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slaytonf

It's Joan and Clark tomorrow.

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It's no surprise Joan Crawford and Clark Gable were paired frequently.  Whatever you might think of Clark Gable, or not think of him, he had some good chemistry with Joan Crawford on screen.  This occurred mostly in the early thirties when he was on his zoom up, and Miss Crawford was in the thick of the second phase (early sound) of her movie career.  It is the time I like her most, when she was at her erotic apogee, and did her best acting, notwithstanding later roles and awards.  And before her trademark eyebrows and lipstick gash turned her face into a scary clown mask.  I'm familiar with a number of them, like Possessed (1931, not the later 1947 movie, which also has merit), Dancing Lady (1933), and Forsaking All Others (1934).  Love on the Run (1936) looks like it's one of the scions of It Happened One Night (1934).  I'm looking forward to the other ones.

 

On a side note, after the Joan and Clark show, we get After Office Hours (1935), pairing Mr. Gable with Constance Bennett.  She's at her breezy, sophisticated best here, playing a reporter using her society connections for material.  I don't care for how the story is developed toward the end, but it's still a diverting movie, and one that shows up on TCM very rarely.  Record it, if you're not an early morning person.

 

And after that, we get Cain and Mabel (1936), one of the two pairings of Clark Gable with Marion Davies, the other being Polly of the Circus (1932).  The latter movie has its moments, and is worth watching, or was last Wednesday.  So I look forward with interest to the former.

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Clark Gable is the Main Event.

 

There were many big stars way back:  Jimmy Stewart, Spencer Tracy, Gene Kelly, Robert Montgomery, Fred Astaire, Power, Rooney, ect.  All of them good, and many more, but they were the opening act.  Gable, and maybe eventually John Wayne, were the headliners.

 

Clark Gable, and Crawford, never won many of the goofy film awards.  These are the same awards that most forget who won them two weeks after the fact.  But they drew a lot of money, for their studios as well as themselves.  And they're still drawing money, for sombody.

 

Clark Gable was the biggest star of old school Hollywood.  Going to be a good month, with some cool films.

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Clark Gable is the Main Event.

 

There were many big stars way back:  Jimmy Stewart, Spencer Tracy, Gene Kelly, Robert Montgomery, Fred Astaire, Power, Rooney, ect.  All of them good, and many more, but they were the opening act.  Gable, and maybe eventually John Wayne, were the headliners.

 

Clark Gable, and Crawford, never won many of the goofy film awards.  These are the same awards that most forget who won them two weeks after the fact.  But they drew a lot of money, for their studios as well as themselves.  And they're still drawing money, for sombody.

 

Clark Gable was the biggest star of old school Hollywood.  Going to be a good month, with some cool films.

 

Looks like you are buying into the also goofy PR stunt that Gable was King of Hollywood.    Hey,  I like Gable (he had charm, played a solid cad,  and had a winning screen persona and was also a good, but not great,  actor)  but  saying he was 'the headliners' and that other leading stars were just opening acts is way over the top.        

 

PS:  I did notice the nickname,  but I assumed you meant Brando. :)

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Gable was one of the top money making stars of the '30s and '40s. But he was never named the Number One star of any year by the Quigley Poll of Motion Picture Exhibitors, often losing out to the likes of a Shirley Temple or Mickey Rooney.

 

Gable appeared in the top ten list 16 times, making him No. 6 in the all time list (behind, in order, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, Gary Cooper and Tom Hanks).

 

Tom Cruise, by the way, has been ranked as Number One Star of the Year seven times, more often than anyone else. Doris Day, four times Number One, is top actress of all time.

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Gable was one of the top money making stars of the '30s and '40s. But he was never named the Number One star of any year by the Quigley Poll of Motion Picture Exhibitors, often losing out to the likes of a Shirley Temple or Mickey Rooney.

 

Gable appeared in the top ten list 16 times, making him No. 6 in the all time list (behind, in order, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, Gary Cooper and Tom Hanks).

