Clark Gable was famous for thirty years and in that time signed a lot of things–pictures, movie posters, books, handkerchiefs, napkins, hairbows, baseballs, hats…I’ve seen it all. This one, however, is new to me. Here Clark has signed–and inscribed–a copy of Gone with the Wind in Italian!
Clark Gable writing in Italian! I would believe that this was inscribed while he was in Europe, either during his tax hiatus in 1952-1954 or while he was in Italy filming It Started in Naples in 1959. I am no expert on the various editions of GWTW so maybe someone can help me out with the year.
I also know very little Italian, but this seems to say something about “express my love to mother” and the lady’s last name. Peculiar. A rare item at any rate, it was sold at auction a few years ago for $300.
2014 has brought about the 75th anniversary of Gone with the Wind, which has been met with much deserving fanfare. No doubt, Rhett Butler is who draws the majority of people into Clark Gable fandom these days.
But this year brings about another important film milestone: the 80th anniversary of It Happened One Night, the little-film-that-could, one of the greatest romantic comedies ever made and the first to win the Academy Award “grand slam”: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay. It is safe to say that if Clark had never played Rhett Butler, he would be remembered best for Peter Warne.
Director Frank Capra, one of the most renowned directors in the history of cinema, stated once that “a film about the making of It Happened One Night would have been much funnier than the picture itself.” I don’t know about that, but it sure would make a funny satire about movie making.
It Happened One Night started out as a magazine short story called “Night Bus” that was bought by the lowly, “poverty row” Columbia Pictures for a mere $5,000. Capra, not yet at the top of his game and known mostly at that time for the pre-code dramas he made starring Barbara Stanwyck, was not pleased about being assigned to direct this little bus film and argued with studio head Harry Cohn about it. He went off to Palm Springs with screenwriter Robert Riskin to try and squeeze some magic out of a tired old bus story.
Columbia didn’t have the payroll to house big names, so they always struck deals with other studios to get stars in their pictures. Capra and Cohn were excited to get some of MGM’s roster to be in their little bus picture. One of the first to turn down the script was Myrna Loy who recalled later, “Oh, I’ve taken flak for refusing that picture. Frank gave it to me for years…But let me say, here and now, they sent me the worst script ever, completely different from the one they shot. I’ve had others corroborate that… That girl was unplayable as originally written. I mean, we’re in the middle of the Great Depression and she’s running away because being rich bores her.” Her refusal was followed quickly by Constance Bennett, Miriam Hopkins and Margaret Sullavan. At the same time, Columbia was also making Twentieth Century and for that they were borrowing a certain Miss Carole Lombard, so they struck a deal to borrow Claudette Colbert for “Night Bus” as well. She balked at first, as she was due for a lengthy vacation. They were only able to secure her by promising a $50,000 paycheck and a written promise that the film would be completed in under four weeks.
It’s been widely reported that Clark Gable was sent to Columbia to star in IHON as a punishment for sleeping around with Joan Crawford despite Louis B. Mayer’s objections, and for missing weeks of filming due to a severe blood infection and causing production delays on Dancing Lady. Some reports say that isn’t true, that it wasn’t a punishment, it was just a deal between MGM and Columbia. Either way, Clark wasn’t happy. Robert Montgomery had already been secured and the contracts were being drawn up when suddenly Mayer withdrew his offer of Montgomery and replaced it with Gable.
Capra was at first elated to being offered Clark to star in his little bus film. But after his first meeting with the MGM star, he rightfully soured on the idea of Clark as the leading man. Capra remembered vividly his first encounter with Clark:
My open doorway darkened; tall, square-shouldered Gable stood there swaying, hat rakishly tilted over his eyes. Evidently, he had stopped at every bar between MGM and Gower Street.
“Is thish Mishter Frank Capra’s office?”
“Yes, Mr. Gable. I’m Frank Capra. Come in, please, come in.”
“Gla-ad to meet cha. Likewise.” He headed for a kitchen chair and plopped himself on it. I held my breath. The chair groaned, but didn’t break. Oh, was he loaded!…He cleared his throat with a disgusted belch. Then he focused on me.
