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Reading New Book: "Clark Gable: Tormented Star"!


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*Discovered a new bio on Mr. Gable. Interesting read. Some of the info is not new, but still worth the read!*

 

 

 

_Clark Gable: Tormented Star_

by David Bret

 

 

*_Product Description_*

 

Clark Gable was the archetypal Hollywood gentleman, the kind of man red-blooded women lusted after, and who their envious husbands yearned to be. Yet as David Bret reveals, Gable was also bisexual, a facet of his complex persona that was airbrushed out in an age when such men were invariably mocked as effete and lily-livered. Bret recounts Gable's two failed marriages to women who turned a blind eye towards his affairs with men, such as the actors Earl Larimore, Johnny Mack Brown, William Haines, and Rod LaRocque ? men whom Gable outed to the press to prevent himself from being outed. Bret also reveals exclusively that Gable's wartime "heroics," which saw him promoted through the ranks from private to major in less than a year, were no more than an elaborate publicity stunt, which subsequently embarrassed the U.S. government. Bret draws on a wealth of unpublished material to examine every aspect of Clark Gable's career and personal life, telling his story as it has never been told before ? wholly uncensored, with accuracy and passion.

 

 

 

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CK,

 

If you are going to promote David Bret's books here, you should mention that the guy has absolutely no qualms about trashing the stars he writes about often with the filmiest of evidence to back him up.

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I like to make an obvious comparison between books. Its funny that David Brent was about 6 years old when Clark Gable died, the man never met Clark Gable, many of these events simply happened too long ago for anyone now to care or to back up. Now this book gets CK's attention.

 

When I mentioned the film "Mommie Dearest" sometime back that was based on Christinia Crawfords book, which is mostly a recollection of her childhood, CK dismissed it. I think that a person who has lived with a person has better knowledge of a star then a guy like David Brent who wasn't even born, to write a book.

 

There can be both sides at looking at the motives of Christinas book, was it revenge or "getting the last word in" or maybe a bit of both. People who suffers from child abuse are less likely to be beleived if their parent(s) are a celebrity but the rest of the accused, guilty by press.

 

But David Brents book, sounds like a National Enquirer novel. Would you beleive a guy that was quoted in saying that Rudolf Valentino had the eyes of a pig - very mean spirited. Whats the big deal if anyone is gay or not, thats the persons *own business!* Do we sometimes forget that movie stars are human and are not immortal beings from another planet?

 

I watch a movie or listen to music for one thing and one thing only, *if I LIKE IT!* Why don't David Brent write a book about OJ Simpson while he is ALIVE or is he too chicken?

 

What a hypocriticial society we live in!

 

----------------------------------------------------------------

 

Footnote: CK , LOL you sort of remind me of the old fashion newpaper sellsman who stands on the street in some of the old classic movies that yells "EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT......."

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David Bret is right up there with Darwin Porter and Boze Hadleigh as far as I am concerned. Sloppy research plus mostly quotes from people who are conveniently dead.

 

Some people have no standards, whether they write books or post here. :)

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*wholly uncensored, with accuracy and passion.*

 

David Bret doesn't know the meaning of the word accuracy.

 

Though he does seem to realize that writing "wholly uncensored books" filled with lots of provocative gossip and innuendo helps sell his books.

 

But that doesn't make them accurate nor does it make him a believable author. It makes his books akin to Kenneth Anger's trashy Hollywood Babylon pieces of crap.

 

It makes Bret a mediocre, trash scribe who wouldn't know accuracy if it bit him on the butt.

 

Message was edited by: lzcutter

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And it's hardly new trash, either. This hot, steaming pile of crap was originally published in hardback in 2007.

 

Checking on Amazon, one can see his insecurity on display as he feels it necessary to give his own book five stars in a vain effort to improve his average rating. Finally, what kind of "author" responds to criticism this way: "And do me a favour, Vintage Film Buff.....kill yourself" -- or takes the trouble to create a fictitious avatar (and not very cleverly disguised either, as David's protector is named Damon) to defend himself from yet another dissatisfied customer.

