Adventure (1945)



Release Date: December 28,1945
Directed by: Victor Fleming

Greer Garson
Joan Blondell
Thomas Mitchell

Available on DVD through The Warner Brothers Archive Collection’s Movie of the Month, May 2012

Gable is Harry Patterson, a hard-boiled, womanizing sailor. When his ship is destroyed by a Japanese sub and he and his crew–including best pal Mudgin (Mitchell) –are stuck in San Francisco, he meets a stoic spinster librarian, Emily (Garson) and her bubbly roommate, Helen (Blondell). Despite their differences, Harry and Emily fall in love and impulsively decide to get married. They soon realize they made a mistake and Harry heads back out to sea. But he discovers maybe Emily has changed him and the life of a sailor isn’t as appealing as it was before.

Watch the trailer:

Quote-able Gable:

“Why don’t you put some ant powder on that captain’s pants!” first line

“Three goodbyes to one girl…I’m just a one woman man, aren’t I, Nick?”‘

“I’m not dying til I’m good and ready!”

“You’re a nice redhead. But I’m looking for a dame with green hair and purple eyes.”

“Come on, we’ll go in and get a nice big hunk of wisdom and a nice belly full of peace!”

“I’m not looking for trouble; I’m bringing it in!”

“I’ve never whispered in my life. How do I sound?”

“Kidding you gets me nothing, sister.”

“I don’t think you can die in here– I think they carry you in after you die!”

“Every day’s a Sunday for a sailor.”

“I don’t go to sea ’til my money’s spent!”

“I could never kill a rooster; life means too much to him.”

“I ain’t just picking on marriage. I mean anything that starts out exciting, see? It just leaks itself to death, all the zip, all the everything. You tell me one thing that stays exciting, just one!”

“A good crack on the jaw’d do you good!”

“Nobody talks to me and gets away with it! It, I’ll tell you want it is. It’s excitement, see, excitement that don’t die. I’ve seen life, oh have I, just when they think they’re going to lose it. I’ve seen women and children trampled on to get into life boats and when they do, they’re all safe and all ‘born again’. Oh boy. For life to be exciting, you’d have to have a shipwreck every day. So that’s what I’m looking for, wiseguy. If life’s exciting, you can throw the shipwrecks away. That’s all, just an easy pick-up. If I say the sea’s the only way that leads to it, it’s because the sea sounds like it. She does the talking and you do the listening. She sings out there; she’s full of bands. I picked on you to talk to and it’s because of the ocean in your eyes that done it. And I ain’t never saw it in no eyes before. And I’ll call it a day too. I’m sick to death of you!”

“So long, screwball!”

“Don’t get sweet, this ain’t no time to get sweet! Throw a rock!”

“I’m sick of smelling sailors!”

“The only flower that grows in a garden in familiarity. And they say it grows contempt.”

“Three days. Don’t regret a minute of it; one long laugh! She’d throw a kiss with one hand and a rock with the other! That screwball!”

“She was always saying goodbye to me from the moment we met! That screwball!”

“A guy can forget anything. Time does it. Time and distance.”

“Breathe! Breathe for us, pal. I want to give you to your mother! C’mon with it! You’ve got to do it, for me! For your mother! Atta boy!”

“Young William Mudgin Patterson.” last line

Behind the Scenes:

Production started on May 21, 1945.

Gable’s first film in three years, since returning from World War II. The film’s slogan, “Gable’s back and Garson’s got him!” was much hyped and often parodied.

Based on the 1934 novel “This Strange Adventure” by Clyde Brion Davis.

Gable and Garson did not get along well on set. She tried to be cordial but he was irritated by her “prima donna” penchant for closing the set during love scenes and stopping production every day at 4:00pm for afternoon tea.

This film reunited Gable with two of his Gone with the Wind costars: Thomas Mitchell and Harry Davenport. In both films, Mitchell dies and Davenport portrays a doctor.

The first Gable film since It Happened One Night to premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

At first, the film broke box office records for its opening weeks due to fans eager to see Gable’s return to the screen. But bad word of mouth and unfavorable critical reviews caused the audiences to fall off sharply. It was considered a commercial success however, earning a profit of $500,000.

Garson was one of MGM’s brightest stars when she made this film, with successes in hits such as Mrs. Miniver and Random HarvestAdventure was the last mildly successful film she made for MGM. She left the studio in 1954.