In a Nutshell: Never Let Me Go (1953)
Directed by: Delmer Daves
Co-stars: Gene Tierney
Synopsis: Gable is Philip Sutherland, an American war correspondent stationed in Moscow. He falls in love with Marya (Tierney), a Russian ballet dancer. After they wed, Philip receives orders to ship back to the United States, but they find that the Russian government will not grant Marya a passport to leave Russia. When Philip is tricked into leaving without her, he sets about forming a plan to smuggle her out of Russia.
Best Gable Quote: “When the time comes for me to go, you go with me or I don’t go at all.”
Fun Fact: Shot entirely in London, the coast of Cornwall and at MGM’s British studios. Filmed during a near-two year period in which Gable was overseas, filming also Betrayed (in Holland) and Mogambo (in Africa).
My Verdict: I didn’t like this one very much the first time I saw it, but it is one of those that I like a little bit more each time I see it. Although Gene was young enough to be Clark’s daughter, the romance here is very sweet and it is packed with suspense. I’ve always wished that they showed more of their relationship before they were thrust apart, just for dramatic effect, but that may just be me. Enjoyable film.
In a Nutshell: Mogambo (1953)
Directed by: John Ford
Co-stars: Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly, Donald Sinden
Synopsis: This is a remake of Gable’s 1932 hit, Red Dust. The setting and character’s names have changed, but the basic love triangle plot remains the same. Gable is Victor Marswell, who earns his living in Africa by trapping wild animals for zoos and carnivals. His no-nonsense way of life is interrupted by the arrival of Eloise “Honey Bear” Kelly (Gardner), a sassy showgirl from New York who is stranded there. They clash at first but soon are bedfellows. Just as Honey Bear leaves, anthropologist Donald Nordley (Donald Sinden) and his lovely wife, Linda (Kelly) arrive. Honey Bear’s boat wrecks and when she returns to camp, she finds that Victor now only has eyes for Linda. Heartbroken, she watches their affair unfold behind Donald’s back. Filmed on location in Africa, Mogambo features beautiful scenery and native chants instead of an instrumental score.
Best Gable Quote: “Certainly I’m drunk. But I certainly know what I’m saying. Listen Mrs. Nordley, you’re not going to tell me that you’ve been taking all this seriously are you? You know how it is on safari–it’s in all the books. The women always falls for the white hunter and we guys make the most of it, can you blame us? When you all come along with that look in your eye, ain’t a guy in the whole world that could–”
Fun Fact: Gable and Kelly began a romance during the filming. She called him “Ba”, the Swahili word for father, and they spent their free time fishing together or in his tent. She told friends that they even went skinny-dipping in Lake Victoria. The affair quickly ended after the shoot was moved to London for the interiors and Kelly’s mother began chaperoning them.
My Verdict: I don’t really like to think of this as the remake of Red Dust, because I think the two films stand by themselves as different entities. While Red Dust was a steamy romance, Mogambo is more an adventure romance. Being shot on location in Africa, the settings are absolutely beautiful and certainly beat MGM-crafted jungles. Clark is very distinguished-looking here and tan—you don’t blame Ava and Grace one bit. He’s got chemistry with both, the script is great and there is no shortage of action and adventure.