The King Of Hollywood And I: A Birthday Celebration (2023) with… It Started In Naples (1960)

It’s February 1, so that means that we’ve got yet another special post on a film featuring birthday boy Clark Gable! This time, it’s his 1960 film It Started In Naples, also starring Sophia Loren and Vittorio De Sica!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Pay As You Exit (1936)

(available on Blu-ray as part of The Little Rascals: The ClassicFlix Restorations, Volume 6 (1936-1938) from ClassicFlix)

(Length: 10 minutes, 41 seconds)

The Gang put on their own production of “Romeo and Juliet” (if you can call it that), but to convince the local kids to see it, Alfalfa (Carl Switzer) comes up with the brilliant idea for them to pay as they exit. Also, trouble arises when Darla (Darla Hood) abandons the show partway through. This one was fairly entertaining, in between Spanky’s (George McFarland) reaction to Alfalfa’s “pay as you exit” idea, and their whole show. In some respects, the short has its issues with Buckwheat’s initial role in their show, but it more than makes up for it when he is recast as Juliet (with the approval of the audience). I had fun with this one, and certainly think that it’s worth seeing!

And Now For The Main Feature…

American lawyer Michael Hamilton (Clark Gable) has come to Naples, Italy, to settle his late brother’s affairs. He meets up with Italian lawyer Mario Vitale (Vittorio De Sica), who reveals that Michael’s brother had died in a boating accident with his mistress. The two had left behind their eight-year-old son, who now lives with his aunt. Mario takes Michael to meet the aunt, Lucia Curcio (Sophia Loren), who wants nothing to do with Michael and leaves for her home in Capri. Michael is determined to find out if he does indeed have a nephew, and follows her to Capri. There, he meets his nephew, Nando Hamilton (Carlo Angeleti “Marietto”), and is willing to let things be. When he finds himself stuck overnight in Capri (because the boat schedule was wrong), Michael finds Nando distributing flyers for the adult nightclub that his aunt works at. Unhappy at his nephew being up so late (and not getting much of an education at school), Michael threatens to have Nando taken away from Lucia and sent to the American school in Rome. Angry with Michael, Lucia convinces Nando to go to school, and enlists the help of her neighbors to stop Michael from taking Nando away. While he prepares to bring suit against Lucia, Michael spends some time with Nando in an attempt to help persuade him to go along with his plans instead of Lucia’s. Hoping to avoid going to court (and play matchmaker at the same time), Mario secretly talks to Michael and Lucia, telling both of them that the other has some affection for them, which could help solve the problem. It works for a while, as the two fall for each other. However, when Nando tries to ask Michael if he will marry his aunt Lucia, Michael tries to avoid it, which results in the two adults being back at each other’s throats. Will they be able to solve their fight in court amicably, or will Nando be torn between them?

It Started In Naples (1960) was shot on location, with the interiors done at Rome’s Cinecittà Studios, while the exteriors were done in Rome, Naples itself and the island of Capri. Sophia Loren had grown up in Naples, but her return was marked by controversy due to her recent “marriage” to Carlo Ponti (who was in the process of divorcing his first wife). Clark Gable was very professional i his work ethic, but maintained in his contract that he would only work from nine to five (and wore a wristwatch that buzzed at five to let him know that he was done for the day). Filmmaker and actor Vittorio De Sica was brought into the production to help give it more of a Neopolitan flavor with the script, and did so by suggesting they work with writer Suso Cecchi d’Amico. As a result, Vittorio was also given the role of lawyer Mario Vitale. For Clark Gable (who had recently suffered a mild heart attack but continued to drink and smoke heavily), this film would turn out to be the last one he made that was released during his lifetime, as he died of a heart attack nearly three months after the film’s release (after having completed The Misfits).

This was my first time seeing It Started In Naples (1960), and I will admit that I enjoyed it! I have no problem admitting that Clark Gable was the main reason that I wanted to see it (particularly for this series of posts), and he certainly didn’t let me down. I thought that he and Sophia Loren had pretty good chemistry, which helped offset some of the lesser material here (which was plentiful, as the film stayed well within romantic comedy territory, and the film’s ending seemed to wrap up a little too quickly, in my opinion). I’ve seen it said by numerous others that the film has three stars, with the third (after Clark and Sophia) being Italy itself, and I can’t deny that this is indeed true. A good part of the fun here is seeing a lot of the beautiful Italian scenery (circa 1960). I would also say that Vittorio De Sica as the lawyer Mario Vitale adds some fun, in between his attempted matchmaking, plus his court monologue (spoken mostly in Italian), which almost seems to favor his opponent (instead of his own client!), even if he does have his sexist moment obviously ogling Lucia’s (Sophia Loren) legs. Again, the story isn’t really the film’s strongest point (and quite frankly, I’m not too thrilled with Carlo Angeleti’s performance as the kid Nando, either), but the whole thing was certainly enough fun that I would be glad to see it again. Clark Gable was definitely getting older and wasn’t at his best, but he’s still good enough to make it worth recommending (and his co-star Sophia Loren, along with the scenery, adds to the appeal)!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2022) with…It Started In Naples (1960)

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Paramount Pictures. As I said, I hadn’t seen the film before (at least, not before the new Blu-ray), so I don’t know how it looked before. Reading comments on what others have said, there was a new transfer made between the film’s DVD release and the recent Blu-ray. The transfer on the new Blu-ray looks absolutely gorgeous! There really isn’t any dust, dirt or other debris marring the picture, and the detail is fantastic! It really show off the Italian scenery (not to mention the cast), which to my mind makes this Blu-ray worthwhile for those interested in the movie!

Film Length: 1 hour, 40 minutes

My Rating: 7/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Run Silent, Run Deep (1958)Clark Gable

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The King Of Hollywood And I: A Birthday Celebration (2022) with… Mutiny On The Bounty (1935)

Well, since I revealed my shared birthday with Clark Gable last year, I have decided to rechristen today’s special once-a-year post as being part of my new series The King Of Hollywood And I: A Birthday Celebration (with the previous reviews of Clark Gable films on this day to be included)! Under this new series, we shall start off with the classic 1935 Clark Gable movie Mutiny On The Bounty, also starring Charles Laughton!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Pitcairn Island Today (1935)

(available as an extra on the Mutiny On The Bounty Blu-ray from Warner Archive Collection)

(Length: 9 minutes, 39 seconds)

As narrated by Carey Wilson, we get a quick history of the journey of the mutineers from the Bounty. After that, we see what things were like (at the time this short was made) on the island of Pitcairn. Numerous descendants of the mutineers still remained on the island, living a simple life. There was some footage borrowed from the 1933 film In The Wake Of The Bounty. It’s an interesting short (and one that was made to help promote the 1935 movie Mutiny On The Bounty), but it’s not one that I feel the need to revisit at any point soon.