 

Message was edited by: BelleLeGrand1, in order to more clearly register her disgust.

 

Message was edited by: BelleLeGrand1

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The Clark Gable biography that I would recommend is *Clark Gable* by Warren G. Harris. It's well-written, objective and thorough. I also recommend the Valentino bio *Dark Star* by Emily W. Leider and *Bombshell: The Life and Death of Jean Harlow* by David Stenn. Stenn has also written a well-regarded biography of Clara Bow, *Runnin' Wild*.

 

The best Monroe biography I have read is Donald Spoto's *Marilyn Monroe: The Biography*. He has a theory on what caused her death that is both logical and believable. Of all the Judy Garland biographies I've read, I thought *Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland* by Gerald Clarke had the best insight into what made Judy tick and why she was so self-destructive. Be warned, though -- this biography alleges that Judy's father, Frank Gumm, was bisexual. However the book appears to be well-researched, and Clarke does cite sources.

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Footnote: CK , LOL you sort of remind me of the old fashion newpaper sellsman who stands on the street in some of the old classic movies that yells "EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT......." - hamradio

 

You've got it all wrong Ham...it's all about CK telling us information FIRST on the Message Boards. Your metaphor of a newspaper salesman is not quite accurate; but it's more the town crier who shouted: "ONE IF BY LAND, TWO IF BY SEA."

 

It's all about being first.

 

Gable...one of the great stars of Hollywood's Golden Age.

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*his affairs with men, such as the actors Earl Larimore, Johnny Mack Brown, William Haines, and Rod LaRocque ? men whom Gable outed to the press to prevent himself from being outed.*

 

Huh??? Does that make any sense??? Umm, you caught me so I will umm.. out some other guys that are gay if you don't out me??? I am sure it was quite the shock for folks to find out Haines was gay!

 

As for the writer, as mentioned above, his books are almost always trashed, and boy is he thin skinned!

 

http://lisaburks.typepad.com/jeanharlow/2009/05/tarnished-.html

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> {quote:title=ziggyelman wrote:}{quote}

> *his affairs with men, such as the actors Earl Larimore, Johnny Mack Brown, William Haines, and Rod LaRocque men whom Gable outed to the press to prevent himself from being outed.*

>

> Huh??? Does that make any sense??? Umm, you caught me so I will umm.. out some other guys that are gay if you don't out me??? I am sure it was quite the shock for folks to find out Haines was gay!

>

> As for the writer, as mentioned above, his books are almost always trashed, and boy is he thin skinned!

>

> http://lisaburks.typepad.com/jeanharlow/2009/05/tarnished-.html

 

Another hatchet-job bio? Color me surprised. Too many are either hagiographies or of the mudslinging angle. Good bios don't come along that often.

 

Unfortunately it now recalls Carole Lombard's famous line about him.

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Brett is just another gay celebrity biographer who likes to claim that every great star of Old Hollywood was a homosexual. I can only assume that gay readers go for this stuff. I can't imagine anyone else reading it much less taking it seriously.

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Lemme take a wild guess...you didn't read any of the intervening comments, did you? If he really and truly is your "all time favorite heartthrob", then you won't be doing yourself any favors by supporting this schlockmeister. You are precisely the sort of fan this guy preys upon; someone who willingly devours anything, and I mean anything, that manages to get published, just because it's about one of their favorites. There are plenty of other legitimate books about Gable. Read one of those instead.

 

But, then, it's entirely your choice. Just don't come back later and say you weren't warned.

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You're right, I didn't read what was written here about the book, I just saw that a book was out and I got excited. I've read many books on Gable and have one sitting on my bookshelf. But I really don't care if Clark Gable was bisexual or not. I wasn't married to him, and that's who should have been concerned with his sexual proclivities.

