Red Dust - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Red Dust Reviews

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August 12, 2009
Great performances by Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, and Mary Astor. Very much passion between Gable and Astor. But you have to wonder how they got away with Gable's character being so verbally abusive to Jean's character; and the occasional racist remark here and there. I can only assume that it was of the times... people had not learnt what it means to be "politically incorrect" yet, perhaps? The conversation between Gable and Harlow still made for a feisty and interesting relationship. At least Jean Harlow bit back. :P For the heated and dramatic love triangle, this film wins it's redeeming points with audiences.
½ July 15, 2009
Steamy melodrama set on a rubber plantation in the Far East. Probably quite the blockbuster back in 1932. Gable and Harlow are one of the most underrated screen couples and here they sizzle. Both were hot new names at the time and their pairing confirmed them as the leading sex symbols of the thirties. Harlow is particularly good and frequently outshines the other actors. As good-time girl Vantine, she built on her sexpot image and made her sympathetic. Mary Astor plays her more aristocratic rival. The drama of the situation is not fully explored but Harlow makes the most of her comedic gifts and allure - the scene where she bathes in a rain-barrel was very daring for its time, and she was certainly a trailblazer for sex in the movies. She was also a forceful actress with inimitable timing. 'Red Dust' was remade in 1953 as 'Mogambo', with Gable reprising his role alongside Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly. What it gained in realism, however, it lost in wit. 'Red Dust' was one of the most popular films of the 30s and if the story seems now rather dated, the acting more than makes up for it. The only downside is the rather racist portrayal of a simple-minded coolie (played by Willie Fung.) However this reflects the times more than anything, and should probably be seen as an aberration in an otherwise entertaining period movie.
October 12, 2008
Harlow meet Gable. A classic.
½ September 1, 2008
the best pairing of Gable/Harlow
½ August 21, 2008
Gable and Harlow are on screen gold. An interesting film, wonderfully acted. A must see for vintage movie fans.
July 6, 2008
I loved this film. Jean Harlow is just ravishing in this movie!!!
July 5, 2008
Some of the best movie chemistry ever.
July 3, 2008
Jean Harlow is so cute you just wanna pick her up and squeeze her, and Clark Gable gives one of the most masculine and overtly sexual performances this side of Stanley Kowalski. I loves them pre-code movies!
May 13, 2008
This is one of my Favorite movies of all time!!
Jean Harlow is delightfully vampy and Gable plays a scoundrel that you can't help but love!!

The kissing scene after they run through the rain is classic romance at it's best!
May 7, 2008
Un Clark Gable completamente desconocido, sin bigote y machote.
½ February 19, 2008
love this movie Clark Gable and Jean Harlow are electric together.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2008
It's pretty much the same story as Mogambo. Clark Gable even played the same role in Mogambo as in this film, but I think I prefer Red Dust when I compare the two.
December 1, 2007
I love the snappy dialogue in "Red Dust." But I was disappointed that Gable and Harlow didn't have more screentime together.
½ November 30, 2007
Very snappy dialogue by Harlow and Gable-very enjoyable!
November 19, 2007
This is a pre-code film and you can tell. Adultery was not an accepted subject matter after 1934. The film is good, despite the blatant racism and sexism which is a reflection of the time unfortunately. But Harlow is fantastic as always, playing the sharp witted prostitute.
Super Reviewer
October 29, 2007
if you could tolerate sexism and racism without taking them into account too seriously, you might emancipate yourself to indulge in the gable-harlow "red dust"....the mode of gable-harlow screen romances would be that the slicitous harlow desperately courts the handsome but crude gable who disregards this aphrodite-like blonde bombshell but enamoured of the other brunette upper-class prim fairlady who seems to have a crush on him that helps to uplevel his selfism. such pattern also repeats in "china seas", but only this time our stingently coy brunette mary astor has some depth by her delicately tormented conflict of adulterous passion and virtuous guilt. (as gable's typical brunette love interest, astor distinguishes herself with such mental complexity much more than rosalind russell in "china seas")

gable always dismisses harlow by shutting at her rudely meanwhile has no objection to acquiant himself with her bedside curtain.(which means he disrepects her but sex with her anyway) however, the intensely lovelorn harlow would always endure his musculine vulgarities (which he makes no attempt to conceal from her) like a good little woman with her own bawdy prole demeanors such as uttering obscenely humorous quib lines.

male audience then had an affinity with gable's character that might be due to their own sense of priviledged gender concepts beautified by gable's dashing good looks and his redundancy of female admirers but also identified with his savage roughness and his abusive manners. he has the vices american audience's fond of and also the shrewd manliness approved by men in general that makes him the so called "diamond in the raw" which is the good-looking sexy beast who takes what he wants egoistically like men assume themselves to be. he proves his competence of male charm by successfully seducing the genteel wife but toss her aside once he finally yields to the bourgeois concern of nobility. he loves and runs, eventually even rewarded with a glamour beauty as compensation.

additionally, the way those characters treat asian coolies is a vital proof of racism then...when astor gives a line like "how could you treat my husband like one of those coolies" or implicitly deeming them as "animals" or "civilized barbarians" constantly with a goofy smirks on their cheeks.

when it comes to the entertainment level, it's still a well-performed flick with engrossing melodramtic clashes between characters that appease audience's salacious want but also concede to the righteously happy ending without intruding the moralistic bourgeois mass.
September 27, 2007
This is some old, old, old, OLD school cinema here. Back when a movie set had 2 people working it. the director and camera man.
September 15, 2007
this drawing for the movie poster makes both of them look ugly
September 6, 2007
Classic Harlow and Gable- what's not to love, laugh, and cry over?!
½ September 5, 2007
Clark Gable is my hero.
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