No Man of Her Own (1932)
Release Date: December 30,1932
Directed by: Wesley Ruggles
Available on DVD from Universal Cinema Classics
DearMrGable.com’s Movie of the Month, October 2010
Gable is Jerry “Babe” Stewart, a crooked card shark on the run from a police investigator when he stops in on the sleepy small town of Glendale. There he meets the bored town librarian, Connie Randall (Lombard) who is just waiting for something exciting to happen to her. Their attraction is instant, although she tries to play hard to get. On the flip of a coin, they get married and she accompanies him back To New York, unaware of his seedy occupation. When she does figure out how he earns his money, she insists that he could play it straight if he wanted to. But he is conflicted–is he willing to give up his lifestyle for the woman he loves?
Photoplay magazine, March 1933
Clark Gable devotees and fanciers of Carole Lombard should take to this one. Gable in his best heart-fluttering way, and Carole, with lines as scintillant as her person and clothes, turn in delicious love-making episodes that more than redeem the story, a rubber-stamp affair about a card sharper who reforms for love. Fine support, particularly by Grant Mitchell, Elizabeth Patteron and Dorothy Mackaill.
Picture Play, April 1933
Old situations embellished with smart, up-to-date dialogue, a new set of players and clear-cut direction give this more than ordinary popular appeal, not to mention the most congenial role Clark Gable has had since it was discovered that he could play only himself well.
Here he is a card sharp who fleeces rich gamblers. Forced to seek refuge in a small town, he encounters a discontented librarian who is fair game for Mr. Gable and enables the director to show the possibilities of libraries after hours. The librarian outsmarts him, however, and he marries her,expecting to use her as a decoy in place of the cast-off inamorata. But his wife’s seeming trust and ignorance of his business cause him to go through the motions of being honest. Eventually he is reformed by her trustfulness and in order to clear his conscience voluntarily serves a prison sentence, after which he returns for the happy ending to find that his wife has learned about his self-imposed punishment. The ending is still happier because of it.
Though this is flashy, unsound and unbelievable, it is entertaining and Mr. Gable’s sex menace is expoited with all the stops out. He gives an attractive performance. So, too, does Carol Lombard although she seems too clever and resourceful to be bored and too worldly not to suspect Mr. Gable’s status from the first. However, she matches wits and sex consciousness with him–and properly forgets the libaray while she’s about it.
“It’s hereditary. No woman ever had anything to do with my father.” first line
“Well, you fishcake! Get some tomato sauce for this guy, will you Vargas, and feed him to the cat!”
“Listen kid, that thing you’ve got on is pretty thin but I’ve got tough skin, see, and I don’t feel it.”
“You know what gets me is why women can’t laugh when it’s over. It was all right, wasn’t it? What you bawling about?”
“You know I’m a hit and run guy–never have to comb any gal out of my hair. I’m free, see, and ankle chains give me the jitters.”
“I ever tell you I love you? You bet I didn’t. I’m a square shooter.”
“Who’s the live wire?”
“Do your eyes bother you?”
“They bother me.”
“That twinkle in your eye–wrap it up for me, will you?”
“What do you do with all the hearts you break, hmm?”
“I never disappoint a lady.”
“All right, what does a nice guy do–sit around and talk?”
“I never go back on a coin.”
“Darling, don’t be funny so early in the morning. I never laugh until I’ve had my coffee.”
“If you thought I was a crook why didn’t you come out with it instead of beating around the bush?”
“My affairs are my own and don’t butt into them!”
“This is my racket and I don’t have to explain to anybody.”
“I guess I’m a funny guy–can’t be managed.”
“You know if I wasn’t such a tough heel, you’d get under my skin.”
“Come here, you!”
“Oh, such a rough trip! Oh, no kidding. the third day out the waves broke over the top deck–a great big ocean liner, would you believe it? Honey, it was a regular hurricane, you should have seen the excitement! They even had passengers put on life jackets. Yeah they started lowering the boats…” last lines
Behind the Scenes:
Gable was swapped to Paramount to make this film because Marion Davies insisted on Bing Crosby as
her costar in her next project, Going Hollywood. As Crosby was Paramount’s most prized property
and Gable was MGM’s hottest new star, it seemed an equal trade.
Miriam Hopkins was originally cast for the female lead in the film, then titled No Bed of Her Own.
When she balked at being billed below Gable, she was replaced by the less-demanding Lombard.
At the film’s wrap party, Lombard gave Gable a ten pound ham with his picture pasted on it.
There was no evidence on the set to hint that Gable and Lombard were destined to be married in the future.
She was recently married to William Powell and Gable showed no interest in anything but a cordial friendship.
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