clark gable after office hours

From January 1935:

Clark Gable is well aware that the life of a movie star is not a bed of roses; but, nevertheless, he got a surprise while he was working in “Copy Cat” with Constance Bennett.

The actor, according to the script, was required to make a leap into a rowboat. He obeyed instructions, but, alas, he landed so hard that his weight caused him to crash through the bottom of the boat, and there he was entangled until he was rescued.

If Gable attempted the “stunt” when he was alone he undoubtedly would have been drowned. 

__

“Copy Cat” was After Office Hours.

clark gable ann sheridan

From 1949:

Ada Dodge, charming hostess, claims that it was her famous “Chuck Wagon Stew” that was responsible for bringing Ann Sheridan and Clark Gable together for some fun and a few laughs. Ann, as a cowgirl, met rancher Gable at this party and started tongues aging. I do know they lunched together the next day at Charlie Farrell’s Racquet Club.

clark gable iris bynum

From 1949:

Admiring eyes were glued on Clark Gable when he made of his rare nightclub appearances at Mocambo. And we wish you too could have seen that ol’smoothie dancing a rumba with Iris Bynum! Speaking of Clark, it’s rumored his MGM bosses would like him to dye his graying temples. Our money says they’ll get nowhere fast with their Number One rugged realist.

clark gable charles laughton

A reporter discusses actors and actresses with Charles Laughton, April 1935:

“One thing certainly prejudices me [against stars], and that’s personality. If I meet a star and dislike him very much indeed, I always try to say the best I can about his pictures, just in case I;m tempted to be unfair.” 

“Yes, I can understand that,” said Laughton. “And who do you dislike?”

I told him. 

He nodded.”Yes, he’s pretty nasty, I agree. I hope you don’t feel that way about Clark Gable?”

I gasped. Clark Gable is one of my secret weaknesses. that made me cautious.

“I like him,” I said mildly,”but I don’t admire him as an actor.”

“Nonsense,” said Laughton enthusiastically. “He’s a grand actor, probably the best leading man in Hollywood. Just think of him in ‘It Happened One Night.’ I went five times to see how he did it, and even then I didn’t know.”

“But wasn’t that Frank Capra’s direction?”

“No, it wasn’t Capra, or he would have pulled off the same trick with Warner Baxter in ‘Strictly Confidential,’ and he didn’t. He didn’t quite manage it with Claudette Colbert either. She was good, but you could see the wheels go round. But not with Gable. I tell you he’s a great actor–he’s saved more pictures from flopping than any star in Hollywood. I’m quite excited to think that I’m going back to work with him now.”

“In ‘Mutiny on the Bounty?'” I asked.

“Yes, with Robert Montgomery too. I’m looking forward to it tremendously.”

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Interesting coming from Laughton, isn’t it? And Robert Montgomery was switched out for Franchot Tone by the time the film started rolling.

clark gable charlie mccarthy

Clark Gable and Charlie McCarthy

From January 1938:

My eyes are still weak from the glare of the diamond bracelet Clark Gable gave Carole Lombard and which she wore when her hero appeared on a recent Chase and Sanborn broadcast. Carole sat in the control-room for a while watching Gable rehearse. She got so nervous she couldn’t stand it and so spent the rest of the afternoon in the Jack Benny rehearsal studio. As for the comedy spot Gable did with Charlie McCarthy (and which was a dilly, if ever there was one); the star’s managers frowned on the sketch on the grounds that it was undignified but Gable  overrode the negative nods and went ahead with the skit. Not only was it very funny but Gable’s action gained him a deal of good will….

clark gable carole lombard

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard finally tied the knot 77 (can you believe it) years ago today!

Associated Press, March 30, 1939:

Happy Ending Written to Courtship of Hollywood Stars

Fun-loving Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, who wrote the long anticipated happy ending to the story of their courtship in a little Arizona town late yesterday, returned early today to the bride’s Bel-Air home.

Exhausted by their 750-mile trip, they retired, to wait until later to move into the home on his One-Mule San Fernando Valley ranch which Gable redecorated in preparation for the wedding.

