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Universal Hollywood Icons Collection: Carole Lombard [2 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Hands Across the Table
After nearly a decade of nominal "leading lady" roles, Carole Lombard landed her first genuine starring vehicle with Hands Across the Table. Reasoning that the way to a man's heart is through his cuticles, Regi Allen (Carole Lombard) takes a job as a manicurist at a fancy barbershop, unabashedly admitting that she hopes to use this position to snag a rich husband. Sure enough, Regi's charms prove irresistable to Allen Macklyn (Ralph Bellamy) a wealthy and charming invalid, who knows that the girl is a golddigger but doesn't care. The other man in Regi's life is Theodore "Ted" Drew III (Fred MacMurray), who though born into a wealthy family is stone broke, and on the verge of marrying a rich debutante (Astrid Allwyn) to replenish his lost fortune. Hoping to briefly escape this fate and his other financial problems, Theodore hides out in Regi's apartment. It is, of course, a platonic relationship: Having been burned in the past, Regi doesn't want to get romantically entangled with a pauper, while Ted is already promised to someone else. But, as is often the case in 1930s comedies, things don't quite turn out the way that either Regi or Ted expect. Full of delightful, unexpected touches, Hands Across the Table proved to be a major boost for Carole Lombard's career, and didn't exactly do any harm to up-and-coming Fred MacMurray either. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

My Man Godfrey
One of the landmark "screwball" comedies of the 1930s, My Man Godfrey offers the radiant Carole Lombard in her definitive performance as flighty young heiress Irene Bullock, who on a society scavenger hunt stumbles on Godfrey (William Powell), an erudite hobo residing in the city dump. Godfrey becomes the family's butler, much to the dismay of Irene's father Alexander (Eugene Pallette), who thinks his household is crazy enough without another apparent lunatic under his roof. Halfway through the film, we discover that Godfrey isn't a penniless bum at all, but the scion of a wealthy Boston family. Having been burned by an unhappy romance, Godfrey dropped out of life, taking up residence in the dump. Here his faith in humanity was restored by his fellow indigents, who managed to survive and remain optimistic despite the worst deprivations. Meanwhile, however, he wants to straighten out the Bullock family, who he feels are a basically decent bunch beneath all their pretensions and eccentricities -- and along the way, of course, Irene determines that Godfrey will be her husband. While Godfrey's ultimate "solution" to the exigencies of the Depression seems more of a placebo, My Man Godfrey is all in all a totally satisfying jolt of 1930s-style wish fulfillment. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

True Confession
Carole Lombard stars as Helen Bartlett, a compulsive liar who always tips the audience to an oncoming whopper by sticking her tongue in her cheek. Helen is married to a Kenneth Bartlett, a scrupulously honest lawyer whose integrity has always held him back professionally. Hoping to help Kenneth get ahead, Helen confesses to a murder she obviously didn't commit, confident that he'll get her off and make his reputation. But things don't go exactly as planned, thanks largely to a mysterious eccentric named Charley (John Barrymore), who assures the heroine over and over that she'll "fry." Once considered a prime example of screwball comedy, True Confession is now regarded by film buffs as one of Carole Lombard's worst pictures: it wasn't much better when remade by Betty Hutton in 1946 as Cross My Heart. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Love Before Breakfast
Love Before Breakfast was the scintillating title Universal chose over Spinster Dinner, the Faith Baldwin novel upon which this airy comedy is based. Carole Lombard is a Park Avenue beauty squired by Preston S. Foster and Cesar Romero. Since neither gentleman is a prize catch, Lombard is fey and fickle throughout the film. That's all there is to Love Before Breakfast, which might have been completely forgotten had it not been for a famous 1930s-era painting in which a detailed poster for the film is the focus of attention. There's one iconoclastic alteration in the painting: Carole Lombard has been given a black eye. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Carole Lombard
    Carole Lombard - Regi Allen
  • Fred MacMurray
    Fred MacMurray - Theodore Drew III
  • Ralph Bellamy
    Ralph Bellamy - Allen Macklyn
  • Astrid Allwyn
    Astrid Allwyn - Vivian Snowden
  • Ruth Donnelly
    Ruth Donnelly - Laura
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