clark gable parnell

From March 1937:

Parnell will always be remembered in MGM records as the picture of the battle of the beard. Because Parnell wore a beard, they wanted Clark Gable, who portrays the great Irish leader, to grow one. Gable protested. Director John M. Stahl, stickler for realism, insisted and produced bearded Parnell photos. Gable hired a research expert, unearthed Parnell pictures showing him smooth shavem. Finally they shot tests of Gable wearing a false beard, and they looked so funny and foolish that they abandoned the idea.

During shooting of the production, the MGM commissary had to strike blackberry pie off of its menu, because the extras got their beards so discolored eating it at lunch that they photographed differently in the afternoon’s takes!