And Now For The Main Feature…

It’s December of 1787, and the ship H. M. S. Bounty of the British navy is anchored in Portsmouth Harbour, England. Preparations are underway for a two-year trip to the Tahitian islands to collect some breadfruit trees (needed in the West Indies as a relatively cheap source of food for slaves). Press gangs led by Fletcher Christian (Clark Gable) help fill out the crew, and Roger Byam (Franchot Tone) is sent along as a midshipman by Sir Joseph Banks (Henry Stephenson), who hopes that Roger will be able to help compile a Tahitian dictionary for him. When Captain William Bligh (Charles Laughton) comes on board the ship before they sail, he orders the whole crew to observe a “flogging through the fleet” of a man who struck his captain. The man is dead by the time he gets to their ship, but the captain gives the order to have him flogged, just the same. Once the ship is under way, Captain Bligh strongly maintains discipline on the ship. He underfeeds the men and is quick to have punishment administered even to those who call him out for his own greed and fraud. This angers Christian, and the two are almost at each other’s throats when they arrive at Tahiti. There, they are met by the island’s chief, Hitihiti (William Bambridge), who had met the captain when he was on Captain Cook’s ship that arrived there nearly a decade earlier. The captain orders all the men to harvest the breadfruit trees or work on the ship, with Christian in particular not being granted shore leave. Due to Roger’s commission on the Tahitian dictionary, he is allowed to go ashore and live with the chief while he works. He falls in love with the chief’s daughter, Tehani (Movita Castaneda), and the chief is able to wrangle a day’s shore leave for Christian (who falls in love with Maimiti, played by Mamo Clark). Once they have harvested all the breadfruit they need and gotten the ship ready, everybody prepares to leave. Bligh immediately orders the discipline of some men who tried to desert, and requires everyone see it. The problem is that the ship’s drunken surgeon, Bacchus (Dudley Digges), has taken ill, and falls over dead when the captain insists that he be present instead of resting in bed. This incident and further punishment of the deserters is the breaking point for Christian, who leads many of the men in mutiny. Instead of killing the captain, Christian forces him and some of his supporters into a ship’s launch with provisions, and leaves them for dead. Roger and some others didn’t support the mutiny, but were stuck on the ship because there wasn’t enough room for them on the launch. Christian orders the Bounty to return to Tahiti, where the men enjoy their new homes and families. Meanwhile, the determined Captain Bligh helps steer the boat to a hospitable land over a period of nearly fifty days. On Tahiti, Christian and Roger manage to repair their friendship, but things change for everyone when a ship is sighted offshore. Christian and most of the other mutineers and their families get on the ship and leave, while Roger and some others who hadn’t mutinied stay behind. The ship, the Pandora, is captained by Bligh, who has Roger and the other men arrested for mutiny (regardless of whether they were guilty or not). He tries to hunt Christian and the others down, but only manages to run the ship aground. The survivors are taken back to England, where Roger and the mutineers are court-martialed. Will Roger be able to convince the court of his innocence, or will the vengeful Captain Bligh be successful in having him executed?

In real life, there was indeed a ship called the Bounty back in the late 1700s captained by a man named Bligh where the crew mutinied after a visit to Tahiti. That event inspired many tales, and the movies were not immune to telling the story, with an Australian silent film among the earliest in 1916. In the early 1930s, authors Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall borrowed from the legends to write a trilogy of books (Mutiny On The Bounty, Men Against The Sea and Pitcairn’s Island) on the subject. Frank Lloyd bought the film rights to the novels, hoping to direct himself as Bligh, and film it on a replica of the ship during an ocean trip to Tahiti. He sold the rights to MGM, where producer Irving Thalberg was able to convince him to direct it while abandoning his thoughts of starring in it and filming on an ocean trip. They wanted Clark Gable for the role of Fletcher Christian, but he didn’t want to do it, in between hating the period costume and being forced to shave off his mustache. Thalberg was finally able to convince him to take the role with a promise that Gable wouldn’t have to take another part he didn’t want if the movie didn’t become his biggest hit. For the role of Captain Bligh, they wanted somebody who didn’t get along with Gable off-screen to help bring out the hostilities between the characters onscreen. They first asked Wallace Beery, but his hatred for Gable was so much that he didn’t like the idea of being stuck with him for the long location shoot. Instead, they were able to get Charles Laughton, whose lifestyle and acting style caused tension between the two. It worked out well for everybody, with the film being one of the highest grossing movies of the year, and all three leads were nominated for Best Actor that year at the Oscars (but the film’s only win was for Best Picture). Plans were made (at one point or another) for two potential sequels (one following Captain Bligh, and another following Fletcher Christian), but nothing came of that. MGM remade the film in 1962 with Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard, which was nowhere near as well-received, and the story was told again in 1984 with The Bounty starring Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins (although that version was based on a different source than the Nordhoff and Hall novels) which was more historically accurate but still not as well-liked by audiences.

I first saw this movie about fifteen years ago (give or take a few years) when my family was renting DVDs from Netflix. At that time, I didn’t really take to the film (a combination of my taste in film at the time, not having developed an interest in Clark Gable much beyond Gone With The Wind and a DVD with a bad spot that froze up). I didn’t completely hate it, though, so there was a part of me that wanted to try it again at some point. I finally got around to seeing it again within the last year, and I now find it to be a much more enjoyable film than before! I like Clark Gable’s performance as the more sympathetic-to-his-men Fletcher Christian, especially as we see the cruelty of Captain Bligh slowly but surely get under his skin until he decides to take over the ship. And as Captain Bligh, Charles Laughton gives an equally great performance as the film’s villain, making it very easy to side with Gable’s Christian in the mutiny, even as he gains our sympathy a little when he actually takes care of his men when they are set adrift in the small boat. I’ll admit, it’s hard not to also think of The Caine Mutiny when watching this movie, given their similar concepts. Of course (and this is certainly a bit of a SPOILER for Caine and, to a lesser degree, Bounty), Caine leaves room to question whether the mutiny should have taken place, especially when Bogart’s Captain Queeg seems to be mentally unbalanced. Bounty leaves no room for question, as we see from the start that Laughton’s Captain Bligh is a cruel man without the slightest qualms about his actions, and therefore, his crew should have mutinied. Now, I will grant you, Mutiny On The Bounty is not historically accurate, most of which comes from the novels (which, as I said, drew from the legend and made Captain Bligh much more of a villain than was apparently the case in real life). Still, it’s a very entertaining movie, and one that I’ve come to appreciate more with time! Certainly a great film that I would definitely recommend!

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Archive Collection.

