clark gable gone with the wind rhett butler

From April 1940:

I asked Clark Gable if he felt it dangerous to work so long in a single film such as “Gone with the Wind.” Fans forget easily. Will the role of Rhett Butler, no matter how colorful, be strong enough to hold Clark at the top, to overcome the long months of getting him on celluloid? Gable writes thus:

“Rather than being too dangerous to work too long in one picture, I can say from experience that it is of definite value to an actor and makes for a superior film. There is no substitute for adequate and careful preparation. ‘Gone with the Wind’ proves this. From an acting stand point, the player benefits from a long production schedule, which enables him to become thoroughly acquainted with the character he is portraying and develops the characterization to the fullest extent of his ability. I do not believe that working too long on one film is any menace to a career. If an actor makes one role stand out and remain memorable, he has certainly profited as much as if he made four pictures over a similar period. There is no truer saying in Hollywood than that an actor is no better than his last picture. And if working for more than a year in ‘Gone’ has menaced Vivien Leigh’s career, I could stand a lot of menace.”

So there you are, Clark is willing to stand or fall on Rhett. A recent exhibitor poll, conducted by The Motion Picture Herald, a trade paper, found Gable still among the first ten stars. No. 4 to be exact. And he had only two films released in 1939, “Idiot’s Delight” and “GWTW.” Which shows the potency of Gable’s personality. Absence only makes the fans’ hearts grow fonder.

Today, here’s some photos from one of my very favorite Clark Gable films, Hold Your Man (1933).

Adorable publicity shots with Jean Harlow:

clark gable jean harlow hold your man

clark gable jean harlow hold your man clark gable jean harlow hold your man clark gable jean harlow hold your man clark gable jean harlow hold your man

clark gable jean harlow hold your manclark gable jean harlow hold your man clark gable jean harlow hold your man

Clark and Jean were buddies and it really shows. It is remarkable how much sexual chemistry they have but yet they were like playful brother and sister when the cameras weren’t rolling.

On the set:

clark gable jean harlow hold your manclark gable jean harlow hold your manclark gable jean harlow hold your manclark gable jean harlow hold your manclark gable jean harlow hold your manclark gable jean harlow hold your manclark gable jean harlow hold your man

And some Clark closeups:

clark gable jean harlow hold your man Hold 2 Hold 2 Hold 3 Hold 4 Hold 5 Hold 9 Hold 9

clark gable anita colby

From 1948:

I am sure that no imperial gala ever ordered by the Emperor Franz Josef himself ever surpassed the splendor of the party in the Crystal Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel, following the premiere of “The Emperor Waltz.” The first showing of the film, which was a formal, international affair, drew a record throng of celebrities to the Hollywood Paramount Theatre where they ran the gauntlet of cheers and shouts from thousands of admiring fans…

The “cinema-soxers” roared their delight when Clark Gable and Bing Crosby swapped jokes right in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard where their cars were held up by the traffic jam. 

Incidentally Clark garnered the most applause when he appeared with Anita Colby, although pandemonium broke loose for Betty Hutton and yells went up for Alan Ladd, Paulette Goddard, Burgess Meredith, Betty Grable and Harry James, Van Johnson, Sonja Henie, Loretta Young, Esther Williams, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and the two stars of the picture, Bing Crosby with Dixie and Joan Fontaine with husband Bill Dozier, all of whom were among the five score celebrities present. 

Let’s have a look at some of the fantastic photos from Mogambo (1953) today…

Shot on location in the wilds of Africa, the film provides some pretty great on the set shots:

clark gable mogamboclark gable mogamboclark gable mogamboclark gable mogamboclark gable mogambo clark gable mogambo

clark gable frank sinatra grace kelly ava gardner donald sinden mogambo

Donald Sinden, Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner, Clark Gable and Frank Sinatra in Africa

Clark Gable and co-star Grace Kelly’s relationship became romantic during filming and the candids from the set certainly don’t hide that fact:

clark gable grace kelly mogamboclark gable grace kelly mogamboclark gable grace kelly mogamboclark gable grace kelly mogamboclark gable grace kelly mogamboclark gable grace kelly mogamboclark gable grace kelly mogambo

Sure, Clark and Grace were getting friendly in their tents, but there are some great candids of pals Clark and Ava on the set together:

clark gable ava gardner mogambo

clark gable ava gardner mogambo clark gable ava gardner mogambo

clark gable ava gardner mogambo

Hey, when you are out in the middle of nowhere in Africa, everybody needs haircuts:

clark gable grace kelly mogamboclark gable mogambo

And, naturally, some Clark closeups:

clark gable mogambo

clark gable mogamboclark gable mogambo clark gable mogamboclark gable mogamboclark gable mogamboclark gable mogamboclark gable mogamboclark gable mogamboclark gable mogambo

clark gable

From 1946:

It happened at a beach resort up the coast, where Clark Gable was spending his holiday. In the middle of the night he beard a strange noise in his room. It stopped, then grew even louder. Clark finally called down to the desk and asked them to send up the house detective. They did. And what they found was a mouse caught in a trap that had been hidden under what-a-man Gable;s bed!

