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Carole Lombard: The Hoosier Tornado
     

Carole Lombard: The Hoosier Tornado

4.5 4
by Wes D. Gehring, Ray E. Boomhower (Editor), Kathleen M. Breen (Editor)
 

For millions of movie fans during the 1930s, an actress from Fort Wayne, Indiana, personified the madcap adventures of their favorite form of screen comedy screwball. Nicknamed The Hoosier Tornado for her energetic personality, Carole Lombard did as much as anyone to define the genre, in such films as Twentieth Century and My Man Godfrey. She also captured

Overview

For millions of movie fans during the 1930s, an actress from Fort Wayne, Indiana, personified the madcap adventures of their favorite form of screen comedy screwball. Nicknamed The Hoosier Tornado for her energetic personality, Carole Lombard did as much as anyone to define the genre, in such films as Twentieth Century and My Man Godfrey. She also captured America's attention through her romance and marriage with Clark Gable. Wes D. Gehring examines Lombard's legacy, focusing on the public and private figure from her early days as in Mack Sennett silent films, to her development as the leading motion-picture comedienne of her time, to her tragic death in a January 1942 plane crash following a successful war-bond rally in Indianapolis.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Lombard (1908-1942) was the brightest star in screwball comedy's constellation, and her tragic death at 33 made her a Hollywood legend. Ball State film professor Gehring celebrates Lombard's many gifts in this valentine. Born in Fort Wayne, Ind., and raised in California, Lombard has a quintessentially American, star-is-born saga: she parlayed talent and timing into a stellar career and marriage to Clark Gable, the king of MGM. In fact, Lombard, who often doubled as an uncredited producer, loved all things cinematic. A keen intelligence and show-biz savvy defined her as much as her boundless energy. The screen siren was fiercely democratic and wildly generous. Her fame grew with the movie industry-from early Mack Sennett shorts to the deft comic genius of My Man Godfrey and Nothing Sacred-and she embraced all the 20th century had to offer: feminism, free love and fun. Possessing classic beauty yet renowned for her eccentricity and ability to swear like a sailor, Lombard was also a survivor. A car crash when she was 17 nearly ruined her budding career, and only plastic surgery and, in her words, "determination and tenacity" kept her on film. Her undeniable charm bewitched many leading men of the 1930s, including George Raft and first husband William Powell. Lombard, who longed to flex her dramatic muscle, was killed in her prime. When she was heading home after a war bonds drive, her plane crashed. Gehring is clearly in love with his subject and details Lombard's life, times and some delicious backstage gossip with a historian's eye and a biographer's appetite for discovery. (Sept.) FYI: This is the first in the press's Indiana Biography Series, which pairs Indiana writers with Indiana subjects of note. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Vivacious and beautiful Carole Lombard, nicknamed the "Hoosier Tornado" because of her colorful, take-charge personality, became the queen of screwball comedies through her turns in My Man Godfrey and the acclaimed Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Relying on secondary sources, Gehring (film, Ball State Univ.) retells the well-known story of her life and zeal for practical joking and, consequently, adds no new information. A few years after Lombard sent a ham to Clark Gable with his picture on it, the two married. While on a war-bond campaign, Lombard tragically died at the age of 33 in a plane crash. These narrative threads aside, Gehring takes the standard approach of critiquing all of Lombard's films, which breaks up the natural flow of the biography. Gehring's book will interest only those who don't know anything about Lombard. If your library already owns Warren G. Harris's Gable and Lombard-the definitive biography of both stars-or any other Lombard studies, this is an unnecessary purchase.-Rosalind Dayden, South Regional Lib., Pembroke Pines, FL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780871951670
Publisher:
Indiana Historical Society
Publication date:
10/28/2003
Series:
Indiana Biography Ser.
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.10(d)

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Carole Lombard: The Hoosier Tornado 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Gehring is clearly in love with his subject and details Lombard's life, times and some delicious backstage gossip with a historian's eye and a biographer's appetite for discovery."--"Publisher's Weekly".   "Mr. Gehring....writes with ease and authority about Ms. Lombard's ascent to stardom and her pivotal role portraying women as alluring, ambitious, shrewd and witty." --"The New York Sun"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An often under appreciated actress, Gehring's Lombard text did bring added recognition to her by being a "Foreword Magazine"   "Biography Finalist" at BookExpo (Chicago, 2004)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have just recently become a Carole Lombard fan, so I was looking for a good biography to give me more information about the life of the screwball legend. While I felt that this book covered her early life and rise to stardom very well, it quickly turned into little more than a compilation of her movie reviews. The author spent far too much time interpreting the themes and facets of Lombard's movies and recounting her reviews from various magazines and newspapers. There was very little attention devoted to her LIFE once she became a Hollywood big name. There are a few colorful stories but, I know more could have been featured, especially those I've heard elsewhere about various entertaining instances during her marriage to Clark Gable. This biography was well-researched, but even I caught some careless errors. For example, it is said that Clark Gables 4th wife gave birth to his son, when it was his 5th. Also the author mispelled the name of Scarlett O'Hara as "Scarlet." Nothing big, but still, I feel that's unprofessional for a published author. In all, I enjoyed reading this book, but I have to say, I was disappointed in finding that I had not learned anything about Lombard's life that can't be found on wikipedia other than the in-depth recordings of her critical reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Prof. Gehring's elegant little volume is a welcome and long overdue bio-tribute to (in my opinion) the best thing ever to come out of Indiana. Carole Lombard was a truly innovative actress, one by whom the genre of 'screwball comedies' has come to be defined. Off-screen, her life was a trail-blazing example of all of the good parts of modern feminism. There is not an actress of the past 61 years who can hold a candle to her. I would definitely recommend this book to all those who wish to have a well-rounded idea of both the woman and the actress. It is written in a much more accessible manner than the 1975 biography 'Screwball' that was written by Larry Swindell. Not all of my favorite Lombardian tales are related in this book, but there are enough here to whet the appetite and inspire further research into this fascinating 20th Century (the century, not the film studio) personality.