Film Length: 2 hours, 13 minutes

My Rating: 10/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

The Sign Of The Cross (1932) – Charles Laughton – The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1939)

It Happened One Night (1934)Clark GableSan Francisco (1936)

Dancing Lady (1933) – Franchot Tone – Nice Girl? (1941)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2021) with… San Francisco (1936)

We’re back again for the classic 1936 movie San Francisco, starring Clark Gable and Jeanette MacDonald! Now, I had originally planned to post this back on February 14 as part of my Star Of The Month blogathon on Clark Gable, but then it was announced for release on Blu-ray, so I decided to delay it until I could see the new Blu-ray (and wrote about Mogambo instead). Still, most of what I had to say hasn’t changed, so here it is! Of course, we still have a few theatrical shorts to start things off with!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Bottles (1936)

(available as an extra on the San Francisco Blu-ray from Warner Archive Collection)

(Length: 10 minutes, 16 seconds)

When a druggist falls asleep one night, all the bottles in his shop come to life. This one is part of MGM’s “Happy Harmonies” series of shorts, and a fun one. In usual fashion for cartoons of the era, there isn’t a lot of story, but just stuff going on with a lot of characters singing various songs. While not as much fun as some of the Disney shorts of the era (in my opinion), this one was still enjoyable, and worth seeing every now and then.

Coming Up Shorts! with… Cavalcade Of San Francisco (1940)

(available as an extra on the San Francisco Blu-ray from Warner Archive Collection)

(Length: 8 minutes, 55 seconds)

This is a short from MGM’s TravelTalk series narrated by James A. FitzPatrick, which focuses on the Californian city of San Francisco. We get a bit of a view of the city’s landmarks (from about 1940), as well as a few bits about its history. It ends with some scenes from a World’s Fair exposition showing the history of the American West. It’s an interesting short, especially to see San Francisco from that time period, but, without any personal connections to the city myself, I find this to be one that I will probably not be revisiting any time soon.

Coming Up Shorts! with… Night Descends On Treasure Island (1940)

(available as an extra on the San Francisco Blu-ray from Warner Archive Collection)

(Length: 8 minutes, 6 seconds)

Another short from the TravelTalk series, this one focuses on the Golden Gate International Exposition at night time. We see a lot of the lit-up fountains, and various light shows, along with a number of paintings from the Palace Of Fine And Decorative Arts. Supposedly a follow-up to another short in the series that was filmed during the daytime. It’s another interesting one that allows us a view into that part of history when the Exposition was there, before the lights and everything would be turned off (like the short itself keeps emphasizing).

And Now For The Main Feature…

Our story starts in the waning hours of 1905 in San Francisco. Blackie Norton (Clark Gable), the owner of the Paradise Cafe in the Barbary Coast, is celebrating the New Year when he sees firetrucks heading towards the Barbary Coast. He watches the firefighters put out the fire before heading back to his place. While he’s there, he meets singer Mary Blake (Jeanette MacDonald), who just lost her living quarters due to the fire. He takes a liking to her and offers her a two-year contract to sing at the Paradise. As a result of the fire, a group of citizens band together and ask Blackie to run for supervisor, in the hope that he will help improve many of the unsafe buildings in the area. With the support of his friend, Father Tim Mullin (Spencer Tracy), Blackie decides to run. His opponent, Jack Burley (Jack Holt), decides to pay him a visit and convince him to withdraw. He also brings along Señor Baldini (William Riccardi), the maestro at the Tivoli Opera House (which Burley owns). The two of them hear Mary singing, and try to convince her to come sing at the Tivoli. Although it’s her dream to sing there, she is stuck at the Paradise, since Blackie won’t let her out of her contract. However, Burley isn’t willing to give up, and keeps trying to make an offer. One night, Blackie, feeling confident she wouldn’t take up the offer, tells Burley that he will let her go, if she wants to. Without knowing this, she at first decides to stick with Blackie. However, when he throws a party to celebrate their “relationship,” she realizes she doesn’t mean that much to him, and leaves, taking him up on his offer to let her out of his contract. On opening night at the Tivoli, Blackie comes with a process server, intending to stop the show. However, he finds himself mesmerized by her singing, and decides to let the show go on. Afterwards, he goes to meet her backstage. Happy to see him again, Mary proposes marriage, and he accepts. However, when Burley comes backstage, Blackie makes his acceptance of her proposal depend upon her return to the Paradise Cafe. She decides to come back to the Paradise, but Father Tim objects to how Blackie is exploiting her in a revealing costume. Infuriated, Blackie punches his friend, and Mary decides to leave and go back to the Tivoli, which really angers Blackie. Even with this victory (and Mary accepting his proposal of marriage), Burley still insists on revoking Blackie’s liquor license and jailing his performers. Of course, this happens on the night of the Chickens Ball, a party where Blackie’s performers had been winning an entertainment competition in previous years (with a cash prize that Blackie sorely needed this time for his campaign fund). When Mary finds out what Burley did, she volunteers to go on for the Paradise, and wins easily. However, Blackie is furious with her and throws away the cash. Before anything else can happen, the city is hit with a very powerful earthquake, which makes a huge mess of things. Blackie manages to crawl out of the rubble, but Mary is nowhere to be seen. Can Blackie find her, or has the earthquake claimed the woman he loves?

While the posters proudly proclaimed that this movie was the first time that Clark Gable and Jeanette MacDonald shared the screen (and, to the best of my knowledge, would be the only time), the real team here was Gable and Spencer Tracy, in the first of three films they made together. Not only that, it helped Spencer Tracy’s career start to take off, after he had struggled at 20th Century Fox (who didn’t know what to do with him) and had signed with MGM. It ended up being the first of his nine nominations for the Best Actor Oscar. It was also a career changer for Jeanette MacDonald, who had mainly done some light operettas up to that point. Of course, the earthquake from the final twenty minutes or so is probably what this movie is best-known for, supposedly done by MGM’s special effects artist James Basevi (although Arnold Gillespie is given the credit).

Ah, Clark Gable. Where to begin? As best as I can tell, the film’s writers (Anita Loos and Robert Hopkins) based Clark’s character of Blackie Norton on real-life figure Wilson Mizner. Now, I know very little (if anything) about Wilson Mizner, but I do know that I like Clark Gable’s performance here. He does a great job portraying a character who, as Spencer Tracy’s Father Mullin puts it, is ashamed of his good deeds the way others would be ashamed of their bad deeds. Besides him giving the organ to his friend’s church, we also see it in his treatment of Jeanette MacDonald’s Mary, especially when she proposes to him, as he makes it clear it’s her idea, and then he later asks if they can postpone it until after the election, since he had long derided the institution of marriage. But, more than that, his character seems to have parallels to the city of San Francisco (at least, as it is portrayed in this movie). The city is described by some characters as being quite “wicked” and ungodly, as he is. We watch as things get worse for the city and him as everyone’s pride increases, until his rejection of goodness (when he turns down her help at the Ball), at which point the earthquake strikes. Then, we see the citizens of the city (and him) start to reform. However you look at it, his performance has certainly made the movie easy to watch!