 

Tom Cruise, by the way, has been ranked as Number One Star of the Year seven times, more often than anyone else. Doris Day, four times Number One, is top actress of all time.

 

Thanks for this info.   I was going to state that Rooney was MGM's biggest male money maker during his 'run'  (OK starring with Judy, helped),  but I wasn't sure and didn't want to post fake news.

 

Again,  Gable was huge and he clearly deserves his place in film history but 'King',  that is like finding one's perfect note.  ;)

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WIsh I had more room on the DVR. Hoping at least I have room for Dancing Lady, which I havent seen in a long time......

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PS:  I did notice the nickname,  but I assumed you meant Brando. :)

 

Clark Gable made a lot of money, his films consistently made a lot of money for many years, and he was the male biggest star, for the biggest studio at the time.

 

If not Gable, then who?

 

Mickey Rooney:  another of my favs from back then, did a great Gable impersonation.  I love me some Rooney films, BUT...he was big for a few years.  After his peak, he never came close again.  Gable was a top draw for almost three decades.

 

Spencer Tracy:  who got both Colbert and Hedy Lamarr...in the same film?  Gable.  Who was the focus of the big earthquake?  Gable.  Who was the airplane pilot, and who was the mechanic?  Tracy won the awards, but Gable was a much bigger draw.

 

William Powell:  Gable may have died at the end of the movie, but he still got the top spot.  Even dead he outdrew Powell.

 

When it came time to film the biggest movie up to that point, who was the only one they wanted?  They didn't ask Bogart, Cagney, or Montgomery.

 

When the top leading ladies at MGM, or for that matter anywhere else, wanted the big name to work with, who was that person?  Gable.

 

Power, Barrymore, Stewart, Bogart?  NO.

 

Cary Grant and John Wayne came the closest.  Gable was the headliner.

 

NO...i'm not at all a fan of Brando.  Can barely make it through a fim he's in.  

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Clark Gable made a lot of money, his films consistently made a lot of money for many years, and he was the male biggest star, for the biggest studio at the time.

 

If not Gable, then who?

 

Mickey Rooney:  another of my favs from back then, did a great Gable impersonation.  I love me some Rooney films, BUT...he was big for a few years.  After his peak, he never came close again.  Gable was a top draw for almost three decades.

 

Spencer Tracy:  who got both Colbert and Hedy Lamarr...in the same film?  Gable.  Who was the focus of the big earthquake?  Gable.  Who was the airplane pilot, and who was the mechanic?  Tracy won the awards, but Gable was a much bigger draw.

 

William Powell:  Gable may have died at the end of the movie, but he still got the top spot.  Even dead he outdrew Powell.

 

When it came time to film the biggest movie up to that point, who was the only one they wanted?  They didn't ask Bogart, Cagney, or Montgomery.

 

When the top leading ladies at MGM, or for that matter anywhere else, wanted the big name to work with, who was that person?  Gable.

 

Power, Barrymore, Stewart, Bogart?  NO.

 

Cary Grant and John Wayne came the closest.  Gable was the headliner.

 

NO...i'm not at all a fan of Brando.  Can barely make it through a fim he's in.  

 

My overall point was that I don't believe in playing the game of naming the so called biggest star since there isn't any criteria that defines 'biggest'.    But if we use the criteria that Tom supplied (appearing in the Top 10 annual listing),  Wayne and Cooper were bigger stars than Gable.     Like I said I'm a big fan of Gable so I'm wasn't trying to belittle his legacy and his contributions to the studio-era.

 

As for Brando;  not much of a fan either,  but I do enjoy a handful of the films he was in;  E.g. On the Waterfront is a first rate film and Brando gives a fine performance.  

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WIsh I had more room on the DVR. Hoping at least I have room for Dancing Lady, which I havent seen in a long time......

Dancing Lady is real special to us tap dancers because it's Fred Astaire's dancing film debut. Surprisingly Joan Crawford acquits herself rather well with him in the brief dancing sequences.

