Somewhere I’ll Find You (1942)
Release Date: August 27,1942
Directed by: Wesley Ruggles
Available on DVD through The Warner Brothers Archive Collection
Gable is Jonny Walker and Sterling is Kirk Walker, brothers who work together as war correspondents for a New York newspaper, just returning from overseas. They aren’t home for long before they are competing for the affection of Paula Lane (Turner), a reporter who flip-flops between the two. When Paula is sent on assignment to Indochina and disappears, the brothers are commissioned to find her. Once they do find her, Pearl Harbor happens and the three of them end up in Bataan: Jonny reporting for the paper, Kirk as a solider and Paula as a Red Cross nurse. The film was a “flag waver” meant to inspire war bond sales.
Watch the trailer:
“Hey, hey, they go bang bang, not boom boom!” first line
“I’m a reporter not a psychologist.”
“If she won’t keep another half hour she spoils too easily!”
“Don’t hurry. Most accidents occur in the bathroom!”
“Hey, you like yourself a little bit, don’t you?”
“A man may want to spend the next ten years of his life in bed with his hat on, but he can’t. History won’t let him.”
“There’s no question about it. You’re the one–the gal I’ve been thinking about all these years. Just a girl I made up in my mind. One of my better dreams. I never thought I’d meet her. Suddenly a bathroom door opens and whambo!”
“Sense has nothing to do with the way we feel. The thing to do is close your eyes and let yourself go.”
“Here’s lesson number one: When you find a blonde the right age and weight who knows the value of suspense, that’s bad.”
“Remind me to be with you the next time you pick out a hat!…Too much of it. Hair like that should be seen, not buried!”
“You’re a fire hazard to some plans I’ve got.”
“I don’t know about you; I’m here to gather newsbuds while I may.”
“She looks like a piece of cheese the rats have been at!”
“I came here to write news, not make it.”
“Always kiss goodbye, it’s polite.”
“You’re as pretty as a picture in a fifty-cent magazine.”
“Stop sniveling, towhead! You don’t cry for heroes.”
“Remember that, Tokyo–more to come!” last line
Behind the Scenes:
Gable’s wife, Carole Lombard, died when her plane crashed into Table Rock Mountain near Las Vegas, Nevada on January 16, 1942. She was 33. She had been selling war bonds (2 million of them) in her home state of Indiana. She had wanted Gable to join her but he couldn’t because he was set to start filming on Somewhere I’ll Find You. Instead her mother, Elizabeth Peters, and Gable’s longtime publicist and close friend Otto Winkler accompanied her. All perished in the crash. Filming was halted January 17-February 22 while Gable mourned and made funeral arrangements. Nobody was sure that he would return to the picture at all and Louis B. Mayer had Robert Taylor waiting in the wings to take over the part if Gable wasn’t up to it.
When he did return to the set, Gable did not want to be babied or coddled in any way. Finding that the title might hit a bit too close to home for Gable, the producer suggested they change it to “Red Light.” Clark insisted they retain the original title.
After Gable returned, studio head Louis B. Mayer summoned Lana Turner to his office. He told her that things were going to be very trying around the set. “Now Lana, here’s where you come in. You’re going to be very patient with him. If his mind wanders, don’t be upset, you just be ready at all times. If he wants to come in earlier, you be there before him. If he wants to work through lunch, do it. A lot of the pressure of this picture is going to be riding on your shoulders.” Lana agreed and said she’d do her best. She recalled that Gable was the ultimate professional on the set and needed no special handling.
Usually when he was filming, Gable would eat in the MGM commissary, welcome visitors to his trailer, and join in card games between takes. Not on this film. The set was closed and guarded by MGM security to keep out the press. Gable ate all his meals and spent any time between takes alone in his trailer with the door closed.
Turner was horrified when the rumor reached her that Lombard had taken the plane instead of her planned train because she was uneasy about leaving Gable alone working with Turner. Turner claimed she hardly knew him as a person and always denied any romantic entanglements with Gable, before and after Lombard’s death.
Ironically, the only other film in which director Wesley Ruggles had directed Gable was his one feature costarring Lombard: No Man Of Her Own.
This was Gable’s last film for nearly three years. He joined the Army Air Corps just before this film was released (much against MGM’s wishes), in honor of Lombard and to serve his country. He did not return to the screen until 1945, after he was discharged.
Gable did not see this film at all (he did not even attend screenings of the day’s rushes during the filming) until MGM gave him a personal copy of it in 1956.