 

They say Tyrone Power, Cary Grant, Marlon Brando, Randolph Scott, James Dean, Lawrence Olivier and so many others were closet homosexuals/bisexuals, but that doesn't mean anything to me as a fan of theirs. Rumor and speculation does nothing to take away from the men I fell in love with on the screen. I, of course, didn't know the real men, it was their characters that I was drawn to, and if they were gay in real life, wow, they had me fooled, and so be it. lol

 

I grew up in a time when being gay was like having some kind of disease, and I'd like to think I've grown as a human being since the dark ages. lol If people find this book to be so appalling because it suggests Gable was gay, maybe we need to take a closer look at ourselves and ask why this possiblitlty somehow is insulting and diminishes the man and his body of work.

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*If people find this book to be so appalling because it suggests Gable was gay, maybe we need to take a closer look at ourselves and ask why this possiblitlty somehow is insulting and diminishes the man and his body of work.*

 

Georgie,

 

I don't think the majority of posters in this thread are "appalled" at the idea that Gable may have been gay. What appalls us is that this author purports himself to be

 

A) a writer of factual history

 

B) that he is factual and accurate in what he writes.

 

If you read his other books, the reviews by critics and even on Amazon and other virtual bookstores, what becomes apparent is that Bret gets down in the gutter and maligns people long since passed from this mortal coil and defames them with nothing more than an agenda and lots of innuendo.

 

David Bret is in the same group with Kenneth Anger. Making money off of gossip and innuendo at the expense of people unable to defend themselves against this type of mudslinging because they are (conveniently for him) dead.

 

We would all be better off saving our money and instead spending it on real writers who have written about Gable's life.

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Bottom line is, people are upset because this author purports Gable was bisexual. You said it yourself, *"Bret gets down in the gutter and maligns people long since passed from this mortal coil and defames them with nothing more than an agenda and lots of innuendo."* There's the rub. If alluding to the fact Gable was gay is *defaming and maligning,* then that's what we have to look at.

 

Authors write what they see, and many do have agendas or write for the almighty dollar only, but whether we as readers want to buy their books, or what they're saying is our own choice, but to say the authors of such books do a disservice to our 'silver screen idols' is not quite how I see it. Our idols were not Gods, they were mere mortals, and as such subjected to all the possibilities mere mortals are subject to in our make-up. Lord, even Jesus has been the subject of innuendo and speculation. lol

 

As for any author writing a bio on someone who is dead, well, good or bad, it's their perspective and take on things. Even a auto-biographer seldom tells it *exactly* how it is/was. There are usually some skeletons left in the closet, so to speak lol, even the best and most honest of people keep close to the breast.

 

This book is a book, nothing more, nothing less. Some will see it one way, others another, no big deal. We the public make issues where there are none. If anyone was to have an ax to grind, it's Kaye Speckle Gable, if she's still alive, or Gable's son and daughter. But, in reality, what do they even know for sure?

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No one on this thread has said there was anything inherently wrong or evil about being gay/bisexual; it's the assertion without factual evidence that is at issue here. There is a huge difference. Please don't try to represent yourself as somehow being more enlightened or evolved than the rest of us. You can't presume to know what our experiences have been on this topic, or how they have shaped our views, so kindly skip the lectures and hold the lols.

 

Once again, I say, if you want to throw your money at this hack, be my guest. Just look at it as a work of fiction, and a poorly written one, at that.

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*Authors write what they see, and many do have agendas or write for the almighty dollar only, but whether we as readers want to buy their books, or what they're saying is our own choice, but to say the authors of such books do a disservice to our 'silver screen idols' is not quite how I see it.*

 

It's more than a "disservice to our screen idols".

 

The problem with authors like Bret and Kenneth Anger is the damage they do to the people they write about. Thanks to Kenneth Anger, there are more people who believe the lies and innuendo about Clara Bow than there are people who have read David Stenn's thoroughly researched Running Wild. Running Wild tells the truth about Bow's life and puts to rest, once and for all, the lies and innuendo that have dogged her family since Hollywood Babylon was published. I'm friends with her son, Rex Bell, Jr and know the pain that HB has caused him and his family.