 

At the time Fred Astaire was a star on Broadway but a nobody in Hollywood. In his autobiography, he talks about how nice Joan Crawford was to him and how she made him feel comfortable in a new medium.

 

BTW-- This is neither here nor there-- But when I think of this movie, just in terms of the dialogue, I remember some homophobic nasty stuff that Clark Gable sprouts out against Sterling Holloway. It's not just a sign of those times--it's seemingly part of Clark Gable's real personality. Just ask George Cukor, if that was at all possible. LOL

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Possessed always stood out in my memory of early Crawford and Gable movies.  I just realized a big reason why.  I remember always admiring the acting and writing.  Watching it again after a long time I noticed how well it was directed, so I looked it up, and there it was:  directed by Clarence Brown.  Perhaps the least celebrated of the great directors, a monumental oversight by popular culture, his influence always elevates, broadens, and deepens whatever he works on.  I have no doubt the two actors come off better because of him.  A couple of shots will serve to illustrate his technique.  Almost the entire scene of Marian and Al's carousel ride is a static shot of them riding and talking.  But because of the spinning of the carousel, and the pistoning of the horses there is tremendous energy, swirling and disorienting, mirroring Marian's inner state:

 

28inssy.png

 

The next scene, we really do get a static shot.  Marian watches through windows Mark turn down a shot at the governorship due to a disagreement over her--literally picture-framing it:

 

dpbcdv.png

As before, the action is in the background, but now it is the focus of attention.  There is an ironic contrast with the still figure of Marian, watching them, and we get to experience her emotions as she feels them, witnessing the man she loves throw away a brilliant future for her sake--setting up a Big Sacrifice.  Notice how well placed the men are so they can be seen through the windows, and notice how nicely the light comes through them.  Keep an eye out for Clarence Brown movies and how he handles the lighting.  He was very good at that.  He may have worked with cinematographers, and many good ones, but he was the one in charge.

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Gable was one of the top money making stars of the '30s and '40s. But he was never named the Number One star of any year by the Quigley Poll of Motion Picture Exhibitors, often losing out to the likes of a Shirley Temple or Mickey Rooney.

 

Gable appeared in the top ten list 16 times, making him No. 6 in the all time list (behind, in order, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, Gary Cooper and Tom Hanks).

 

Tom Cruise, by the way, has been ranked as Number One Star of the Year seven times, more often than anyone else. Doris Day, four times Number One, is top actress of all time.

Through most of the 1930s, and into the 40s, Clark Gable was usual No.2 in the annual boxoffice polls, ironically behind juveniles....Shirley Temple from 1935-1938, and Mickey Rooney from 1939-41. Neither Temple nor Rooney were able to maintain their original popularity once they peaked, which declined rather abruptly. Gable, otoh, continued as the King, popularity only slightly waned, after coming back from the war.

 

The King moniker came about after one of the annual polls, where he was voted King and Myrna Lou was queen. The following year it was bestowed on Tyrone Power and Jeanette MacDonald; however, it stuck to Gable due to his consistent popularity over decades.

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Through most of the 1930s, and into the 40s, Clark Gable was usual No.2 in the annual boxoffice polls, ironically behind juveniles....Shirley Temple from 1935-1938, and Mickey Rooney from 1939-41. Neither Temple nor Rooney were able to maintain their original popularity once they peaked, which declined rather abruptly. Gable, otoh, continued as the King, popularity only slightly waned, after coming back from the war.

 

The King moniker came about after one of the annual polls, where he was voted King and Myrna Lou was queen. The following year it was bestowed on Tyrone Power and Jeanette MacDonald; however, it stuck to Gable due to his consistent popularity over decades.

 

I can imagine Shirley Temple, Rooney, Disney movies and a few more being popular.  Some things never change, films made for kids and teens do well.  I don't put much faith in industry opinion "polls" from way back, the film business being so different back then, but i'd guess that it was more or less correct here.

 

Clark Gable was given the biggest movies, with the top leading ladies, making big money, for the biggest studio back then.  If not Gable, then who?

