Carole Lombard author gets two parties from Larry Edmunds

The nice guys at Larry Edmunds Bookshop are back in the swing of events with two book parties for Robert Matzen, author of “Fireball: Carole Lombard & the Mystery of Flight 3.”

Carole Lombard died  in a plane crash in 1942. She was 33.

Actress Carole Lombard died in a plane crash on Jan. 16, 1942. She was 33.

Matzen takes a fresh look at Hollywood’s Queen of Screwball Comedies, Carole Lombard, and examines the plane crash that took her life on Jan. 16, 1942. With TWA’s most experienced pilot flying a 10-month-old aircraft on a clear night, why did the flight crash into the side of a Nevada mountain?

Having just completed the first sale of war bonds and stamps, following the U.S. entry into World War II, Lombard became the first Hollywood star to sacrifice her life in the war. “Fireball” tells multiple stories: the passengers (including 15 members of the U.S. Army Air Corps), the friends and families left behind (such as Lombard’s husband Clark Gable) and the first responders who struggled up a mountain hoping to perform a miracle rescue.

There will be two signings this week:

From 8-10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 at the Museum of Flying, 3100 Airport Ave. in Santa Monica.

At 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18 at Larry Edmunds Bookshop, 6644 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-463-3273.

Hurrell's HollywoodAlso available at the bookshop is this essential book for any film lover’s library: “George Hurrell’s Hollywood: Glamour Portraits 1925-1992” by Mark A. Vieira, with a foreword by Sharon Stone.

Known as the Rembrandt of Hollywood, Hurrell (1904–1992) was the creator of the glamour portrait and played a crucial role in establishing the star power of Tinseltown’s elite. Perhaps most famous for his work with Joan Crawford, he also photographed Marlene Dietrich, Norma Shearer, Bette Davis, Jane Russell, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Warren Beatty and, as you can see from the book’s cover, the stunning blonde goddess, Carole Lombard.

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On the radar: photo l.a. show returns to Santa Monica, Lynch and Sirk films at the Aero, Carole Lombard classics on DVD

© Julius Shulman, Case study number 22, Playboy Image, C-print, 1960, Courtesy of Be-hold

Focus on style: photo l.a., now in its 22nd year, opens Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Work from 70 galleries and photography dealers from around the world will be on display. The show closes Jan. 21.

Auteurs at the Aero: On Friday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 p.m., the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica has a cool double-feature: David Lynch’s 1986 neo-noir “Blue Velvet,” starring Kyle MacLachlan, Laura Dern, Isabella Rossellini and Dennis Hopper, and “All That Heaven Allows” (1955, Douglas Sirk), a subversive love story about the romance between a lonely widow (Jane Wyman) and her gardener (Rock Hudson).

The Carole Lombard DVD set

Lombard love: TCM is bringing three early and rarely seen Carole Lombard performances to DVD. Carole Lombard in the ’30s will be available exclusively through TCM’s online store beginning Monday, Jan. 21.

With her sparkling presence and sharp timing, the stunning Lombard delighted audiences in some of the greatest screwball comedies ever made, but she spent the early part of her brief career playing dramatic roles and romantic ingénues. (Lombard died in a plane crash in 1942.)

Highlighting her lesser-known films, this DVD set includes fully restored and re-mastered editions of “No More Orchids” (1932), “Brief Moment” (1933) and “Lady By Choice” (1934).

The collection also features an introduction by TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz and bonus materials, including production stills, behind-the-scenes photos, lobby cards and movie posters.

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On the radar: Battle of the Blondes begins, AFI fest kicks off, poets ponder Los Angeles noir

Marilyn in "The Asphalt Jungle" tops the TCM list.

One more reason to love Turner Classic Movies: The network has compiled a list of 10 favorite movie moments featuring Marilyn Monroe. The list comes as TCM gears up for its Battle of the Blondes this month, which kicks off Nov. 2 with a Marilyn Monroe double feature.

First on the fave moments list is Marilyn looking up at Louis Calhern in the classic noir “The Asphalt Jungle” from 1950 directed by John Huston. Third on the list is her sexy walk in “Niagara,” Henry Hathaway’s 1953 Technicolor noir. (“Niagara” and 1959′s “Some Like It Hot” by Billy Wilder are tonight’s double bill.)

Throughout November, TCM will celebrate Hollywood’s greatest blondes. Each Monday and Wednesday night’s lineup will feature two blondes going head-to-head in a pair of double features, including Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield on Nov. 2, Veronica Lake and Lana Turner on Nov. 7, Judy Holliday and Jean Harlow on Nov. 9, Marlene Dietrich and Ursula Andress on Nov. 14, Carole Lombard and Mae West on Nov. 16, Janet Leigh and Brigitte Bardot on Nov. 21, Betty Grable and Doris Day on Nov. 23, Julie Christie and Diana Dors on Nov. 28 and Grace Kelly and Kim Novak on Nov. 30.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Best of the fest: The AFI FEST 2011, the American Film Institute’s annual celebration of international cinema from modern masters and emerging filmmakers, starts Nov. 3 with Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Noir gems include “Eyes Without a Face,” “The Killers,” “Nightmare Alley” “Le Cercle Rouge,” “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” and “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” Topping my new-viewing list is: “Miss Bala,” “Art History,” “Carnage,” “Shame,” “Kill List” and “The Artist.”

The festival runs through Nov. 10 in Hollywood and I look forward to covering it.

Lines to remember: Continuing through Nov. 13, the Los Angeles Poetry Festival is hosting Night and the City: L.A. Noir in Poetry, Fiction and Film. There are readings, screenings and discussions in various locations. I’ve marked my calendar for the Raymond Chandler open reading on Nov. 6 in Hollywood.

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