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Clark Gable

Discussion of the actors, directors and film-makers who 'made it all happen'

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MissGoddess
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Re: Clark Gable

Postby MissGoddess » February 1st, 2012, 12:59 pm

Lots of stuff I look forward to viewing...I recommend the 1975 documentary...it's the best I've seen on him. Thanks, Moira.
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Re: Clark Gable

Postby MissGoddess » July 24th, 2012, 10:59 am

Did anyone watch Mutiny on the Bounty (1939) last night? I've seen it many times of course, but I always get into it each time it airs. This viewing I really appreciated that this movie is as much a character study as an adventure tale, more like The Sea Wolf than The Sea Hawk. And the conflicts between the three main characters (played by Gable, Tone and Laughton) are vividly played out, very strong and emotional. Tone, especially, has the richest part, Laughton has the most colorful role, Gable the most dynamic but Tone is caught in between them both and his loyalty to what is right, which both the other men lose sight of. Really fine movie that is elevated by the performances of the leads, so that you come away with your head full of the characters, not so much action, et al.

The only thing that falls flat for me is the tacked-on last scene. I don't like the ending at all.
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Re: Clark Gable

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » July 24th, 2012, 11:03 am

I wasn't able to watch the screening last night, but I do remember Laughton's enmity and determination when he is cast out in the boat. And I feel that this is also one of Franchot Tone's more visibly affecting roles.

What is it about the ending that bothered you so much? I am having trouble remembering how it plays out.
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Re: Clark Gable

Postby MissGoddess » July 24th, 2012, 11:16 am

<SPOILER!>

It basically ends with Tone getting off because he has "pull" whereas nothing is even mentioned about the poor slobs condemned along with him. Then we cut to him boarding his new ship assignment with lots of British "rah rah-ing" implying that all is now well and the seamen all happy. It's obvious they didn't want to offend the British navy. I'm curious how the remake ended (the on with Howard and Brando). It's been so long I don't recollect, if I even made it all the way through in the first place.
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Re: Clark Gable

Postby kingrat » July 24th, 2012, 11:25 am

SPOILER AHEAD

The 1962 remake ends with Brando dying on Pitcairn Island after some of the men have burned the ship to prevent Mr. Christian's change of heart and his decision that they should sail back to British territory and defend their actions in court.

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Re: Clark Gable

Postby MissGoddess » July 24th, 2012, 11:32 am

kingrat wrote:SPOILER AHEAD

The 1962 remake ends with Brando dying on Pitcairn Island after some of the men have burned the ship to prevent Mr. Christian's change of heart and his decision that they should sail back to British territory and defend their actions in court.


That's totally different from the '39 version, then. Thanks, kingrat. I'll have to sit and watch the whole thing one day.
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Re: Clark Gable

Postby RedRiver » July 24th, 2012, 12:44 pm

Miss Goddess, you make me want to watch this wonderful adventure again. It may not be a perfect movie, but almost everything about it works really well. Gable gives one of his better performances. The always superb Laughton simply devours scenery! Victor Fleming directed? Is that right? The first time I saw this classic was at The Public Library, the single most important institution in society. It wasn't a big screen like you see in a theatre. But it was a lot bigger than TV. And no commercials. In those pre-video days of yesteryear, that was exciting!

This expertly told tale is so superior to the slow, meandering 1960's version it's ridiculous. Even two of the better players of the time, Howard and Brando, couldn't keep that ship from sinking. If the black and white classic is a mere portion of the novel, that's fine with me. I can always read the book if I want to. If a thrilling, dramatic, sensational movie is what I'm looking for, this is the one. Sign me up, Captain!

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Re: Clark Gable

Postby MissGoddess » July 24th, 2012, 1:32 pm

It really is rousing and exciting, considering there are no sea battles or sword fights. All the drama comes from the people, trapped between the "devil" and the deep blue sea.
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Re: Clark Gable

Postby JackFavell » July 24th, 2012, 2:01 pm

I agree, I was watching last night, and the ending happened so fast, I missed it. I thought Gable was just wonderful, so great, and yet as you say, the two powerful men really lost sight of what was right and wrong in their contest of wills. I almost went with Gable, even though he had his delusions too, just by the power of his performance.

