In a Nutshell: The Easiest Way (1931)
Directed by: Jack Conway
Co-stars: Constance Bennett, Adolphe Menjou, Robert Montgomery, Anita Page
Synopsis: In this scandalous pre-code, Lolly Murdock (Bennett) is a young woman anxious to escape her impoverished family. She quickly realizes that the easiest way to do that is by being “kept” by rich men. She begins an affair with afluent businessman William (Menjou), who keeps her in furs and expensive jewels. Although this brings her the riches and lifestyle she has always dreamed of, it alienates her from the man she really loves (Montgomery) and her family. Especially her sister, Peg (Page), who married hard-working blue collar Nick (Gable), who bans Lolly from their house for her indecent behavior.
Best Gable Quote: “I ain’t stuck on having you drive up here in your fine cars and limousines. We ain’t limousine people.”
Fun Fact: Anita Page claimed that she and Clark had an affair during filming.
My Verdict: An enjoyable little pre-code, full of scandal and innuendo. Clark’s role isn’t juicy; he’s the good boy scout, but the film itself is a great slice of 1931, before films were censored from such “indecency!”
In a Nutshell: Dance, Fools, Dance (1931)
Directed by: Harry Beaumont
Co-stars: Joan Crawford, Lester Vail
Synopsis: Crawford is Bonnie Jordan, a rich girl suddenly thrown into the real world after her father dies and she finds out all his money is gone. She goes to work as a writer for the local newspaper. One of her assignments is to go undercover and get a story on a gangster, Jake (Gable). As Jake pursues her romantically, Bonnie finds out that her unscrupulous brother Rodney (William Bakewell) has hooked up with Jake’s gang and is in deep trouble.
Best Gable Quote: “You’re going to have a little supper with me tonight. Upstairs in my room. We’ve got to get better acquainted.”
Fun Fact: Gable’s role was beefed up with more scenes to capitalize on his growing fame. After seeing their chemistry, producer Irving Thalberg insisted more scenes be added between Gable and Crawford. Their undeniable chemistry certainly had something to do with the fact that the two stars were in the midst of a heated affair!