“Well-l, what’s the poop, shkipper–besides me?” He was not only boiled, he was steamed.
“Well, Mr. Gable, I–”
“That son-of-a-bitch Mayer,” he cut in. “I always wanted to see Siberia, but damn me–I never thought it would smell like this. Blech-h-h!”
My insides were curdling. I picked up a script and riffled it. “Mr. Gable, you and I are supposed to make a picture out of this. Shall I tell you the story or would you rather read the script by yourself?”
“Buddy,” he said in his tough-guy drawl, “I don’t give a [expletive] what you do with it.”
There being no handy rebuttal to that conversation stopper, I mumbled something about my Siberia being MGM, tucked the script under his armpit and suggested he read it between drinks. He swayed to his feet, looked down at me, and giggled drunkenly, “Hee hee-e-e! Sez you.” He wobbled out the door, hit both sides of it, then stumbled off, singing, “They call her frivilous Sa-a-al, a peculiar kinf of a–hey, you guys!” this last came to some Colombians in the courtyard, “Why aren’t you wearing parkas in Siberia?”
That was my first meeting with Clark Gable and, I hoped, my last.
Not the best first impression, but Capra’s opinion of Clark changed after filming began. “Clark turned out to be the most wonderful egg. He just had a ball. What I believe is that he was playing himself, and maybe for the only time in his career. That clowning, boyish, roguish he-man was Gable. He was shy, but a lot of fun with people he knew. He was very sensitive about those God-damned ears, but he made jokes about them. After a shot, he’d ask, ‘What’d they get–an ear?’ He didn’t look like anyone else. It was not only physical; he had mannerisms that were all his own; ways of standing, smoking–things like that–and a great flair for clothes. Whatever came natural to him, I let him do.”
Despite it’s rough start, the set of the film turned out to be an easygoing one, with improvising encouraged.
The story is of Peter Warne, a cocky newspaperman who has just been fired, encountering runaway heiress Ellie Andrews on a night bus to New York from Miami. Peter realizes her identity and befriends her so he can get the exclusive story. Along the way, after masquerading as man and wife at an auto camp, sleeping in a field, hitch hiking and stealing a car, they fall in love. When Peter leaves Ellie at a motel in the middle of the night to try and get some money from his old boss to marry her, she mistakenly thinks he has left her for good and calls her father (Walter Connolly) and husband to pick her up. Peter is heartbroken and so is Ellie. She agrees to her father’s wishes that she re-marry her husband, since they were not married by a priest. On her re-wedding day, Peter shows up to collect money from her father for what he spent on her during the trip. He admits to her father that he loves her. Her father tells Ellie and as she is going down the aisle, she takes off to be with Peter.
There are so many great scenes, from the Walls of Jericho and “Perhaps you’re interested in how a man undresses.” to singing “The Flying Trapeze,” to hitch-hiking and a lesson in doughnut dunking, the film is no doubt a classic.
The film began shooting the last week of November and shot the last scene on December 23, 1933, costing a mere $325,000 to make. Claudette set out for vacation and Clark headed back to MGM, both certain that they’d just had a fun time making a sure flop. “Clark and I left wondering how the movie would be received. It was right in the middle of the Depression. People needed fantasy, they needed splendor and glamour, and Hollywood gave it to them. And here we were, looking a little seedy and riding on our bus.” Claudette recalled.
IHON wasn’t an overnight sensation. It received good press reviews and the numbers were steady; but it was the word of mouth from moviegoers that brought in the receipts. It ended up earning $1.1 million domestically, a large sum for a little bus picture made by a little studio.
Despite its success, it still was a shock that the film won all the major Academy Awards. Claudette famously had to accept her award in her traveling suit as she had been on her way to the train station when she heard she had won!
