Clark Gable - Rotten Tomatoes

Clark Gable



The son of an Ohio oil driller and farmer, American actor Clark Gable had a relatively sedate youth until, at age 16, he was talked into traveling to Akron with a friend to work at a tire factory. It was in Akron that Gable saw his first stage play, and, from that point on, he was hooked. Although he was forced to work with his father on the oil fields for a time, Gable used a 300-dollar inheritance he'd gotten on his 21st birthday to launch a theatrical career. Several years of working for bankrupt stock companies, crooked theater managers, and doing odd jobs followed, until Gable was taken under the wing of veteran actress Josephine Dillon. The older Dillon coached Gable in speech and movement, paid to have his teeth fixed, and became the first of his five wives in 1924. As the marriage deteriorated, Gable's career built up momentum while he appeared in regional theater, road shows, and movie extra roles. He tackled Broadway at a time when producers were looking for rough-hewn, down-to-earth types as a contrast to the standard cardboard stage leading men. Gable fit this bill, although he had been imbued with certain necessary social graces by his second wife, the wealthy (and, again, older) Ria Langham.



A 1930 Los Angeles stage production of The Last Mile starring Gable as Killer Mears brought the actor to the attention of film studios, though many producers felt that Gable's ears were too large for him to pass as a leading man. Making his talkie debut in The Painted Desert (1931), the actor's first roles were as villains and gangsters. By 1932, he was a star at MGM where, except for being loaned out on occasion, he'd remain for the next 22 years. On one of those occasions, Gable was "punished" for insubordination by being sent to Columbia Studios, then a low-budget factory. The actor was cast by ace director Frank Capra in It Happened One Night (1934), an amiable comedy which swept the Academy Awards in 1935, with one of those Oscars going to Gable. After that, except for the spectacular failure of Gable's 1937 film Parnell, it seemed as though the actor could do no wrong. And, in 1939, and despite his initial reluctance, Gable was cast as Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind, leading him to be dubbed the "King of Hollywood."



A happy marriage to wife number three, Carole Lombard, and a robust off-camera life as a sportsman and athlete (Gable enjoyed a he-man image created by the MGM publicity department, and perpetuated it on his own) seemed to bode well for the actor's future contentment. But when Lombard was killed in a 1942 plane crash, a disconsolate Gable seemed to lose all interest in life. Though far beyond draft age, he entered the Army Air Corps and served courageously in World War II as a tail-gunner. But what started out as a death wish renewed his vitality and increased his popularity. (Ironically, he was the favorite film star of Adolf Hitler, who offered a reward to his troops for the capture of Gable -- alive).



Gable's postwar films for MGM were, for the most part, disappointing, as was his 1949 marriage to Lady Sylvia Ashley. Dropped by both his wife and his studio, Gable ventured out as a freelance actor in 1955, quickly regaining lost ground and becoming the highest paid non-studio actor in Hollywood. He again found happiness with his fifth wife, Kay Spreckels, and continued his career as a box-office champ, even if many of the films were toothless confections like Teacher's Pet (1958). In 1960, Gable was signed for the introspective "modern" Western The Misfits, which had a prestigious production lineup: co-stars Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift, and Eli Wallach; screenwriter Arthur Miller; and director John Huston. The troubled and tragic history of this film has been well documented, but, despite the on-set tension, Gable took on the task uncomplainingly, going so far as to perform several grueling stunt scenes involving wild horses. The strain of filming, howe

