I’ve never really ‘got’ the Clark Gable thing. I’ve watched Gone With The Wind without him leaving any particular impression on me but after watching Red Dust I get it. Maybe there’s something about a rough-and-ready Gable and the sultry heat of the jungle, both women in this movie certainly seem to think so! It’s not surprising that Gable and Harlow were paired together for six movies, their chemistry is sizzling, especially as this movie is pre-code so it’s a lot naughtier than it’s 1940s counterparts! And boy can you tell this movie is pre-code!There’s nudity, promiscuity, adultery and loose morals galore!
The plot is the same as the 1940s movie Mogambo which starred Grace Kelly (in the Mary Astor role), and Ava Gardner (as the good time girl played by Jean Harlow).
So, here’s a brief recap: Gable is in charge of a rubber plantation and Jean Harlow strolls in, and with her platinum blonde hair and non-stop wisecracks soon has our hero in the sack. She’s a pretty much a cartoon cliché of ‘the tart with a heart’, whenever she was onscreen I kept thinking of the Jessica Rabbit quote ‘I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way’.
The next morning an engineer and his wife (Mary Astor) arrive on the plantation and Gable throws off Harlow and begins chasing after the engineer’s beautiful high-class wife. They begin a torrid affair. I won’t spoil the story for you but the story unfolds with passion, drama, noble sacrifice and a healthy historical dose of shooting tigers and complaining about lazy natives.
This movie was great fun, especially the scene where Harlow is in the bath, and her and Gable are great together. I haven’t watched Mogambo so I’m not sure how the 2 movies compare – if you’ve watched them let me know! I’ve put Mogambo on my list of movies to catch-up on!
If you’d like to watch Red Dust, you can stream it online her for free.
Image source and copyright: 1, 2, This work is in the public domain in that it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1977 and without a copyright notice.
To be impressed by Clark Gable in Gone With The Wind you probably have to read the book first. When I was something around 14, I discovered it in a box with some books my father read in his youth. And I was fascinated by this story about a girl my age in the American Civil War (imagine that I was a young girl from a small town in Germany). Today, I see the failings of the story, but in my teenage years, it was simply thrilling. I gave it to all my friends, and of course we had to watch the movie – which was in many ways disappointing. But Vivien Leigh is worth seeing – and Clark Gable simply is Rhett Butler. Definitely 🙂
Good tip, I’ll have to find myself a copy of the book. I remember thinking that Vivien Leigh was great, if very petulant. I loved that dress she made from a pair of curtains – and the size of her waist, talk about tiny!
the dresses are stunning, yes – designed by the Great Walter Plunkett – who was responsible for Singing In The Rain, too, by the way ….
I didn’t know that! Now there’s another great movie… 🙂
with period dresses, yes! 🙂
This is my favourite clip – I’ve watched it SO many times -it just never gets old! http://youtu.be/SND3v0i9uhE