The film changed Clark’s life for many reasons. The first being, of course, that is was his first Oscar nomination and only win; ultimately it was the only major film award he would ever win. Secondly, the film skyrocketed his popularity. Before this, he was steadily gaining fans, but was mostly used as a “gigolo” for MGM’s female stars, playing second fiddle to Jean Harlow, Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford. IHON showed he could hold his own. Third, it proved he had real star power–just by removing his shirt and showing he had no undershirt underneath, sales of undershirts sharply declined!
Lastly, this film holds a special place in my heart. Years ago, I was just dipping my toe into classic films. I was flipping through the channels and TCM was on commerical and it said IHON was next. I remembered reading that Clark Gable (who was little more to me at that point than Rhett Butler) had won an Oscar for it but other than that I knew nothing about it. Little did I know that the film I was about to watch not only became one of my favorite films of all time, but it can be credited with this website as if it wasn’t for Clark’s absolutely wonderful performance capturing my heart, I wouldn’t be the Gable fan I am today.
Happy Halloween! This “gossip” comes straight from fifth wife Kay Williams Gable:
One year Bunker (his stepson) asked Clark to take him to the Halloween festivities at a nearby public park. Pa hesitated, remembering what had happened the year before when he had accompanied the children. he was quickly recognized and surrounded by autograph seekers the rest of the evening. Not only did he personally shy from such attention, Clark also felt all the commotion was unfair to the children.
This time Bunker had it all figured out. He had been to the dime store where they were selling rubber masks fashioned in the likenesses of various movie stars. “Here, Pa, I’ve got a perfect Halloween disguise for you,” Bunker explained as he proudly presented Clark with a paper sack. “You can go to the park with us and nobody will every recognize you–just wear this Clark Gable mask.”
The best part of this story was the discovery Clark made when he laughingly agreed to try on the “disguise.” In his excitement over his big idea, Bunker had picked up the first mask he found with a mustache. “Holy Smoke!” Clark roared as he pulled the rubber mask over his face, “you’ve turned me into Walter Pidgeon!”
What we have here is a largely fictional article written to prove that Clark Gable and Carole Lombard had a simple home life–just like you do, the American public! When Clark and Carole bought that ranch and set up their home miles from Hollywood, spending time feeding chickens and mowing grass rather than attending premieres, the studio publicity depts and fan magazines decided to just play that up. So what you find are endless amounts of articles about their rustic domestic tranquility. This one is written by “Liza,” one of those first-name-only fan magazine writers that is probably not a real person. Nonetheless, it’s a cute little article:
I drove out to the Valley to pop in on the Gables. Now I knew that Carole and Clark had gone back to the soil in a big way—hadn’t I lived through Carole’s correspondence course last summer in poultry feeding, can washing for dairies, olive thinning and vegetable weevils? Not to mention several of Clark’s tractor salesmen? But knowing movie folk as I do, and I do know movie folk, I naturally assumed that it was just a phase, and now that they had actually settle down on a ranch they would be landed gentry with plenty of finger bowls. I fully expected a Jeeves who would tell me that the Marster and the Modom were having their tea in the Rose Garden. I was all set to tear into a couple of buttered scones.
Instead I tore into a bevy of animals. Right there, in the middle of the driveway, with no intention of moving, were more dogs and cats that I’ve seen since France. I recognized Tuffy, Clark’s bulldog, and his bird dog, and his favorite cat (Clark adores cats) and Fritz, Carole’s horribly mannered dachshund, and Simon, and Topper, and Josephine who has a washing-her-face complex and sleeps only on the top of cars. And there was a new grey cat of sorts, who I learned later, had moved into the house the same day that Clark and Carole did; she didn’t seem to mind about the lack of furniture and all, and promptly gave birth to six kittens. When you bunch the Lombard pets with the Gable pets you can really understand that old wheeze about it raining cats and dogs.
