3.20.2012

"Frankly my dear, I just don't give a damn."

That line sends chills up my spine.  It is one of the most famous lines in the history of movies.  And it's thanks to this man. 




*Actually, in the film, the line is "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn," but as written in Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, the line includes the "just" and since I read the book first, that's the way it always will be for me.* 

Welcome to the first edition to the Classic Movie Recap Series (CMRS).  It's our boy Clark Gable with two of his best hits:  It Happened One Night and Gone With the Wind.

It Happened One Night 
(Directed by Frank Capra, 1934)

Ellie (Claudette Colbert), a spoiled brat, is tired of being a spoiled brat and takes off after her rich banker father doesn't approve of her marrying some D.B.  She meets Peter (Gable) on a train out of town.  Gable does not immediately swoon over her, which obviously peaks her interest.  Gable and Colbert travel together while trying to get to NY and end up having several adventures.  They sleep in the same room (scandalous), share witty back and forth banter, and later find out that they love each other (duh, you knew that was coming).  Gable is so so funny in this film.  laughed out loud at several of the scenes.  I thought this film was a bit risky for its time, but actually I realize I know nothing about life in the 30s, so maybe it wasn't.  Ha!  I could watch this movie over and over again.  I think I had a perma-grin on my face throughout this entire film. 

I always Wikipedia the movies and actors after watching these films because I just can't get enough. Gable was apparently the definition of a masculine man.  It is said that Gable's masculinity was so prominent that "when he walked down the alley, you could almost hear his b***s clank."  I originally saw that quote on Wikipedia, but it had since been deleted for lack of citation.  So I re-found here.  But can you actually make something like that up?  I think not.  Doris Day was said to have said about Gable, "He was as masculine as any man I've ever known, and as much a little boy as a grown man could be – it was this combination that had such a devastating effect on women."

Source, and a much better recap of the movie found here.

Next up...

Gone With the Wind 
(Directed by Victor Fleming, 1939)

Have you ever loved someone and lusted after them so much only to find out that they aren't all that, all the while, someone else has lusted and loved you for so long that your love and lust for the first person makes that someone fall out of love with you, which causes you to realize that you do actually love that someone? No?  Me either.


But anyway...first, read this book!  Then, stay in your PJs on a Saturday and watch this 4 hour film.  (Reading this book and watching this movie was basically my idea of heaven).  This is a great story about the Civil War told from the perspective of the people of the South.  Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) goes from a spoiled brat with all the privileges she could ever want, to a hungry, scared, lonely and desperate woman after the war turns her world upside down.  She surprises no one except for herself with her strength and her desire to survive.  She is secretly (to some) in love with Ashley, who marries his cousin, Melanie (Olivia de Havilland).  Melanie and Scarlet become inseparable, and all the while Scarlet resents Melanie for having Ashley.  Rhett knows that Scarlett is in love with Ashley and constantly uses that fact to his advantage.  Scarlett despises Rhett (or does she?).  It is truly one of the best stories ever told.    

Source here.


And everything about the production of this movie is fascinating.  Wikipedia told me that Leigh was a bit of a feisty character; she complained that Gable had bad breath, which was allegedly because of his false teeth, and her background in British acting made it hard for her to "ham" it up for an American film.  Also interesting was that the director of the film changed multiple times before Victor Flemming stepped in to save the film (at the same time that he was directing the Wizard of Oz). 


I fell in love with the character of Melanie, and needed to know more about Oliva de Havilland.  So I went to the source (Wikipedia):  She grew up in Japan where her father was a lawyer; her mother was an accomplished actress. She has a sister who is also in the movies.  Her name is Joane Fontaine; her mother apparently had a favoritism for Olivia and wouldn't allow Joane to use the family name in her acting career.  (How rude!)  Fontaine and Olivia have not spoken since 1975--when their mother passed away.  Olivia is still kicking it at 95 years old!  She was instrumental in legislation that made it illegal for studios to suspend or dock pay for actors who refused roles, a problem that had been plaguing Hollywood actors and not allowing them to excercise creative freedom.  The law is known as the "De Havilland Law," so she's kind of a big deal.   

That's it for the Gable Edition...for now.  Much more where that came from. 

Are you, too, fascinated by old movies?  What are some of the must-see oldies I need to put on my que?

Coming Up:  Classic Movie Recap - Jimmy Stewart Edition




P.S.  Sources for the first three pics found herehere and here.

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous3/20/2012

    Well I love Gone with the wind, The sound of Music, OMG the God Father, Scarface,(let me introduce u 2 my little Friend)LMAO. The Wizard of Oz, Gangster movies. The list can go on and on. hhhhhhhhheeeeeeellllooooo. hooooooooow uuuuuuuuu doin.

    LuLu

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    Replies
    1. Ha! Your list is funny! Al laughed at your mention of Scarface.

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