Friends were not surprised when news of the ceremony reached here last night, although their absence from the film capital during the day had gone unnoticed. The marriage had been expected daily since the screen’s No.1 masculine star was given his freedom earlier this month by his second wife, Maria.

Gable, 38, and his blonde bride, 31,  a top ranking comedienne, scorned the time-tried Hollywood elopement plot. They chose Kingman, Arizona, a desert railroad community, for the rites to filmdom’s more favored Gretna Gardens, Yuma, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada. They traveled by automobile instead of by plane, as have most other elopers.

They confided to Howard Cate, Kingman High School principal and a witness when the knot was tied by the Rev. Kenneth M. Engle of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, that they intended to go to Las Vegas or Boulder City, Nevada, spending the day at Boulder Dam.

But a few hours later they were eating dinner in Needles, California and were reported seen at other small communities on the highway across the Mojave Desert, en route home.

They stopped briefly at a state checking station in Daggett, where an inspector said that Gable was sleeping soundly, Miss Lombard appeared drowsy and their companion, Otto Winkler, publicity man, was driving.

Gable was due back on the Selznick lot late today to continue work as Rhett Butler in “Gone with the Wind.” Friends said the couple expected to defer a honeymoon until summer, when both are free of picture engagements.

clark gable carole lombard

clark gable ria franklin

From August 1936:

People who are wealthy always have relatives or friends who are willing to share the burden of riches.

In the case of married masculine stars, trouble ensues when they separate from their wives. Rudy Vallee discovered this fact when his ex-mate, Fay Webb, attempted to set aside a property agreement. The case was recently settled by the payment to Fay of a fat sum.

Clark Gable has asked the Los Angeles coyrts to interpret a settlement recently agreed to by himself and his estranged wife. Gable claims that he understands that his wife intends to enter an action to set aside the agreement, and demand a much larger amount. He wishes to have the agreement held valid, and asks that Mrs. Gable be enjoined from attempting to set it aside.

The star’s wife expressed surprise at the action, but had nothing more to say except that she did not contemplate a divorce at the present time.

I predict that we shall have interesting news when this case goes to trial!

clark gable norma shearer joan crawford douglas fairbanks jr

Clark Gable, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in 1932

From November 1936:

Interest in the alleged feud between Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer is revived by the announcement that Joan is to challenge direct comparison with her rival by starring in the new version of “The Last of Mrs Cheyney”. The Lonsdale story was one of Norma’s early talkie successes.

The assignment follows Miss Crawford’s relinquishment of her role in Parnell with Clark Gable. The star, it appears, did not approve of the plan to make the film more romantic fiction than political history.

____

“The Last of Mrs. Cheyney” actually already had Myrna Loy starring in it when the swap was made and Myrna went to Parnell and Joan to “Cheyney”. After the film flopped, Clark was angry at Joan for “abandoning him.”

clark gable joan crawford chained

Fan letter from August 1936:

I think that Clark Gable’s popularity will decrease rapidly if he continues to appear on the screen as frequently as he does at present.

I made a count, and discovered that he actually had five releases in 1934 and the same number last year. This is a total of ten pictures in two years–a truly ridiculous figure for a star of his magnitude.

Ronald Colman who was Gable’s predecessor as the idol of feminine sans made about ten films in five years. This actor is still gaining admirers. I don’t know where Clark Gable will be in ten years time.

If he made about five good films in two years he can still consolidate his popularity. If he continues at his present rate, fans will get so sick of him that his career will be over before it is properly started.

I think this would be a pity for Gable at his best is a fine actor.

A. Ebrill

Little Summerville, England

clark gable it happened one night

From July 1936:

Usually, in Hollywood, when one lends money, it is never repaid. Clark Gable, however, recently had a different experience.

Nearly two years ago, the star, whilst driving on a country road, gave a lift to a young hitchhiker, who told a hard-luck story. Gable lent him five dollars. 

A few days ago a youth jumped on the running board of the actor’s car as he was driving out of the studio, and handed him back the loan. He was no longer a hitchhiker, for he had landed a job.

Clark is gradually recovering from the shock of getting the money back. Like all affluent Hollywoodites he has had many far different experiences.