After pushing my way through much pawing and licking and yelping and purring—my dress and slippers will never be the same—I made the front door, with a determined vow that if I ever met another tailwagger I would smack him down then and there. I have heard that it is very much hard to “crash” the Gables inasmuch as they feel that they have a right to a private life—but all I had to do to get through the front door was to duck under a ladder. The place seemed fairly alive with men in overalls who were puttering around with paint brushes and screw drivers. Not a sign of any Gables. Or of any tea, worse luck. But if you had blindfolded me, driven me around in circles for hours, and suddenly dumped me in this living room I would have known it was Carole’s. The rugs were rolled up, the furniture, and not much of it, was under wraps, but on the mantelpiece was a large vase of flowers, on a canvas-covered table there were flowers; in fact, there seemed to be flowers all over the room. Near the windows, waiting to be hung, were gay chintzes. Flowers and pretty chintzes—practically a Lombard trademark. Clark told me later that for days after they moved in they didn’t have a stove or a dining room table—but they had plenty of flowers. Carole saw to that.
The Gable ranch—which is the house that Clark and Carole have always wanted—is certainly not a mansion in any sense of the word. It is a typical ranch house with lots of knotty pine and with huge fireplaces in the living room and dining room. Besides the living room and dining room there are only two other rooms, a kitchen and a gin room, downstairs. The stairway goes up out of the living room and upstairs there are two bedrooms and baths. Definitely no guest rooms. It is being furnished, gradually, in the Early American manner and is going to be about the most homey place in this neck of the woods. You can spill ashes and put your feet in the chair, and even knock over a drink without having your hostess’ eyebrows go up. I mistook the dining room for the kitchen the day I was there as there was a small stove in the middle of the floor, but with Carole’s flair for decorating homes I don’t think it will remain quiet that informal. What Carole can do with chintz and flowers is really sensational.
Far enough away from the house, so you won’t ever have to scrunch your nose when the wind blows, are the stables, all white and green, and quite beautiful, if you are one to admire stables. One of its occupants is a cow given to the Gables as a wedding present by John Cromwell who is directing Mrs. Gable at present in “Memory of Love.” There will be horses later. The house is surrounded by fourteen acres of good old California soil and there are trees galore. Walnut, lemon, range, olive, grapefruit, avocado, to mention a few I recognized. The property was formerly owned and cultivated by Director Raoul Walsh, and outside the trees there are big bushes, and lots of strawberry and blackberry bushes. Carole has done over the flower gardens and has planted petunias, zinnias, and roses. And what Clark doesn’t know about citrus fruit isn’t worth knowing. He’ll talk about the care of citrus fruit for hours, but it’s much too too technical for me. If he must be rural I’d rather he tell me about the farmer’s daughter and the travelling salesman.
Although I suspect the details of her trampling through the ranch are fictional, it still paints a probable picture of life on the Gable ranch. Oh and “Memory of Love” is actually In Name Only.
Eventually “Liza” does run into Mr. and Mrs. Gable:
I went straight ahead, mired under a couple of times where there was a leak in the sprinkling system, dodged a few evil-looking goats, and resembling nothing so much as warmed over death, I finally managed to trip over a fence and land in Mrs. Gable’s chicken run. Carole in tailored slacks and gloves (even on a ranch she is still the best dresses actress on Hollywood) was quite busy counting the hundred and fifty chicks that has just hatched.
“Liza, pass me that pan of feed,” she said as casually as if she was asking for a cigarette. “Aren’t they cute? A hundred and fifty of them. Go right over there and look at my new chicken houses. They have sash covered openings and hen bathteries. Remember that correspondence school course I took in poultry raising? It’s no good. Everything has changed.”
“I don’t like chicken houses,” I said. “I think you might notice my new hat—and dress, what there’s left of it. I’ve been away or don’t you remember.”
“Don’t shout,” said Carole. “There’s a broody hen in there, I took her off her nest this morning and put her in the brood coop. And I don’t want you exciting her.”
Well, really, I thought. It has come to this. She thinks more of her broody hen than she does of her broody friends.
“I saw a lot of plays in New York,” I said rather grandly. “Carole, you would love Tallulah’s play. It’s all about—“
“I got two dozen eggs this morning,” murmured the glamorous Miss Lombard vaguely. Then she came to with a start. “Say,” she shrieked, “are you here as the press or a friend? I think I see a writing look in your eye.”