Now, when I first saw this movie, I had had no prior experience with actress and singer Jeanette MacDonald (outside of whatever clips were used in the That’s Entertainment film series). I still enjoyed the movie then, with all the performances working quite well, and the religious elements of the story certainly appealed to me. Having seen some of her other films in the time since I first watched the movie, I can appreciate her performance even more here. Of course, her rendition of the title song by Bronislau Kaper and Walter Jurmann is quite memorable, as is her introduction of the Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed song “Would You” (later used in the classic Singin’ In The Rain). But, I find myself also enjoying hearing her sing several hymns near the end of the movie, including “Nearer My God To Thee” and “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic.” All in all, whether it’s for Clark, Jeanette, Spencer, the earthquake sequence (which was done quite well, in my opinion), or any of a number of other reasons, this is a movie I enjoy watching every now and then! Certainly one you’ll find me having no hesitation about recommending!

This movie is available on Blu-ray from Warner Archive Collection. The original camera negative was lost in the infamous MGM fire, so they were working from a combination of a nitrate fine grain second generation film elements (that were dubbed in French) and some more domestic elements. The results are fantastic (but, of course, this is WAC, so that’s nothing new). For those that don’t know, this movie has had two different endings. The film’s original ending had a montage of footage from then-modern day San Francisco (which included a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge, then under construction), and a 1948 re-issue removed that, showing instead a freeze frame of then-current San Francisco. The DVD had the ending from the 1948 re-issue (and the original as an extra), whereas the new Blu-ray has the original 1936 ending restored to the movie (and the other included as a silent extra). Overall, I’m thrilled with this release, and would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending it!

Film Length: 1 hour, 55 minutes

My Rating: 10/10

*ranked #2 in Top 10 Disc Releases Of 2021

**ranked #9 in Top 10 Movies Watched In 2021

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Mutiny On The Bounty (1935)Clark GableMogambo (1953)

Rose-Marie (1936)Jeanette MacDonaldMaytime (1937)

Spencer Tracy – Libeled Lady (1936)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

“Star Of The Month (February 2021)” Featuring Clark Gable in… Run Silent, Run Deep (1958)

Well, it’s the last Sunday in February, and I have one last Clark Gable film, as we end our celebration of him as the Star Of The Month! That film would be the 1958 movie Run Silent, Run Deep, which also stars Burt Lancaster. But first, let’s get through our theatrical short.

Coming Up Shorts! with… Reel Pink (1965)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 1 (1964-1966) from Kino Lorber)

(Length: 6 minutes, 17 seconds)

The Pink Panther buys a group of worms to go fishing, but one of them keeps giving him trouble. Honestly, that description doesn’t fully describe what goes on in this cartoon. For the second half, the Panther faces off against a crab that he catches, while the worm just disappears completely. Both parts are somewhat amusing with the worm sabotaging him and the crab trying to fight him (even with a cannon from inside his shell), but the change just feels too abrupt, and throws off the fun of the cartoon. If it had been more consistent, it would be easier to recommend this one.

And Now For The Main Feature…

In World War II, Commander P. J. Richardson (Clark Gable) captains a submarine through the Bungo Straits near Japan, where the submarine is sunk by the Japanese destroyer Akikaze. Richardson survives, but is relegated to a desk job in Pearl Harbor. A year later, he learns from yeoman 1st class “Kraut” Miller (Jack Warden) that the Akikaze has sunk a fourth submarine in the Bungo Straits, and sends in a request to be returned to active duty. Meanwhile, the submarine Nerka returns to Pearl Harbor. With its captain out of commission due to injury, the members of the crew hope that Lieutenant James Bledsoe (Burt Lancaster) will take over. However, that idea is short-lived when they are informed that the Nerka will be captained by Commander Richardson. Jim is less than thrilled, and goes to Richardson’s home to tell him off and request a transfer (which he is denied). When they go to sea, the crew finds out that they have been assigned to patrol Area 7 (where the Bungo Straits are, much to their dismay). Richardson starts to run drills, pushing the crew to improve their timing. After about a week, they spot a Japanese sub, but Richardson chooses to ignore it. This act leaves the crew pondering whether he is a coward, with some of the officers starting to consider a mutiny (but Jim puts an end to the idea). A few days later, after doubling down on the drills, they come across a Japanese tanker and destroyer, and take them on successfully. However, they end up avoiding another convoy (on Richardson’s orders), and Jim goes to see him to find out why. Richardson then reveals that they will be going to the Bungo Straits (which their orders had told them NOT to do), and Jim deduces that it is to go after the Akikaze. Richardson thinks they have a surprise advantage, but when they come across the Akikaze protecting a convoy, they discover that the enemy is ready for them. They are forced to evade an errant torpedo, and the Akikaze drops depth charges, some of which cause damage, killing a few crew members (and giving Richardson a concussion). Richardson has them jettison some debris to help convince the Japanese that their sub had been destroyed, so that they can work on repairs. Richardson’s concussion causes him to lose consciousness, and the doctor tells him to take it easy (not that he wants to listen or let anybody else know about the problem). When Jim hears that Richardson wants to try again after the repairs have been completed, he decides that enough is enough, and assumes command himself (with plans to return to Pearl Harbor). However, when he hears on the radio from Tokyo Rose that they believe the Nerka has been sunk (and figures out how they were detected), he reconsiders his decision. Now, he figures they can try again, but will they be any more successful (and survive whatever other surprises may be in store)?

Run Silent, Run Deep is based on the novel (of the same name) by Commander Edward L. Beach. The film rights were acquired by United Artists (apparently the first time they bought the property first and then delegated it to somebody else later), and it ended up being given to Hill-Hecht-Lancaster Productions (Burt Lancaster’s production company). Burt Lancaster wanted the part of Lieutenant James Bledsoe, and they brought in Clark Gable to play the older commander. An attempt was made to keep the movie as authentic as possible, in between trying to use realistic submarine talk, combat incidents taken from the Navy archives, and learning about the equipment. Critics took to the movie, heaping a lot of praise upon it, although it wasn’t as big of a hit (at the time) with movie audiences.

