Film 48 of 81 of Joan's for me.
This is a great pre-code melodrama about a poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks trying to make it big. Marian Martin (Joan Crawford) sees how the other half lives from window scenes in a passing railroad car, and resigns to getting some of that, by any means possible.
She moves to the big city and becomes the mistress to a successful lawyer, Mark Whitney (Clark Gable). She falls for the dog, but Mark isn't the marrying kind. On top of that, Marian is still not really accepted by rich society anyway. It gets a little preachy, but generally a good movie.
This is one of Crawford's best with her showing off her complete range of strong, vulnerable, nice, and bitchy. Gable is his trademarked strong self as far as male romantic leads go, who have previously, traditionally been, well, kind of feminine. Gable's Mark character is a man's man and yet could be romantic, when called for, which made him a favorite with both women and men. Crawford saw this in Clark Gable early on and had him star in a lot of her movies.
I think that Possessed was later remade in 1947 with Joan Crawford doing Van Heflin.
[size=3][font=Times New Roman]Marion now convinced this is what she should do breaks ups with her factory boyfriend (Wallace Ford) and head for New York where she meets the rich millionaire lawyer Mark Whitney (Clark Gable). Whitney falls head over heels for the unsophisticated Marion who in one at a restaurant faces making a menu choice written in French. She orders Roast Beef and potatoes to the disgusts of the maître de but Whitney, a steady customer, says he will have the same to save her any embarrassment.[/font][/size]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3]The years go by and Marion and Whitney are lovers. She has now become a sophisticated mistress and lover to Whitney capable of holding sophisticated dinner parties, speaking fluent French. The young factory girl is in the past. While Marion would like to marry Whitney, his first experience in marriage has turned him sour on the idea. Marion seems to have everything she ever wanted.[/size][/font]
[size=3][font=Times New Roman]One truism that is established is that you cannot escape your past. Marion?s past is about to catch up with her, first, at a party where one of Whitney business associates comes to the dinner party with a floozy. When Whitney complains about him bringing a cheap low class dame to his apartment the guest responds that he doesn?t see any difference between her and Marion. Soon after former small town boyfriend Al Manning (Ford) shows up now out of the factory also and into construction, in the front office. He?s in New York to bid on a big new highway contract while also planning on winning Marion back. Manning meets Whitney. At this point neither knows of their prior or current relationship with Marion. Whitney is willing to help Manning get a bid in on the contracts, [/font][/size]
[size=3][font=Times New Roman]The situation continues to deteriorate for Marion when she over hears Whitney and some business associates discuss the possibility of him running for Mayor of NY. However there is one problem they point out. His opponent will dig into his past and discover that he has been living ?in sin? with a woman for four years and they will exploit this (some things do not change). Whitney refuses to get rid of Marion. He will marry her but they respond that?s too little too late. Marion, not wanting to hold Whitney back decides to break up with him saying she?s going to marry Manning. This will make him free of her and he can run for political office.[/font][/size]
[size=3][font=Times New Roman]Whitney runs but ultimately, and I don?t think I?m ruining anything here by saying they get back together.[/font][/size]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3]The film is a melodramatic soap opera yet it interesting. Being pre-code the love affair is out in the open. Crawford looks beautiful and every inch the movie star as does Gable.[/size][/font]
[size=3][font=Times New Roman]Clarence Brown keeps the story moving and as I mentioned above does some imaginative work on the train sequence earlier in the film. [/font][/size]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3]Rating B[/size][/font]
And it's weird seeing Clark without his 'stache.