“You wouldn’t deprive a poor old broken down fan writer of making an honest penny, would you now?” I whined.
“I certainly would,” said Carole. “And if you hadn’t tried to cross that fiend in high heels—don’t you know how to dress on a ranch?—you wouldn’t be broken down. Clark and I don’t want anything written about our home or our private life. We aren’t giving any stories to the press.”
“That’s no way to talk to the press,” I said. “I’ll make trouble.”
“You’ll make trouble!” shrieked Carole. “This morning they brought our perfectly new and beautiful ice-box. We’ve been waiting for it for weeks. So what happens. So they drop it as they lift it out of the truck and my lovely new ice-box is now scattered all over the backyard. So I asked the painters to do one of my rooms in white yesterday morning and when I come back from the studio it’s in green. So they’ve made the barn door too small to get Clark’s trailer in it, and the whole thing has to be done over. So I’ve had nothing to read but ‘Wet Paint,’ and I’m nearly dying of painters’ colic—and you want to give me trouble!”
“Well, I was going anyway,” I said.
As I stumbled past the tables I found myself covered with a white spray and there was Clark spraying the fences and singing at the top of his voice.
“Liza,” he said, “come right over here and see my new tractor. See, it has a new primary air cleaner in the center at the high point just ahead of the steering wheel which protects the motor from dist. The air for the carburetor gets a second cleaning by passing through a watertype cleaner. Isn’t it a beauty. Say, what are you doing here, anyway? Carole and I—“
“Aren’t giving out any stories to the press,” I finished. “Well, if you and Carole think I can get a story out of a broody hen, a second cleaning tractor, and a pile of painters you must think I’m good.”
“Well, if you aren’t being professional,” said Clark, “why don’t you stay for dinner? Ham and grits tonight.”
But I was on my way to the opening of the Trocadero, though I must admit that the grits did tempt me. I can remember the time when Carole and Clark would have been right there for a swanky opening too. Carole looking too breathlessly glamorous for words, all smothered in white fox and star sapphire. And Clark, sleek and handsome, in white tie and tails. But those days, it seems, are gone forever. I think I’m kinda glad.
I love how Carole is always depicted as shrieking—you never read an article about her being timid and quiet do you? I do love her rant about all the goings on at the ranch–you can pretty much envision it all! I think the last part proves that “Liza” is fictional–who here wouldn’t stay for ham and grits with Clark and Carole at their ranch house??
You can read the article in its entirety in The Article Archive.
This month, Clark Gable is doin’ what he does best as the fast talkin’ rogue, Myrna Loy is his lady and William Powell is his conscience in Manhattan Melodrama.
Gable is Blackie Gallagher, a gambling, gun-slinging gangster, who remains best friends with his childhood pal, Jim Wade (Powell), an ambitious lawyer. Blackie’s girl, Eleanor (Loy) grows tired of the shady side of life and soon falls in love with Jim and marries him. Jim is promoted to district attorney and starts a campaign to become New York’s next governor. When a blackmailer threatens Jim’s campaign, Blackie decides to handle the situation himself and kills the man. On trial, Jim has no choice but to prosecute Blackie and he is sentenced to death. The conviction helps Jim win the election, but on the day of Blackie’s execution, Eleanor pleads with Jim to pardon Blackie and reveals to him that Blackie killed the man to protect Jim. Jim rushes to the prison to commune Blackie’s sentence, but Blackie refuses to let Jim waver on his original decision. After Blackie is put to death, Jim resigns as governor and makes up with Eleanor at the fade out.
The cast of this film is wonderful–Clark and Myrna have great chemistry as always, and of course Myrna and Bill can’t be beat.The plot has been done 100 times before–two boys grow up as friends, one turns bad the other good yet they remain friends. Clark would in fact do it again just two years later when he played another bad Blackie in San Francisco. Spencer Tracy is the good childhood friend (a priest, no less) in that one.