I’ve seen a handful of submarine movies over time, but, so far, it’s mainly been the comedies that have stuck with me. So, when I say that I like Run Silent, Run Deep (after one viewing), you can bet I have a high opinion of the movie! I saw the movie mainly because of Clark Gable, and he did not disappoint! His character certainly seems to echo Captain Ahab of Moby Dick fame, as he is obsessed with trying to figure out how to take down the ship that sunk his submarine. He tries, as much as he can, to come up with a strategy to defeat it, and, once given another sub to work with, drills the men in the very methods he has determined would work. And, to continue it further, he wants ONLY to get that ship (and, at best, uses others like it as a test run to see if his methods have a hope of working). Of course, I can’t say whether he can be redeemed or not without giving away the film’s ending, but, suffice to say, Clark Gable made this movie worth seeing for me! All the special effects are well done, and certainly help to convey everything that’s going on! It just feels, to me, like a well-done submarine/war movie, and it’s one I would have no trouble whatsoever recommending!

This movie is available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.

Another month down, and thus the end of my celebration of Clark Gable! Tune in tomorrow as we start the celebration of Gene Kelly as the star for the month of March!

Film Length: 1 hour, 33 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

The King And Four Queens (1956)Clark GableIt Started In Naples (1960)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

“Star Of The Month (February 2021)” Featuring Clark Gable in… The King And Four Queens (1956)

As we continue on with our celebration of Clark Gable as our Star Of The Month, we’ve got his 1956 film The King And Four Queens, which also co-stars Eleanor Parker. But first, let’s get through our theatrical short before getting around to the main event!

Coming Up Shorts! with… An Ounce Of Pink (1965)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 1 (1964-1966) from Kino Lorber)

(Length: 6 minutes, 2 seconds)

The Pink Panther runs across a coin-operated talking weight and fortune-telling machine, and he buys it to keep with him. Numerous fun gags here, with the main recurring gag being the machine stopping in the midst of a sentence that requires the Panther to put another coin in (even after he buys it). I will admit the gags themselves are mostly predictable (pun intended), as the machine gives vague predictions that sound good, only to turn out bad for the Panther (with one that *could* have gone well had the Panther not felt distrust over the previous situations). Still, it does provide a few laughs, and I certainly enjoy listening to Larry Storch as the voice of the machine!

And Now For The Main Feature…

Conman Dan Kehoe (Clark Gable) is on the run from a group on horseback, but he successfully evades them. In the first town he comes to, he learns about the nearby town of Wagon Mound, which is currently occupied by a hostile Ma McDade (Jo Van Fleet) and her four daughters-in-law. Apparently, her four sons had stolen over one hundred thousand dollars worth of gold, and had taken it to Wagon Mound, chased by a posse. While there, three of the four boys were blown up, and the fourth escaped (but which one, nobody knew). The gold was left there in Wagon Mound, and the McDade ladies were all there protecting it against outsiders. Dan decides to look into it himself. He fakes being pursued, and rides into the town, only to be shot in the arm by Ma. He is then brought in and bandaged up. The young (potential) widows, Sabina (Eleanor Parker), Ruby (Jean Willes), Birdie (Barbara Nichols) and Oralie (Sara Shane), are all thrilled at the sight of him, much to Ma’s dismay. When Dan wakes up, he pretends to have been sent there by another man, thinking he would be safe there. Ma’s not sure what to make of him, but she lets him stay the night. As he flirts with the receptive widows, Ma pushes him to leave. However, before he can, Sheriff Tom Larrabee (Roy Roberts) arrives with a posse, thinking him to be the missing McDade boy. However, Dan makes a deal with the sheriff to stay and be a lookout, should the missing McDade arrive. After the sheriff leaves, Dan tells Ma about his deal, in an attempt to stay longer (so that the sheriff wouldn’t be suspicious). While there, he continues to work his charms on the young widows in an attempt to find out if any of them know the location of the gold, but none of them know (but they certainly want to team up with him to find it and get out of there). It seems that if anybody knows where the gold is, it’s Ma, but will she give up that information to a man that she doesn’t seem to trust?

The King And Four Queens was produced by Clark Gable’s production company (GABCO) in partnership with Jane Russell (whom he had co-starred with the previous year in The Tall Men) and her husband Robert Waterfield. The movie was filmed on location in St. George, Utah, with some of the interiors filmed back in Hollywood. It’s been said that there were three endings shot for the movie, with the plan being for the preview audiences to choose which one they liked best. This ended up being the first, last and only movie that Clark Gable produced, as much as the stress affected his health.

I personally had a lot of fun watching this movie. It was my first time seeing it, but Clark Gable carried the movie quite well! His charm is on full display, as he convincingly flirts with all four of the widows (to varying effect). I enjoyed watching the movie for him alone! And the rest of the cast worked well for me, too, with Jo Van Fleet as Ma doing pretty well (seriously, I wouldn’t want to go up against her, as tough as she seems to be in this film)! I will grant you that, if you’re looking for a western to have big gunfights, this one will be a disappointment. But, I didn’t need one, as I enjoyed watching the story from start to finish. So, I would definitely give my recommendation for this movie!

This movie is available on Blu-ray from Olive Films.

Film Length: 1 hour, 24 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

The Tall Men (1955)Clark GableRun Silent, Run Deep (1958)

Eleanor Parker – Home From The Hill (1960)

“Star Of The Month (February 2021)” Featuring Clark Gable in… Mogambo (1953)

We’re back again for another film featuring actor Clark Gable as we continue to celebrate him as the Star Of The Month for February 2021!  This time, it’s the classic 1953 movie Mogambo, also starring Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly!

(Note: for those who may have noticed, I originally planned to review Clark Gable’s 1936 film San Francisco today, but then that movie was announced as a new February 2021 Blu-ray release. So I decided to delay that review until I’ve had a chance to see that new disc. Hope you still enjoy this one!)

Coming Up Shorts! with… Pink Panzer (1965)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 1 (1964-1966) from Kino Lorber)

(Length: 5 minutes, 50 seconds)

The Pink Panther and his neighbor are slowly being turned against each other by the narrator. The action builds up as the “narrator” eggs the two on, until all-out war erupts. This cartoon is both an entertaining one, while also being disturbing about how easily small resentments can build up over time between those who seem to be at peace with each other. Paul Frees voices both the neighbor and the “narrator” (and does a really good job, particularly with the “narrator” whose reveal at the end of the cartoon certainly makes sense). Certainly some fun to be had with this one.