 

Bret made a choice when he began writing. He could be a good writer, thoroughly researching his subjects and writing about their lives. If he did that, he would likely be held in the same regard as Scott Eyman, David Stenn, Mick LaSalle and any number of authors working today.

 

Bret chose the easy road, the road paved by Kenneth Anger, with little regard to Gable's real life. As noted here by other posters who have read his books, read the criticism about them by reviewers and readers, the man prefers the easy road.

 

I prefer to make the choice with how I spend I my dollars. Not on David Bret.

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Belle-The assertion, had it been he was a womanizer, wouldn't be an issue, and he has been called that, as well as cheapskate. The fact he may have been gay is, apparently, a sore spot for some, or at least that's how it comes across to me. Homophobia.

 

And I did not represent myself as someone more enlightened. If you take it that way, well...I'm sorry. I was just stating how *I* feel. The lol was aimed at me and my age, not anyone here. I'm sorry if you took it personally.

 

Izcutter-Again, what damage? If I were to ask my gay cousin if Gable being called bisexual is damaging, he'd say no, why should it? Actually, he thought those 'old timers' who were, supposedly, outed, a score for his team. So back to square one on how one may look at this expose/bio.

 

I don't know what's been said of Clara Bow, so I can't comment on that, but it's not the author who makes or breaks a book, it's the critics and the readers. John Q. Public can do more harm than good sometimes with our idle chatter and give life to something that just as easily could have died. Just as you have given a new breath of life to a so-called hack author's book *Hollywood Babylon* by mentioning it in this forum. Many who read here may never have heard of it and might go out and buy it now that you've piqued their curiosity by revealing your friendship with Clara Bow's son, who finds this book a disservice to his mom. Any book, as we've learned in recent years, just as any Hollywood bio flick, should be taken with a grain of salt. We pick and choose what we want to believe and 'we the people' are the perpetuators of slander and hearsay. Where some would rather concentrate on only the good, others prefer only the bad. So it goes.

 

I've got the gist of the book on Gable, and I'll take it for what it is and file this new info away somewhere in my brain as a, uh, huh. It has no impact on my life, nor my feelings toward Clark Gable. I've always loved him and I always will for the joy he's given me as Gable the actor.

 

Look, people are free to think and feel as they want, and this is just my opinion and my thoughts on this book.

 

Message was edited by: georgiegirl

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*John Q. Public can do more harm than good sometimes with our idle chatter and give life to something that just as easily could have died.*

 

Which is exactly what David Bret does with the type of biographies he writes. He doesn't base them on facts, he bases them on third person, off-the-record, I heard this from a friend of a friend who was best friend's with ________ gossip and tries to wrap it up in gaudy ribbons hoping that sales will be brisk in the beginning before they drop off a cliff a few weeks later.

 

If people want to contribute to David Bret's next biographical victim by buying this book, they are free to do so. All many of us in the thread are trying to say is that he is not a very good researcher or writer and not only would their money would be better spent on other books about Gable's life but that they shouldn't believe everything he writes.

 

Not because Gable was or wasn't gay or bisexual but because Bret doesn't have the evidence or facts to back that claim up with. All he has is what he always has, third person gossip made up to look like facts.

 

And that's his m.o. for all his biographical books on classic film stars, not just Gable.

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And what do most other bio writers have to go on? Unless it's autobiographical, all bios are hearsay and speculation. They do research, speak to family and friends, read letters to and from, and review newpaper articles, etc. I doubt this Bret just pulled this stuff out of his head and wrote it down. I'd bet he did research, just as others do, and came to his own conclusion. I searched him online and as far as I can see, he's never been taken to court by present family members of the stars he's written about, and, my God, there are plenty! He did do a book on a living legend, Doris Day, and that seems to have gone without a hitch.

 

I have never read any of his books, don't plan on it now that I got the gist of this Gable expose, but some authors take the high road, others not so much, but that's life. It still boils down to folks getting upset over this man speaking out on the possible flip side of our icons and what we deem as unacceptable behavior. Which, in realilty, for some is everyday life and as normal as good old apple pie.

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