’s an anchor for the hood of Lana’s Gladys Parker gown.”Lana Turner

Margaret Sullavan and husband Leland Hayward. She is wearing “a broadcloth coat with [a] quaint elbow caplet and baby pillow muff–all banded in sealskin.”Margaret Sullavan, Leland Hayward

Tyrone Power and wife Annabella. She is wearing “a basque-waisted, full-skirted frock of brocaded satin damask under a white fox jacket.”Tyrone Power, Annabella

Mr. and Mrs. Gary Cooper. She is wearing a “shaggy ostrich jacket and blazing diamond earrings”.Gary Cooper

clark&carole167

From February 1937:

This is the thing that keeps Hollywood the town of enchanting contradiction and makes it the most unexplainable spot in the world.

Take one particular Tuesday evening in Hollywood, for instance.

At the Cocoanut Grove:

Lights, music, champagne, movie stars, a Joan Bennett surprise party, a director and a blonde actress breaking their hearts for a love they can’t have.

On a Laurel Canyon hillside:

A barbecue, Carole Lombard and Clark Gable, Gary Cooper and Sandra, his wife, hot sizzling steaks, stars overhead, old-time songs, new-time stories and mustard.

In the overflow meeting for a religious lecture:

Director Frank Capra, Ginger Rogers and her mother, Sid Grauman, Mary Pickford and Buddy Rogers.

A short article from June 1940 in which actress Ann Sheridan describes her ideal man:

IMG_0001IMG

Right here I’d like to mention that I don’t go around describing, unsolicited, my masculine ideal to everyone I meet. What I mean is, I was asked by Movie Mirror to do this…so in describing the sort of man I would choose if I were to marry I’m contriving a sort of composite of several men I know and like and admire…

He’d dance like Cesar Romero. The Romero dancing is in a class by itself.

He’d have Joel McCrea’s physique–tall, square-shouldered, rangy and not an ounce of spare fat on him! I hate bay windows, even small ones.

He’d have Clark Gable’s eyes, gray-blue and the kind that look at your straight. He’d have Gable’s nose and simples and his strong square chin.

He’d have Tyrone Power’s teeth, strong and white.

And Bob Taylor’s mouth, the most sensitive man’s mouth I’ve ever seen.

He’d have the charm of manner such as Gary Cooper possesses.

And he’d have the courtliness and poise that mark Franchot Tone.

He’d have Jimmy Cagney’s gentleness and his high morning spirits.

My composite would have Charles Boyer’s voice, slightly mysterious, caressing, the most persuasive voice I’ve ever heard.

And William Powell’s hands, the unmistakable hands of a gentleman.

And George Brent’s sense of humor. I’d rather marry a double-dyed villain than a man without a sense of humor. He’d have George Brent’s sophistication–that savoir-faire which is an indescribable combination of tolerance, wisdom, mental and social balance; and George Brent’s quick intellect, George Brent’s dependability, George Brent’s quiet air of authority which tells you if you were married to him he’d be the boss–but you’d like it!

Important to note here is that Ann was in the midst of a love affair with George Brent at the time of this article (can you tell?).  Apparently she didn’t like George being the boss in marriage, however—they were married in 1942 and the union lasted only one year.

That is quite a man she built though!