And Now For The Main Feature…

When safari guide and hunter Victor Marswell (Clark Gable) fails to catch a black leopard, he returns to his cabin, only to find that it’s been occupied by Eloise “Honey Bear” Kelly (Ava Gardner).  Apparently, she was invited to join a maharajah there, but he had left before she arrived. Now she is stranded there for about a week until a boat can come to take her away.  She’s not happy about it, but she tries to work around it.  She quickly becomes friendly with Victor’s friends and co-workers John Brown-Pryce (Philip Stainton) and Leon Boltchak (Eric Pohlmann), and a relationship starts to develop between her and Victor.  However, when the week is up and the boat arrives, Victor makes her pack (which hurts her feelings).  Arriving on that boat is anthropologist Donald Nordley (Donald Sinden) and his wife Linda (Grace Kelly).  While Victor knew they were coming, he is less than thrilled when Donald announces his intention to go up to the gorilla country, so he refuses to take them.  However, their argument is short-lived when Donald starts getting sick from a tsetse fly vaccination, and Victor has to help take care of him.  While that’s happening, Eloise returns, as the boat had run aground, so she is stuck with Victor and his crew again while the boat’s skipper waits for parts to repair it.  Eloise starts to notice hints of attraction developing between Victor and Linda Nordley, and starts trying to break it up.  After Donald recovers, Victor decides to take them up into gorilla country after all, and they plan to bring Eloise along so that she can get a ride back to civilization through the District Commissioner.  They make their way to a mission run by Father Josef (Denis O’Dea), where Victor has to take part in a “ceremony of courage” so that they can get some men and canoes to help get them further down the river.  When they get to the Deputy Commissioner in the territory of the Samburu tribe, they find him mortally wounded, and the natives themselves are threatening everybody.  Narrowly managing to get themselves out, the whole party continues on down the river.  Throughout the trip, Victor and Linda have really started falling for each other, a fact that everyone else has noticed (well, everyone except Donald).  Once they reach gorilla country, Victor determines to tell Donald, but finds himself unable to.  But, will Donald still find out, one way or another?  Will Victor and Linda be a couple, or will he come back to Eloise?

Mogambo was the second film version of the 1928 Wilson Collison play Red Dust.  The previous film version was the 1932 film Red Dust, which starred Jean Harlow, Mary Astor, and, in a career-making role, Clark Gable.  In 1950, MGM had made a hit with audiences with the film King Solomon’s Mines, which had been shot on location in Africa.  Wanting another property they could do there, they took the suggestion of King Solomon’s Mines star Stewart Granger, and decided to remake Red Dust.  However, they decided to cast Clark Gable in the lead (instead of Stewart) in an attempt to help revive Gable’s career (which had been going downhill at that time).  Director John Ford hadn’t seen the original film, but the script and the opportunity to film in Africa appealed to him.   While they had to tame down a lot of the more sexual elements of the original pre-Code film, Mogambo still managed to be a hit for all involved.

So far, I haven’t seen Red Dust (although it is one I hope to see at some point), so I can only comment on Mogambo at this time.  I can definitely say that Clark Gable is the main reason that I have seen this film.  As a somewhat older man, he brings some maturity and experience to his big game hunter.  Clark brings enough machismo to the role that it’s still easy to see that both women would be interested in him.  He alone manages to make this movie worth seeing.

The movie itself is not without its flaws, however.  The pacing can be slow, and it’s not that action-packed.  If you’re going purely by the theatrical poster, it’s a little deceptive, as it almost makes you think that Clark going against the gorillas is a big thing, whereas it is almost nothing in the movie (and the film’s editing makes it seem fairly obvious that neither he nor the gorillas were ever together).  You can also throw in a few minor subplots that appear and then disappear just as easily, particularly that of the mortally wounded District Commissioner, whom they can be seen carrying away from his home, but then he isn’t mentioned again on any further steps of the trip.  Still, these are minor things, and they don’t take away a lot from the movie.  If you can live with them, it’s certainly a movie I would recommend!

This movie is available on DVD from Warner Home Video.

Film Length: 1 hour, 56 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

San Francisco (1936)Clark GableThe Tall Men (1955)

Show Boat (1951) – Ava Gardner

Grace Kelly – High Society (1956)

“Star Of The Month (February 2021)” Featuring Clark Gable in… Dancing Lady (1933)

I’m back again to continue celebrating Clark Gable as my Star Of The Month, and this time around, I’m doing his 1933 film Dancing Lady, also starring Joan Crawford!  Of course, as usual, we’ve got a few theatrical shorts to get things started, and then it’s on with the show!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Mess Production (1945)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s Volume 1 from Warner Archive Collection)

Disclaimer: On the disc case, it is noted that the set is intended for the adult collector, which is because these shorts were made at a time when a lot of racist and sexist stereotypes were prevalent. All I’m trying to say is, parents, be careful about just sticking these on for your kids.

(Length: 7 minutes, 7 seconds)

Factory workers Popeye and Bluto have to rescue Olive when she gets knocked for a loop by a swinging grappling hook. Apparently the first cartoon to sport a new design for Olive that would be continued, going forward. This one was fun, with all the gags of the boys trying to rescue her (and fight each other off at the same time). It was better than the previous two, with Jack Mercer again voicing Popeye. Admittedly, the whole gag of Olive sleepwalking after being hit in the head does kind of drag on, but it’s still fun enough to be worth seeing every now and then!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Plane Nuts (1933)

(available as an extra on the Dancing Lady DVD from Warner Archive Collection)

(Length: 19 minutes, 41 seconds)

Ted Healy and the Stooges perform onstage.  From what I can tell, this short apparently filmed part of their stage act, including Bonnie Bonnell, and was interspersed with clips from some Busby Berkeley choreographed numbers from the film Flying High.  Honestly, I don’t really care for Ted Healy as much here, but the Stooges themselves are at least somewhat fun.  As far as the dance numbers, I’d really rather see the film they came from, as they just seem out of place with everything else going on here.  Interesting but otherwise forgettable short.

Coming Up Shorts! with… Roast Beef And Movies (1934)

(available as an extra on the Dancing Lady DVD from Warner Archive Collection)

(Length: 16 minutes, 16 seconds)

Three men try to peddle their ideas to a movie producer, who offered up a lot of money to someone who could come up with a big idea.  This color short (made in Two-Color Technicolor or something similar, if I am guessing correctly) is a rare short that features Curly Howard (here billed as “Jerry Howard”) apart from his fellow Stooges Moe and Larry.  Given that he is not a prominent member of the trio, and the short is comprised of several sequences (two of which are borrowed from other films), it’s not particularly memorable.  They do attempt to use some Stooges-type of humor, but it really doesn’t work without the actual Stooges team.  At best, this one is only to be seen by fans of Curly, and otherwise should be avoided.