 

Robert Taylor was a big star, maybe MGMs number 2 leading man for years.  BUT...he wasn't the top player.

 

Robert Montgomery was a big star, probably MGMs top comedy actor and a big draw in a lot of big films with top ladies of the time.  But after the War, he was basically part time.

 

Fred Astaire was big, a top draw for a long time.  But he didn't work as much, and he was limited to musicals.

 

Henry Fonda was respected, and considered a top "actor".  But he was nowhere near the star that Gable, Wayne, Astaire, and a few more were.

 

Whatever the reason, Gable caught on with the fans.

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I can imagine Shirley Temple, Rooney, Disney movies and a few more being popular.  Some things never change, films made for kids and teens do well.  I don't put much faith in industry opinion "polls" from way back, the film business being so different back then, but i'd guess that it was more or less correct here.

 

Clark Gable was given the biggest movies, with the top leading ladies, making big money, for the biggest studio back then.  If not Gable, then who?

 

Robert Taylor was a big star, maybe MGMs number 2 leading man for years.  BUT...he wasn't the top player.

 

Robert Montgomery was a big star, probably MGMs top comedy actor and a big draw in a lot of big films with top ladies of the time.  But after the War, he was basically part time.

 

Fred Astaire was big, a top draw for a long time.  But he didn't work as much, and he was limited to musicals.

 

Henry Fonda was respected, and considered a top "actor".  But he was nowhere near the star that Gable, Wayne, Astaire, and a few more were.

 

Whatever the reason, Gable caught on with the fans.

The annual poll I was alluding to was tabulated based on thousands of responses from motion picture exhibitors. They were asked which stars in the previous 12 months (it wasn't a calendar year, but from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31) made the most money at their theaters. Of course this was very imprecise, as the exhibitors had to gauge which star in a given movie, when there were two or more stars, brought in the most customers. But they listened to their patrons' feedback, so the had fairly good ideas. Also, a star might have one release during the 12 month period, another might've had 2, 3 or more. This could definitely show in the final results.

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Dancing Lady is real special to us tap dancers because it's Fred Astaire's dancing film debut. Surprisingly Joan Crawford acquits herself rather well with him in the brief dancing sequences.

 

At the time Fred Astaire was a star on Broadway but a nobody in Hollywood. In his autobiography, he talks about how nice Joan Crawford was to him and how she made him feel comfortable in a new medium.

 

BTW-- This is neither here nor there-- But when I think of this movie, just in terms of the dialogue, I remember some homophobic nasty stuff that Clark Gable sprouts out against Sterling Holloway. It's not just a sign of those times--it's seemingly part of Clark Gable's real personality. Just ask George Cukor, if that was at all possible. LOL

 

 

Yes, I know. Didnt Fred play himself?

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Today is May 10th.  The 40th Anniversary of Joan's death.  Rest in peace dear Joan.

 

and I was born almost nine months to the day afterwards.

Coincidence?

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and I was born almost nine months to the day afterwards.

Coincidence?

 

 

LOL.

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Yes, I know. Didnt Fred play himself?

 

Yes,  Fred played Fred;  a Broadway dancer doing a Broadway show.

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As for Brando;  not much of a fan either,  but I do enjoy a handful of the films he was in;  E.g. On the Waterfront is a first rate film and Brando gives a fine performance.  

 

My favorite Marlon Brando films are the one's I haven't seen.  Not a fan at all.  

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   She absolutely idolized "the King: Gable" & spoke the same about him until her end. They made 8 pix together  However, Spencer Tracy & her didn't get along that welll, he would chew an onion wenever he knew they had close-up sequences for `1938's "Mannequinn" MGM only film they did together

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   She absolutely idolized "the King: Gable" & spoke the same about him until her end. They made 8 pix together  However, Spencer Tracy & her didn't get along that welll, he would chew an onion wenever he knew they had close-up sequences for `1938's "Mannequinn" MGM only film they did together

 

 

Someone did that to me, I'd leave off brushing a few days.

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