Let’s take a look at some of the photos from 1939’s Idiot’s Delight, infamously known as Clark’s singing and dancing picture.

On the Set:

Clark, Norma and producer Hunt Stromberg

Clark, Norma and producer Hunt Stromberg

clark gable norma shearer louis mayer clarence brown

Clark, director Clarence Brown, Norma Shearer and Louis Mayer

Director Clarence Brown turns his personal camera on Clark and "les blondes"

Director Clarence Brown turns his personal camera on Clark and “les blondes”

clark gable

Clark and the blondes (Virginia Dale, Paula Stone, Bernadene Hayes, Joan Marsh, Lorraine Krueger and Virginia Grey) stroll the MGM lot

clark gable norma shearer

Clark and Norma on the MGM lot

clark gable adela rogers st johns

on the set with writer Adela Rogers St. Johns

Lots of divine publicity shots with Norma Shearer:

clark gable norma shearer clark gable norma shearer clark gable norma shearer clark gable norma shearer clark gable norma shearerclark gable norma shearerclark gable norma shearer

And of course there were many publicity shots taken of Clark with those pretty blondes:

clark gable idiot's delightclark gable idiot's delightclark gable idiot's delightclark gable idiot's delight clark gable idiot's delightclark gable idiot's delight

And how about some Clark close-up screenshots?

clark gable idiot's delight clark gable idiot's delight clark gable idiot's delight clark gable idiot's delight clark gable idiot's delight clark gable idiot's delight clark gable idiot's delightclark gable idiot's delight clark gable idiot's delight clark gable idiot's delight clark gable idiot's delightclark gable idiot's delight

clark gable fishing

From 1947:

While Clark Gable, Cesar Romero, Diana Lewis and the Walter Langs stood speechless, Brian Donlevy brought a 27-pound halibut to gaff aboard a chartered boat. Because Brian insisted he had never fished on the ocean before, Clark took pity on him and arranged the outing. Beginner’s luck, Brian declared. Clark, whose catch weighed only 13 pounds, wasn’t so sure. Amongst all the fisherman, Brian’s catch was pronounced the record of the day. Clark still believes he fell for a “fish” story. 

clark gable spencer tracy

From 1948:

A Tracy never forgets! Not when he hears that Clark Gable has to smoke a big fat cigar in “Command Decision.” Spencer remembered how Clark hated the last one he smoked four years ago in a picture. So, the day they shot the scene, Mr. T. sent cigars to everyone on the set, with instructions to light up and “help” Gable give a good performance! Clark’s already planning his revenge.

 

clark gable

Fan letter from 1946:

I have been an ardent Clark Gable fan for many years (especially since seeing “Gone with the Wind”), so naturally I was eagerly looking forward to Clark’s return to the screen, Well, I have seen “Adventure” and what a disappointment! The dialogue and situations were either hackneyed or ridiculous, and the picture would have been ruined had it not been for Clark’s durable charm and unbeatable personality.

With the possible exception of “Boom Town,” Clark hasn’t had one really good role since “Gone with the Wind.” Clark Gable has given many years of acting services to the screen; his pictures have brought in millions of dollars at the box office, his conduct and actions in private life have won for him the respect and affection of millions of movie fans which is reflected in the popularity of his pictures. is this how Hollywood shows its appreciation? Why it is other actors get great roles and Clark gets the same thing time and time again?

I Think that I speak for all the Gable fans when I say it’s about time MGM took the trouble to get some outstanding stories for Clark Gable which, as one of the greatest screen personalities of all time, he justly deserves.

–Marian Barnholtz St. Louis, Mo.

____

Hear, hear, Marian! Too bad MGM didn’t listen.

clark gable

From October 1934:

It remained for Clark Gable to give a sensible explanation of “mistaken conceit.”

“Many screen stars are so described,” Gable said, “Because people are looking for reasons to apply the high-hat phrase. For instance, suppose A and B, two friends, pass on the street, and A fails to see B. Later, B says, ‘I saw A on the street today and he didn’t see me,’ and that ends the matter.

“But let A become a movie star, and then let them pass on the street, and let A again fail to see N. At once B hastens around town crying, “A has gone hi-hat. He passed me up on the street today, without speaking.’ And because it is human to believe the worst about another human being, everybody agrees that A is a conceited ass.”

Thanks, Clark. Actually the explanation is most reasonable.