What I was amazed at in the movie, aside from the colorful and gorgeous island scenes, was that Movita and Mamo were allowed such large roles, even if they weren't allowed to speak many lines. Gosh they were beautiful, and lent an authentic air to the film.

I was also thinking about what a run of great roles Laughton had around this time - something like 6 golden movies within 2 years:

The Private Life of Henry the Eighth
The Barretts of Wimpole Street
Ruggles of Red Gap
Les Miserables
Mutiny on the Bounty
Rembrandt

Has any actor ever had such a variety of excellent roles before or since? WOW. And Javert is not Bligh, Bligh is not Barrett... etc.

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Re: Clark Gable

Postby kingrat » July 24th, 2012, 3:01 pm

Great point about Laughton, with other super roles in SIDEWALKS OF LONDON and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME not far off.

The Gable/Laughton version was directed by Frank Lloyd.

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Re: Clark Gable

Postby knitwit45 » July 24th, 2012, 4:34 pm

Jacks, I would Hobson's Choice to that short list of Laughton's best :D, although made years later.

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Re: Clark Gable

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » July 24th, 2012, 8:46 pm

JackFavell wrote:I agree, I was watching last night, and the ending happened so fast, I missed it. I thought Gable was just wonderful, so great, and yet as you say, the two powerful men really lost sight of what was right and wrong in their contest of wills. I almost went with Gable, even though he had his delusions too, just by the power of his performance.

What I was amazed at in the movie, aside from the colorful and gorgeous island scenes, was that Movita and Mamo were allowed such large roles, even if they weren't allowed to speak many lines. Gosh they were beautiful, and lent an authentic air to the film.

I was also thinking about what a run of great roles Laughton had around this time - something like 6 golden movies within 2 years:

The Private Life of Henry the Eighth
The Barretts of Wimpole Street
Ruggles of Red Gap
Les Miserables
Mutiny on the Bounty
Rembrandt

Has any actor ever had such a variety of excellent roles before or since? WOW. And Javert is not Bligh, Bligh is not Barrett... etc.


Jackie, Laughton was also marvelous in Young Bess reprising his role as Henry The VIII, even though he didn't have much screen time.

Knitty, adding Hobson's Choice is a must.

Thanks, Miss Goddess! I have the DVD and will make time to watch it again soon. I feel like it definitely is superior to the 60's version which plods along, and uses naked nymphets to keep the audience awake instead of maybe, a plot, or well-acted, well-written words. The best moments all seem to have had Trevor Howard, and he claims in his bio that Marlon sabotaged just about everything of a logical nature that would have perked up the arc.
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Re: Clark Gable

Postby JackFavell » July 25th, 2012, 9:53 am

I Love Hobson's Choice, and many of Laughton's other great roles, Sir Wilfrid in Witness for the Prosecution, for instance, but to make all those very famous characters come alive in the span of two years time, 1934-1936? It's incredible.

But the thing that really surprised me was how very strong Gable was. I mean, he's pitted against the biggest scene stealer in all of film! And who do you watch? I watched Gable.

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Re: Clark Gable

Postby MissGoddess » July 25th, 2012, 10:36 am

Gable is electrifying. I really think he is at his best in highly physical roles and in outdoor settings. He is too held-back in interior settings, which MGM kept him to for the most part. It isn't necessarily what he's doing (lots of stunts, sword fights, etc), it's the freedom that comes from a bigger setting that seems to unleash his energy. This proved true right up to his last highly demanding physical role in The Misfits
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Re: Clark Gable

Postby JackFavell » July 25th, 2012, 11:06 am

I think you are so right, MissG! He's so physically commanding, even when all he's doing is standing with his hands on his hips, elbows out. I defy anyone to cross past Gable in that stance, if Gable didn't want them to. He's overwhelmingly strong. And I mean strong as a presence, not as a measure of health. He has an underlying vitality, a massive power behind his actions that we want to see unleashed.


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