Thursday, August 28, 2008

Eye Candy of the Day: Clark Do-over

Well, I was being slightly cheeky by posting the most unattractive picture ever of Clark Gable yesterday. So for all you Gable fans out there, here's a proper one for you. I love this scene in It Happened One Night (1934), my favorite Gable movie. I'm not certain, but I think this is "day for night" photography, but it gives everything an ethereal moonlit glow.

The thing I love about this movie is the combination of the heavily romantic atmosphere and the world-weary cynicism of Gable's Peter Warne who is pre-occupied with the idea that he never "be taken for a buggy ride" or played for a fool. His time with the runaway heiress, Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert), shows him that toughness is causing him to miss out on life and that what he really wants is a girl who jump in the surf and love it is as much as he does. The balance between the romance and the comedy is just perfect and sets the formula for the entire genre. It also has a stellar supporting cast including Walter Connolly as Ellen crotchety but lovable dad and Roscoe Karns as Shapely, the slimy traveling salesman who starts every conversation with "Shapeley's the name and that's the way I like 'em!"

It Happened One Night marked a real transition for Gable away from tough-guy who slaps women around type roles to more humane characters and it also proved that he could do comedy. The movie cleaned up at the Oscars and allowed Columbia Pictures to go from a small-time "B-movie" studio to join the ranks of Paramount and MGM.


kda0121 said...

It Happened One Night is also my favorite Gable movie. It was a change of pace for him and a good one. In years to come, he would play various versions of Peter Warne in movies like After Office Hours, Love on the Run and Too Hot to Handle. I even think his character in Teacher's Pet was an older, if not wiser version of Warne. Even though Gable may be thought of as the everyman's he-man, he was at his best in light comedy and usually as a reporter after that elusive scoop.

AbbyNormal said...

Before I watched this I had only seen him in the tougher roles. I read about this one and thought "You have to be kidding me. Gable as a romantic comedy hero? How was this a box office hit?" As you might guess, I watched it and I loved it. I haven't seen his other films that kda0121 lists, but if they are close to as good as this one, I should put them on my list.

I read somewhere that Myrna Loy was offered the part that Claudette Colbert took. Man, I would have loved to have seen how she would have been in this one.

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite movies & I never get tired of it. So many crazy lines stand out:

Young people in LOOOOOVVVVE are very seldom hungry!

Believe you me.

The limb is mightier than the thumb.

I am the whipporwill who cries in the night, I am the soft morning breeze that caresses your lovely face.

Oh yeah? Ya got me, yeah.

I think the best scene in the movie is when he's tucking her into the bed he fashioned out of hay. They look at each other & almost kiss then he pulls away...


Thank you Cinema OCD for the lovely eye candy!