And Now For The Main Feature…

Dancer Janie Barlow (Joan Crawford) is doing a striptease in a burlesque theatre along with her friend Rosette LaRue (Winnie Lightner) and a number of other ladies, when the police raid the place and arrest them all.  Janie is sentenced to jail since she can’t pay her fine, but she is soon bailed out by rich socialite Tod Newton (Franchot Tone).  While he is interested in her, she would prefer to consider the bail money just a loan (which she intends to pay back).  With her newfound freedom, Janie opts not to go back to the burlesque theatre, and instead starts looking for work as a dancer on Broadway.  She tries to get into the show directed by Patch Gallagher (Clark Gable), even following him everywhere to get his attention, but her methods don’t work.  She runs back into Tod again, who offers to help her get her foot in the door with a letter of introduction to Patch’s producer, Jasper Bradley, Sr. (Grant Mitchell).  Jasper is delighted and has his son, Junior (Maynard Holmes) bring Janie to Patch for an audition.  Believing her to be a no-talent, Patch hands her off to his stage manager Steve (Ted Healy) to get rid of her.  However, she manages to impress Steve (and then Patch), and is given a job in the show.  Secretly, Tod offers to help finance the show in hopes of getting Janie to like him.  He proposes to her, but she wants to have her chance at stardom before she’s ready to settle down.  As the rehearsals go on, Patch decides to change things up, and promotes Janie to a starring role.  However, Tod decides to pull his backing, and the two Bradleys close the show (without telling everyone the real reason).  Tod almost immediately whisks Janie away on a trip to Cuba, while Patch decides to finance the show himself, with things going back to the way they were.  But, can he pull the show off?  And will Janie indeed give up on her dream of dancing?  Only watching the movie will tell!

Oh, where to begin with this one?  Joan Crawford, who had successfully transitioned from silent movies to talkies, was coming off a few flops and in need of a big hit.  The film was given to producer David O. Selznick, who was inspired by Warner’s recent success with 42nd Street and put together his own team for this film.  Joan Crawford had some choice in casting, and picked Clark Gable, for what would be the fourth of eight movies pairing the two.  The critics weren’t overly enthusiastic for the movie, but audiences of the time were, making it a big hit for MGM.

This is one of those movies where it’s just as much fun to see cast members who made it big AFTER this movie.  We have Eve Arden making a very quick cameo.  We have Nelson Eddy singing the song “That’s The Rhythm Of The Day.”  We’ve got the Three Stooges (although they were still stuck with Ted Healy at the time, and therefore are mostly in the background for the majority of the movie).  We’ve got a quick appearance from Sterling Holloway.  And, of course, we’ve got Fred Astaire making his film debut, playing himself (and getting introduced by Clark Gable)!

I can’t deny the fact that this is essentially MGM’s version of 42nd Street, from the very similar story to the Busby Berkeley-esque dance routines.  I would definitely say that I prefer Dancing Lady, as I’ve seen it many more times.  It does still have similar issues, with a lead female (Ruby Keeler in 42nd Street and Joan Crawford here) being featured as a big dance star (but whose skills don’t really look that good, especially in hindsight).  If Joan Crawford has any advantage, it’s her two dance routines with Fred Astaire, where her dancing looks a bit more polished.  Of course, those two songs (“Heigh Ho, The Gang’s All Here” and “Let’s Go Bavarian”) are some of the most fun tunes in the film (and are generally stuck in my head for a while afterwards)!  It’s not quite as much fun to watch Fred here, as neither the choreography nor the camerawork is as good as most would expect after watching his later films.  To be fair, I blame most of that on this being his first film, before he became big enough to have more control on how his dancing was filmed.  Not to mention the fact that his stuff was filmed over a two week period (and it shows, with his appearances and disappearances within the movie feeling quite random).

But, I digress.  I still need to talk about Clark Gable (after all, HE is the “Star Of The Month”).  While he may not have been the reason I originally saw this movie, I can’t deny that I have enjoyed Clark Gable’s performance in this film.  In him we have a very street smart director, one who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to tell his producer that.  Not to mention, he knows how to deal with the producer’s “demands” (such as when he is told to give Joan Crawford’s Janie Barlow an audition).  Of course, he’s not a pure tough guy, either, as his own insecurities come to light when he is forced to produce his show with his own money (and, lucky for him, Janie comes around to help pull him out of the funk he slips into).  All in all, this is a wonderful movie that I enjoy coming back to again and again, and therefore, I would definitely recommend it!

This movie is available on DVD from Warner Archive Collection.

Film Length: 1 hour, 32 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

No Man Of Her Own (1932)Clark GableIt Happened One Night (1934)

Franchot Tone – Mutiny On The Bounty (1935)

Fred AstaireTop Hat (1935)

Robert Benchley – Nice Girl? (1941)

Nelson EddyNaughty Marietta (1935)

Professional Sweetheart (1933) – Sterling Holloway – Alice In Wonderland (1933)

Eve Arden – Having Wonderful Time (1938)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… No Man Of Her Own (1932)

With it being February 1, I just have to have a review of one of Clark Gable’s films to celebrate his birthday (ESPECIALLY since he is the Star Of The Month)! So, we’ve got his 1932 film No Man Of Her Own, which co-stars Carole Lombard! But, let’s get through our theatrical short, first!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Science Friction (1970)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of The Ant And The Aardvark from Kino Lorber)

(Length: 6 minutes, 16 seconds)

The ant has been captured by a scientist, and the aardvark tries to get him away for a snack. It’s another cartoon where the ant has a bodyguard to help protect him against the aardvark. In that regard, it’s nothing new. Still, the humor works as all the aardvark’s attempts to get the ant backfire on him. I had a few good laughs with this one, and it’s one I find worth revisiting occasionally!

And Now For The Main Feature…

Babe Stewart (Clark Gable) is a card sharp in New York City, working with his lover Kay Everly (Dorothy Mackaill) and his buddies Charlie Vane (Grant Mitchell) and Vargas (Paul Ellis) to cheat people out of their money at poker. Things are going well, except Kay is getting too serious with Babe, and he wants out of the relationship. However, she won’t let him go, and threatens to turn him in to the police. Babe doesn’t think she will, but when he finds out that policeman “Dickie” Collins (J. Farrell MacDonald) has been following him and is close to nailing him, he decides to leave town. Leaving it up to chance, Babe decides to go to the town of Glendale. There, he meets librarian Connie Randall (Carole Lombard). Connie is quite bored with her small town, and is looking for a way out of there. Babe flirts with her every chance he gets, and, in spite of the fact that she is attracted to him, Connie plays hard-to-get. They continue this flirting for a while, until Babe is ready to go back to New York. Then, on the flip of a coin, Connie tries to convince him to marry her. So, with the coin saying “yes,” they end up getting married, and he brings her along with him to New York City. On their way to his apartment, he is met by Collins, who warns him that he is still after him. Charlie Vane soon shows up, and he and Babe plot to get a game going that night. Meanwhile, Connie has no idea what they are doing, and believes that Babe has an actual job to go to. So, early in the morning, she wakes Babe up, and sends him off to “work.” Stuck with nothing to do for a few hours (and unwilling to tell his wife the truth), he finds a friend at a stock brokers, and gets himself a job there. Eventually, Connie catches on to what Babe, Charlie and Vargas are doing, and reshuffles a stacked deck of cards, causing them to lose a lot of money. As a result, Babe decides to take a trip to South America with Charlie and Vargas, but is shocked to hear that Connie still wants to stay with him. With this development, will the two stay together, or will they separate, allowing Babe to continue his crooked ways?

