But Not for Me (1959)
But Not for Me (1959)
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Audience Reviews for But Not for Me
But Not for Me (1959) This movie named after the old Gershwin brothers song, is another, much later Clark Gable romantic comedy that came along the same lines as Teacher's Pet (1958) or It Started in Naples (1960) where Gable, although still very much the romantic lead, seems to be the brunt of every "age joke". Here, he's Russell Ward, an over-worked Broadway producer, with alimony to his ex-Wife, Kathryn (Lilli Palmer) and a few bombed plays behind him. Russ is trying to get a play going by a difficult author, Jeremiah MacDonald (Lee J. Cobb). But, the play is having some difficulties getting funding because the subject is of an older man pursewing a younger woman. When Russ finally decides that this is a good time to retire and give everyone their notice, his young private secretary, Ellie Borden (Carroll Baker) confesses that she's been madly in love with him. This gives Russ the angle to the play that he's been needing, and he re-starts his efforts to get the play going again. Naturally, he wants Ellie in the starring role. Kathryn is the third wheel, always there to remind Russ that he can't be serious, while fellow actor, and much more age appropriate Gordon Reynolds (Barry Coe) is patiently waiting for Ellie to come to her senses.
Charmer finds Gable at near the end of his career still fully in command of his star power as a somewhat roguish producer who is juggling both personal and professional issues. Lilli Palmer is an excellent match for him, her continental charm playing off his brusk exasperation with surprising ease. She's so good it's a shame her role is rather small but she makes every moment she's on screen memorable and you miss her when she's out of the picture. Lee J. Cobb likewise makes his modest role seem more than it is by filling it with his magnetic presence. The kind of breezy star vehicle that is rarely if ever made today, spotlighting the star but loaded with talent in almost every role. Competently directed and as an added bonus Ella Fitzgerald sings the title tune over the credits. For Gable fans this is a must!
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