Release Date: September 1, 1934
Directed by: Clarence Brown
Available on DVD through The Warner Brothers Archive Collection
Gable is Mike Bradley, a South American rancher who falls for the glamorous Diana (Crawford) on a cruise ship. Diana falls for Mike too, despite the fact that she is romantically involved with a married Manhattan businessman, Richard (Kruger). She decides to leave Richard for Mike but, upon her return home, Richard tells her he has finally left his wife for her. Diana feels obligated to marry Richard and Mike is heartbroken.
In this, Otto Kruger is the aristocratic head of a shipping line, unhappily married to a snooty wife who, though interested in nothing more than his social position, nevertheless refuses to divorce him so that he may marry Joan Crawford.Joan is broken-hearted and goes on a long sea voyage for the purpose of thrashing things out with herself.And, there, on the bounding waves, whom should she find hanging over the rail of life but…Clark Gable!If your uncle on your mother’s side tries to tell you that the ocean scenes are synthetic, you can call his bluff r-r-r-right now. The company trekked clear to Balboa for the sole purpose of injecting the proper amount of realism into this particular sequence. And we (heaven help us) toddled along!The boat was a beauty and and everything was swell up until a stiff breeze sneaked up from nowhere and stirred up a Moby Dick sea that would have floored the captain himself.But, to go on with the story…At first, the girl spurns Gable’s platonic advances. But, as time goes on and Clark proves to be so utterly devastating, well…Nature takes its well-known course, and Joan, believing that her affair with Kruger is a hopeless issue, allows herself to be persuaded.After a few weeks, things come to such a pass that Joan doesn’t give a care if the Kruger amour is a hopeless issue! And, with Gable anxious to marry her, she returns, prepared to tell Otto all about it.But, Otto meets her at the train with a wedding ring and the startling announcement that he has finally persuaded the missus to drop her option on the Kruger affections.So…(meanie that I are!) here we leave you to figure out the finis for your little selves. And unless you happen to be a personal friend of the author, Edgar Selwyn, you’ll just have to wait up until Clarence Brown gets done directing the complications!
This is the story of the troubles and yearnings of a group of not-particularly-admirable who are made to appear by luxurious backgrounds and the high powered personalities of Clark Gable, Joan Crawford and Otto Kruger. We are asked to sympathize with the predicament of a millionaire’s secretary who is sent on a cruise to South America to decide whether she will go to her employer without the formality of marriage, and who discovers real love in the person of a young Argentine rancher aboard the boat.Returning to New York to inform the millionaire of her change of heart, she finds that he has divorced his wife and sacrificed his children to marry her and feels herself bound to him as a consequence.Highlights: Fun in the liner’s bar with Stuart Erwin, Clark and Joan. The love scenes reminiscent of earlier and more naive screen love making. The ranch scene with horses and colts.
It glitters, but isn’t goldChained is a better picture than it deserves to be, considering its well-worn and hokumish theme. Joan Crawford finds herself in another emotional muddle, a bit to the sordid, with Clark Gable on one side of her and Otto Kruger on the other. First, she is secretary to shipping-mate Kruger, who can’t persuade his wife to divorce him so that he can marry Joan, but has a substitute proposal. He sends her off on a Southern cruise to think it over. First she meets an amusing Americano (Stuart Erwin), then an Argentine rancher (Gable)—and well, you know the power-over-women these fiery Latins have. But she feels “chained” to her philanthropist, particulary after she discovers he has found a way to get a divorce, and marries him. Then, there being no villain, the hero still persues her. What should she do? That’s apparently what the scenarists wondered. Their solution of her predicament looks decidedly makeshift, solves nothing, proves nothing. If it weren’t for the acting, the general liveliness, and the settings, it would be time wasted.
Splendidly written, acted, directed and photographed. Joan Crawford’s employer, Otto Kruger, divorces his wife and gives up his children in order to marry her. But in the meantime, Joan has fallen madly in love with Clark Gable. Unable to tell Kruger, after his sacrifice, she marries him, only to have Gable come forward later and demand her release. Stuart Erwin turns in a grand comedy job.
Splendidly written, acted and directed, with Joan Crawford married to Otto Kruger and in love with Clark Gable. (Nov.)
“Your eyes are very beautiful–even when they’re bloodshot!”
“Honest now, are you engaged to be married?”
“No. Would that be one of my problems?”
“Well it might be. Ever been engaged?”
“Say, who have you known all your life, a lot of blind men?”
“I admit I was on the prowl until you dropped down from the sky.”
“Same old thing eh? Shipboard friends, then never to meet again?”
“Are you trying to turn the sun–our sun–into a firecracker? It can’t be done, Dinah!”
Behind the Scenes:
Filmed in six weeks.
Although their affair had cooled and both had moved on to others, Crawford later admitted that she and Gable “stole moments” to be alone together on the set.