TFTMM Presents “Star Of The Month (February 2021)” Featuring Clark Gable

Well, the month of January is over, and with it, my “Star Of The Month” blogathon for actress Doris Day. Now, we’re here to start the next one for the month of February, and our star this time is Clark Gable! Of course, being February 1, it’s his birthday, so we can celebrate his 120th birthday today!

Table Of Contents

Quick Film Career Bio

Birth: February 1, 1901

Death: November 16, 1960

William Clark Gable got the acting bug at the age of 17 when he saw the play The Bird Of Paradise. However, he wasn’t able to do much onstage for a couple more years. He did join a theater group, but it wasn’t until Josephine Dillon, his manager and acting coach (and his first wife), helped give him a makeover and training that he really got his start. He tried going to Hollywood in 1924, but he mostly appeared as an extra or a bit player in a few films. He decided to go back to the stage, and worked his way toward Broadway, where he was given good reviews for the 1928 play Machinal. He tried going back to California in 1930, and did a few films for Pathe and Warner Brothers.

However, it was when he signed with MGM that his career started to really take off. He worked with some of the big female stars of the day, including Joan Crawford (for eight films), Norma Shearer (for three), Jean Harlow (for six ) and Myrna Loy. He was loaned out to Columbia Pictures for a little movie called It Happened One Night, which resulted in him winning his only Best Actor Oscar. However, several more nominations came his way, including as Fletcher Christian in Mutiny On The Bounty, and his most well-known role as Rhett Butler in that classic film Gone With The Wind. During this time, he was also in a relationship with actress Carole Lombard. His marriage to her ended altogether too soon when her flight crashed into Potosi Mountain as she was returning home from a war bond drive. The crash killed all the passengers, and Clark Gable was terribly affected by the loss of his wife. Still, he continued to go back to work. In 1942, he joined the U.S. Army as part of the Air Force. He did fly some combat missions, much to the dismay of MGM, who tried to push for him to be given noncombat assignments. Eventually, he resigned his commission when he figured he wasn’t able to serve his country as well as he wished he could have (in between his age and celebrity status).

Upon his return, he went back to work at Hollywood, starring in the 1945 film Adventure. He continued to be a hit with audiences, although his films weren’t as well-received critically as they had been before Lombard’s death. He worked solidly at MGM up through 1954, including doing Mogambo, a remake of his big pre-Code hit Red Dust. After leaving MGM in 1954, he did a lot of freelance work, doing movies at Fox, Warner Brothers, and Paramount. During that time, his age was starting to show, and he had to get in better shape for the 1961 film The Misfits. The production on that film was a troubled one, and while his performance would be well-received, he died of a heart attack not long after finishing the movie.

My Own Feelings On Clark Gable

Like most, I was introduced to Clark Gable through the classic 1939 film Gone With The Wind. While I definitely enjoyed the movie, I can’t say as he was an actor that I actively sought out films from. Still, I’ve enjoyed seeing a few here and there. I will admit, I developed some interest in his movies particularly after learning when his birthday was. In short, I share it (although I’m considerably younger 😉 ), which is one reason I’ve been reviewing one of his films on his birthday the past couple of years (as opposed to any of the actors and actresses that I have a greater fondness for). I’ve enjoyed seeing some of his films, and I look forward to hearing about some more through this blogathon!

Filmography

This is a list of all the films that I personally have reviewed from his filmography so far. Obviously, I will be adding to it throughout the month of February, and it is my plan to add to it as I review more and more of his films even beyond this month’s celebration.

No Man Of Her Own (1932)

Dancing Lady (1933)

It Happened One Night (1934)

Mutiny On The Bounty (1935)

San Francisco (1936)

Mogambo (1953)

The Tall Men (1955)

The King And Four Queens (1956)

Run Silent, Run Deep (1958)

Entries For This Month

Thoughts From The Music(al) Man –

No Man Of Her Own (1932)

Dancing Lady (1933)

Mogambo (1953)

The King And Four Queens (1956)

Run Silent, Run Deep (1958)

18 Cinema Lane

China Seas (1935)

Upcoming Schedule For 2021:

March – star: Gene Kelly

April – nothing

May – star: Cary Grant

June – star: Claudette Colbert

July – star: James Cagney

August – star: Barbara Stanwyck

September – genre: Musicals

October – nothing

November – star: Humphrey Bogart

December (1-24) – genre: Christmas films

December (25-31) – nothing

Roster For The Next Month (Gene Kelly)

As you saw from the schedule above, I’ve got Gene Kelly featured for the next month (March). When I first announced my big plans, I was limiting the months to sign up for just January and February. Well, now I’m moving the roster for March here, and leaving it at that (as far as what months can be signed up for right now). The rules bear repeating, so here goes:

  1. At this point, I am not putting any restrictions on topics related to the various stars, whether it be any of their films, or biographies, lists of favorites, etc.
  2. These celebrations are intended as tributes to these stars (even if they aren’t being done in months with birthdays, although Clark Gable, the winner of the February poll, is at least scheduled for the month of his birthday), so I would ask that any participating posts be respectful of the stars themselves. Obviously, if you don’t care for that specific star, that would probably not be a good month to join in.
  3. I’m requesting that all posts would be new material, and not any previously published ones.
  4. As previously indicated, these celebrations of the stars and genres will last a whole month each, so you will have that whole month to work with. I myself will be publishing about four or five posts per month (depending on the number of Sundays and whether there are any recent disc releases that would fit the bill), so you can decide how many you want to do (within reason).
  5. If you are interested in joining, I would certainly suggest you either comment on this post, email me at astairefan7@gmail.com, or, for the Facebook savvy, contact me at my FB page. And feel free to use the banners I have put together (I’m still unsure of how much space I will have to work with over time on pictures, so for now I am doing one each).

Thoughts From The Music(al) Man

  • Gene Kelly: Singin’ In The Rain (1952), Brigadoon (1954), Invitation To The Dance (1956) and Marjorie Morningstar (1958)

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