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Tcm Presents Gone With The Wind
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet Verifica incerta - Disperse Exclamatory Phase
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet The U.S. Air Force Story
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Battle By Sea
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet They Filmed the War in Color - France is Free
  • Actor
2006
No Score Yet Gay! Gay! Hollywood
  • Actor
1999
No Score Yet Hidden Hollywood: Treasures From The 20th Century Fox Vaults
  • Actor
1997
No Score Yet Judy Garland's Hollywood
  • Actor
1997
No Score Yet Gable and Crawford
  • Actor
1993
No Score Yet Mgm Story: When The Lion Roars
  • Actor
1992
No Score Yet Dear Mr. Gable
  • Actor
1991
No Score Yet Hollywood on Parade
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Arthur Miller on Home Ground
  • Actor
1979
No Score Yet That's Entertainment, Part 2
  • Actor
1976
100% The Misfits
  • Gay Langland
1961
0% It Started in Naples
  • Michael Hamilton
1960
No Score Yet But Not for Me
  • Russell 'Russ' Ward
1959
83% Teacher's Pet
  • James Gannon / James Gallangher
1958
100% Run Silent, Run Deep
  • Cmdr. 'Rich' Richardson
1958
40% Band of Angels
  • Hamish Bond
1957
No Score Yet The King and Four Queens
  • Dan Kehoe
1956
No Score Yet The Tall Men
  • Ben Allison
1955
No Score Yet Soldier of Fortune
  • Hank Lee
1955
No Score Yet Betrayed
  • Pieter Deventer
1954
82% Mogambo
  • Victor Marswell
1953
No Score Yet Never Let Me Go
  • Philip Sutherland
1953
No Score Yet Lone Star
  • Devereaux Burke
1952
No Score Yet Callaway Went Thataway
  • Guest Star
1951
No Score Yet Across the Wide Missouri
  • Flint Mitchell
1951
No Score Yet To Please a Lady
  • Mike Brannan
1950
No Score Yet Key to the City
  • Steve Fisk
1950
No Score Yet Hollywood Without Makeup
  • Actor
1950
No Score Yet Any Number Can Play
  • Charley Enley Kyng
1949
No Score Yet Command Decision
  • Brigadier Gen. K.C. "Casey" Dennis
1948
No Score Yet Homecoming
  • Col. Ulysses Delby `Lee' Johnson
1948
No Score Yet The Hucksters
  • Victor Albee Norman
1947
No Score Yet Adventure
  • Harry Patterson
1945
No Score Yet Combat America
  • Producer
  • Narrator
1944
No Score Yet Wings Up!
  • Actor
1943
No Score Yet Somewhere I'll Find You
  • Jonathon "Jonny" Davis
1942
No Score Yet They Met in Bombay
  • Gerald Meldrick
1941
No Score Yet Honky Tonk
  • Candy Johnson
1941
No Score Yet Comrade X
  • McKinley B. 'Mac' Thompson
1940
75% Strange Cargo
  • Andre Verne
1940
No Score Yet Boom Town
  • Big John McMasters
1940
94% Gone With the Wind
  • Rhett Butler
1939
No Score Yet Idiot's Delight
  • Harry Van
1939
71% Test Pilot
  • Jim Lane
1938
No Score Yet Too Hot to Handle
  • Christopher 'Chris' Hunter
1938
No Score Yet Saratoga
  • Duke Bradley
1937
No Score Yet Parnell
  • Charles Stewart Parnell
1937
80% Love on the Run
  • Michael Anthony
1936
100% San Francisco
  • Blackie Norton
1936
No Score Yet Wife vs. Secretary
  • Van
1936
No Score Yet Cain and Mabel
  • Larry Cain
1936
94% Mutiny on the Bounty
  • Christian
1935
No Score Yet China Seas
  • Capt. Alan Gaskell
1935
No Score Yet Call of the Wild
  • Jack Thornton
1935
No Score Yet Forsaking All Others
  • Jeff Williams
1934
No Score Yet Chained
  • Mike Bradley
1934
85% Manhattan Melodrama
  • Blackie Gallagher
1934
98% It Happened One Night
  • Pete Warne
1934
No Score Yet Men in White
  • Dr. Ferguson
1934
No Score Yet Dancing Lady
  • Patch Gallagher
1933
No Score Yet Night Flight
  • Jules
1933
No Score Yet Hold Your Man
  • Eddie
1933
No Score Yet Strange Interlude
  • Ned Darrell
1932
No Score Yet No Man of Her Own
  • Jerry "Babe" Stewart
1932
No Score Yet Polly of the Circus
  • Reverend John Hartley
1932
100% Red Dust
  • Dennis Carson
1932
No Score Yet Possessed
  • Mark
1931
No Score Yet Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise
  • Rodney Spencer
1931
No Score Yet Sporting Blood
  • Rid Riddell
1931
86% Night Nurse
  • Nick
1931
No Score Yet A Free Soul
  • Ace Wilfong
1931
No Score Yet The Secret Six
  • Carl Luckner
1931
No Score Yet Dance, Fools, Dance
  • Jake Luva
1931
No Score Yet The Painted Desert
  • Brett
1931
No Score Yet Laughing Sinners
  • Carl Loomis
1931
No Score Yet The Merry Widow
  • Extra
1925
No Score Yet The Plastic Age
  • Athlete
1925
No Score Yet Forbidden Paradise
  • Extra
1924
78% The Iron Horse
  • Actor
1924
No Score Yet Gable, Stewart and Reagan
  • Actor
No Score Yet Battle Ground Wings over Europe
  • Actor

Quotes from Clark Gable's Characters