After a decade of floating around Hollywood in thankless roles, Carole Lombard got the star treatment in this dramatic romance adapted from Mary Roberts Rinehart’s novel Lost Ecstasy. The film was long thought lost when a fire at Paramount Pictures destroyed the only surviving nitrate prints. Under her contract, Rinehart received a nitrate negative of the film, but she had only struck a 16mm safety print so she could see it, then tossed the negative. The 16mm print was rarely screened until a nitrate print was discovered at the UCLA Film and Television Archives, becoming the source of a 2017 35 mm restoration by UCLA Film & Television Archive with Funding provided by the Louis B. Mayer Foundation. What they discovered was a fascinating work in the early careers of Lombard and co-star Gary Cooper. She stars as a society girl sent to her family’s Western ranch to keep her from running off with a married suitor. There she clashes with cowboy Cooper before falling for him. With both stars delivering very effective performances, they capture a real sense of the characters’ inner, often unacknowledged drives, making their culture clash surprisingly moving. (d. Marion Gering, 72m, 35mm)
35mm restoration by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by The Louis B. Mayer Foundation.