Myrna gets to slink around in gorgeous gowns and also be the prim and proper political wife–not to mention be volleyed between Clark and Bill–not bad for a day’s work.
Clark was tired of the bad gangster types at this point, but at least this one has some heart and actual characterization. He liked the cast and crew of the picture and he was only needed on set for 12 days total–not a bad work assignment.
Clark of course sacrifices himself on behalf of his good friend and guilt eats Bill alive. It’s a movie where everyone does the right thing in the end, but hey at least we were entertained in the meantime.
“If I can’t live the way I want, at least let me die when I want.”–Poor Clark gets the death chamber. And hey, apparently in 1934 you go from sentencing to death in a matter of weeks. Don’t even think he got his steak dinner!
Clark is quite good in this film–portraying Blackie’s rough and tumble qualities but letting his heart eek out here and there too. Bill is always good at being the straight and arrow.
This film is an interesting footnote in history for a couple of reasons:
One, this film sparks the beginning of a truly legendary film pairing–Myrna Loy and William Powell. They had never even met before until she opens the door of a car and falls into his lap. Their witty banter and easy chemistry prompted director Van Dyke to decide they were right for his next picture, The Thin Man. And thus started a beautiful teaming that spanned 14 films. Myrna remembered: “My first scene with Bill, a night shot on the back lot, happened before we’d even met. Woody [Van Dyke, the director] was apparently too busy for introductions. My instructions were to run out of a building, through a crowd, and into a strange car. When Woody called “Action,” I opened the car door, jumped in, and landed smack on William Powell’s lap. He looked up nonchalantly: “Miss Loy, I presume?” I said, “Mr. Powell?” And that’s how I met the man who would be my partner in fourteen films.”
Secondly, notorious bank robber John Dillinger was gunned down outside Chicago’s Biograph Theater after seeing this film on July 22, 1934. This event has been tied to the film forever. Myrna recalled: “Supposedly a Myrna Loy fan, he broke cover to see me. Personally, I suspect the theme of the picture rather than my fatal charms attracted him, but I’ve always felt guilty about it, anyway. They filled him full of holes, poor soul.”
Also it’s one of the first roles for a youngster named Mickey Rooney, who played Clark’s character as a child. His performance in this film led to a contract with MGM and the beginning of an illustrious career.
Oh and lastly, it is worth noting that this is the only film in which you can find the former husband of Carole Lombard starring with the future husband of Carole Lombard!
Since it’s time for another Gone with the Wednesday and it’s the end of Carole Lombard month, let’s combine the two!
Carole Lombard was a warm-blooded female in the 1930’s, which means she read Gone with the Wind and dreamed of playing Scarlett.
Carole was so enamored with the idea that she appealed to everyone’s first choice for Rhett Butler—Clark Gable, naturally. Before they were romantically involved, she reportedly sent him a copy of the book with a note that said, “Let’s do it! Carole.” Clark promptly called her up for a date, thinking it was a proposition of a different sort. When it turned out not to be, that copy of GWTW found itself in his bathroom, unread for years.
Carole didn’t get the role of Scarlett of course (wasn’t even screentested–although wouldn’t that have been something to see!) but she did win the real life role of Mrs. Rhett Butler–not a bad consolation prize. She was greeted as such when she arrived to the set of her film Mr. and Mrs. Smith:
In no particular order:
Nothing Sacred (1937) Your one chance to see Carole in Technicolor and boy is she beautiful. Carole is Hazel Flagg, a small town girl who has received a death sentence from her local doctor, who says she’s riddled with radium poisoning. He recants his diagnosis, but not before a big city newspaperman (Frederic March) arrives to take her away from her small town life and give her a “last big hoorah” before her untimely demise, documenting all in the newspaper of course. This one is hilarious and a true classic.
