Every February, I try my hardest to bring new (and hopefully interesting) content to this site, as a birthday celebration for Clark Gable. This year, I decided on something a little different.

I am constantly asked what Gable films I would recommend. I started “Movie of the Month” four years ago, and I still have years to go before I have devoted a month to every one of Clark’s 66 credited roles. I also do those in a rather random order, zipping back and forth through the decades. So, in the meantime, this month on DearMrGable.com will serve as a sort of Clark Gable Filmography Bootcamp! So, starting today and in chronological order, one or more Gable films will be featured, with a brief “in a nutshell” review (and with a mustache-based rating system!). So, let’s begin with Clark’s first credited role….

In a Nutshell: The Painted Desert (1931)

clark gable the painted desert

Directed by: Howard Higgin

Co-stars: Bill Boyd, Helen Twelvetrees, J. Farrell MacDonald, William Farnum

Synopsis: Western pardners Jeff (MacDonald) and Cash (Farnum) find a baby boy in an otherwise deserted emigrants camp, and clash over which is to be “father”. They are still bitterly feuding years later when they own adjacent ranches. Bill, the foundling whom Cash has raised to young manhood, wants to end the feud and extends an olive branch toward Jeff, who now has a lovely daughter. But during a mining venture, the bitterness escalates.

Best Gable Quote: “I did everything–wagon, mine and all. And I’d do it again. If you or any other man come between  me and what I want!”

Fun Fact: Clark’s first speaking role. He earned $750 a week.

My Verdict: A rather dull Western, with stilted acting and not much of a script. Clark is barely a footnote. mustache

It’s on DVD.

Read more here.

Ratings