The casting of No Man Of Her Own came about mostly because of actress Marion Davies. At the time, she was still more or less working with MGM, and she made a push (through her lover William Randolph Hearst) to have the MGM exectuives make a trade for then-rising star at Paramount Studios Bing Crosby for her next film (Going Hollywood). In return, the MGM executives lent Paramount Clark Gable, figuring that his project would not be a hit. Clark Gable had his choice of projects, and chose No Man Of Her Own. At first, actress Miriam Hopkins was to be his co-star, but she refused to be second-billed to Clark. So, Carole Lombard was given the part. Even though they were to become an item later on, there were no sparks between them while working on this movie. No Man Of Her Own did prove to be a hit, but it was the only time Clark and Carole worked together onscreen, mainly due to the fact that they were under contract to different studios, who refused to loan them out for any joint projects.

For me, this romantic comedy turned out to be a lot of fun! I enjoyed watching Clark Gable as a card sharp, who was able to keep ahead of the law. Of course, he has a slight weakness for women, and, in proving that this is a pre-Code movie (and therefore not for little kids), he seems to have one thing on his mind (but at least, he’s not so full of himself that he doesn’t make sure the lady is a willing participant). And Carole Lombard is fun, too, as we see her with her own yearnings, which her mother (played by Elizabeth Patterson) tries to put down. And yet, even with that, she still pushes Clark’s character to be a better person. Like I said, the more sexual aspects make this less family-friendly, but it’s mostly implied (although we see Carole in her underwear for a moment or two). I wasn’t sure what to expect of the movie going into it, but I do know that I enjoyed it quite a bit, which made the Carole Lombard set it is included in well worth it for this movie alone! So, I would definitely recommend this fun film!

This movie is available on Blu-ray as part of the Carole Lombard Collection: Volume 1 from Kino Lorber. The film mainly seems to be sporting an HD scan, which still has some dirt and specks and tears. None of them are that major, so it doesn’t really take away much from the presentation.

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… Carole Lombard Collection: Volume 1

Rather than writing a separate post on this set, I’ll just add my comments here. The three film set Carole Lombard Collection: Volume 1 includes Fast And Loose, Man Of The World and No Man Of Her Own. As I’ve said in each of the reviews, none of the transfers appear to be new scans (which, to a degree, makes sense, as they would have to be given individual releases with higher price tags and greater sales to even be worth restoring/remastering). I think the set is worth it for No Man Of Her Own alone, and maybe Man Of The World as well. But, if you mainly associate actress Carole Lombard with screwball comedy (and that’s what you’re looking for), then this set would probably not be a good choice (but you may want the upcoming Carole Lombard Collection: Volume 2 set, to be released April 6, 2021 on Blu-ray, which will include the 1935 film Hands Across The Table and the 1936 movies Love Before Breakfast and The Princess Comes Across).

Film Length: 1 hour, 22 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Clark GableDancing Lady (1933)

Man Of The World (1931) – Carole Lombard – The Eagle And The Hawk (1933)

Man Of The World (1931) – Carole Lombard Collection: Volume 1

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

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!


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)

It Started In Naples (1960)

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, 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)

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2019) with… The Tall Men (1955)

Well, it’s February 1 again, so let’s celebrate Clark Gable’s birthday with another one of his movies, this time the 1955 Western The Tall Men, also starring Jane Russell and Robert Ryan.

Coming into the Montana territory, brothers Ben Allison (Clark Gable) and Clint Allison (Cameron Mitchell) decide to rob Nathan Stark (Robert Ryan) of his bankroll and kidnap him to keep him from turning them in. However, once they get to a cabin where they plan to let him go (without his money), he makes them a job offer, where they could help him get a herd of cattle from Texas up to the Montana territory. They accept, and on their way to get the cattle, they run into a group of settlers stuck in a winter storm. They leave after the storm, but, upon seeing signs of Sioux Indians nearby, Ben goes back to help the settlers while Clint goes on with Nathan. When Ben gets there, the only surviving settler is Nella Turner (Jane Russell), and he helps her get away. Another storm forces them to stop in a cabin, where sparks start to fly until Ben reveals his dream of owning a ranch in Prairie Dog Creek, which differs from Nella’s dreams of a better life. When a band of soldiers come, they make their way to San Antonio, where they plan to go their separate ways. Ben helps recruit men to go on the cattle drive, and Nella runs into Nathan Stark, who ends up convincing her to go along on the cattle drive. Along the way, they have to face a militant band of Jayhawkers at the Kansas border, along with Sioux Indians on the warpath.

The Tall Men was based on a 1954 novel by Clay Fisher. Director Raoul Walsh would make good use of location shooting in Sun Valley, Idaho and the Sierra de Organos and Los Organes Valley near Durango, Mexico due at least partly to how much things had changed in both Texas and Montana in the time since the events of the story took place.

Going into this movie, my biggest reason for wanting to see it was Clark Gable, and it was well worth it (and not just because of him)! Clark does indeed give a great performance as Ben Allison, a real tough guy who takes care of his family and friends as best he can (while still being careful when dealing with those he doesn’t trust). Jane Russell is fun here, bringing some of her sass, especially as she sings “Tall Men” throughout the journey (usually within earshot of Gable’s Ben, with the lyrics changing to reflect how she feels about him at the time). The scenery is just absolutely beautiful here, and is a lot of the fun! I do admit, I enjoyed watching the cattle drive a lot, too, especially when it came down to the fight between the cattle drovers and the Sioux Indians! But, as far as Clark Gable is concerned, I think Robert Ryan’s final lines (which were about Ben Allison) are just so fitting about Clark: “There goes the only man I ever respected. He’s what every boy thinks he’s going to be when he grows up and wishes he had been when he’s an old man.” Definitely a very fun Western, and one I would highly recommend!

The movie is available on Blu-ray from Twilight Time as a limited edition with 3000 total copies available through either or The new transfer for this Blu-ray is spectacular! The colors work very well, and the detail is definitely there, allowing us to see all the wonderful scenery from the location shooting! Easily the best way to see this movie! It is also available on DVD from 20th Century Fox (although presumably with an older transfer).

Film Length: 2 hours, 2 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Mogambo (1953)Clark GableThe King And Four Queens (1956)

Underwater! (1955) – Jane Russell

On Dangerous Ground (1951) – Robert Ryan – King Of Kings (1961)