My Man Godfrey (1936) Carole’s lone Academy Award-nominated performance, this one is a screwball standard. Carole is Irene Bullock, a spoiled and rather twitterbrianed socialite who takes in Godfrey, a homeless man (her first husband, William Powell), and makes him her family butler. It is a rather typical zany 1930’s plot, but with a great and hilarious script “Godfrey loves me! He put me in the shower!” . Carole’s full comedy chops are on display here. And despite being divorced for three years, Carole and Bill still have wonderful chemistry. A fantastic supporting cast with Alice Brady. Eugene Pallette, Mischa Auer and Gail Patrick.
In Name Only (1939) Carole is single mom Julie, who falls In love with Alec (Cary Grant), who unbeknownst to her is still married to vindictive Maida (Kay Francis), whom he is not in love with. Maida does her best to thwart Julie and Alec’s romance. I like this film for many reasons: I adore Cary and him paired with Carole is just luscious; their chemistry is fantastic. You get to see Carole as a mother to a little girl and it is adorable and sweet. This film was in production the same time as Gone with the Wind and Carole went into the role soon after becoming Mrs. Gable. The story line of bitter wife refusing to divorce her husband so he can marry the woman he loves surely hit home for Carole. This one and Made For Each Other (1939) are pretty much equal on my list of fave Carole dramas.
Hands Across the Table (1935) I think this one is a favorite of many Carole fans. She is wonderfully paired with Fred MacMurray and as always their chemistry is wonderful. She is Regi, a manicurist who is looking for a rich man to marry so she can be saved from her day-to-day drudgery. Enter Ted, who comes from a prominent wealthy family. But…he’s broke. After he moves in for a few days, sparks ignite between the two despite the lack of funds. It’s a light and airy comedy; just what you’d want for a 1930’s romantic comedy.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941) Any film buff should see this, as it is your only opportunity to see Alfred Hitchcock direct a comedy. Not to mention it’s a delightful comedy with Carole and Robert Montgomery as sparring partners. They are the Smiths, a married couple who thrives on fighting and making up. But when he finds out that their marriage was never legal and doesn’t tell Ann, she refuses to remarry him, kicks him out and starts dating his business parter (Gene Raymond) just to spite him. It’s adorable, it’s sweet and I don’t know what it is about this film but Carole is just absolutely stunning in every frame.
Honorable Mentions: To Be or Not To Be (1942), Made For Each Other (1939), True Confession (1937) and Twentieth Century (1934).
From November 1936:
Guess who really has gone Garbo on us in a big way? It’s none other than our own party-loving Carole Lombard, who hasn’t been seen out publicly in many a day. What’s more, Carole doesn’t want one single word printed about her romance with Clark Gable. Her close friends say it is still going on and much more serious than Carole wants the world to believe. And it was only yesterday that wild horses couldn’t have kept Carole home for an evening. It must be love.
As we head towards the end of the year, there’s more Gone with the Wind-related events happening!
Ruth’s Journey, an authorized prequel of sorts to GWTW that focuses on Mammy’s life (Yes, apparently her name was Ruth?!) has been released. It was written by Donald McCaig, who also wrote Rhett Butler’s People a few years ago. This new book doesn’t seem to sit well with diehard GWTW fans. I haven’t read it yet (frankly don’t know if I will at all) but Kendra over at vivandlarry.com did.
The Scarlett Letters: The Making of the Film Gone with the Wind has just been released as well. It’s by John Wiley Jr., who examines the making of GWTW through the eyes of its author, Margaret Mitchell, via her letters. I’m not sure how much new information is here since Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind Letters has been around for decades, but it looks promising nonetheless.
The Making of Gone with the Wind event at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas is going on right now! Ending January 4, this is a rare opportunity to see such rarities as the actual curtain dress worn by Vivien Leigh, David Selznick’s memos, rare wardrobe and makeup stills, on the set photographs and much much more. I am extremely jealous of anyone getting to attend! Unfortunately I just can’t make a trek to Texas before January. If you can’t make it like me, you can at least buy the event catalog!
And always check out GWTW Showtimes to see if GWTW is playing on a screen near you!
An incredibly sweet, yet sad, footnote to this is that Clark continued to wear the bracelet for years after Carole died.
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