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Except for late entry Mogambo from 1953, these titles are from Gable's peak run--1933 to 1940. First up chronologically is Dancing Lady, which pairs Gable with Joan Crawford; he's a gruff Broadway director, she's a plucky young dancer who moves up from burlesque to the legit theater thanks to wealthy suitor Franchot Tone. It's not a great movie, but the formula is pleasing, and there's a young fellow named Fred Astaire (his film debut) in a couple of scenes. Some surreal comedy is provided by Ted Healy and His Stooges (whose names happen to be Moe, Larry and Curly).
Tay Garnett's China Seas, from 1935, was a reunion with Jean Harlow, with whom Gable had struck gold in Red Dust. The script by James Kevin McGuinness and the gifted Jules Furthman might have a preposterous plot--cribbed from Red Dust--but the dialogue is deliciously vulgar and the actors perfectly cast. Gable is the captain of a boat on the Hong Kong-Singapore run, carrying secret gold and fending off pirates and a typhoon. His real problem, however is that the classy woman (Rosalind Russell) he has long pined for has come aboard at the exact moment his bawdy mistress (Harlow) has also tagged along. Clarence Brown's Wife vs. Secretary (1936) brings Harlow back, this time as the executive assistant to Gable's wealthy tycoon. Their relationship is strictly professional, although wife Myrna Loy eventually has suspicions. Gable and Loy are cute together, and the film is a reminder of how playful he could be outside the manly-man world of many of his films.
The blockbuster San Francisco, also 1936, gives a pretty good blueprint of what audiences craved at the time. Gable is the rakish owner of a wild Barbary Coast club, Jeannette MacDonald the opera-ready songbird who performs for him, Spencer Tracy the no-nonsense priest and childhood friend who would love to reform Gable. Director W.S. Van Dyke keeps it all cracking along (well, except when MacDonald sings and Cultcha comes in) and the special effects for the San Francisco earthquake are really rather awesome. Boom Town (1940) was another box-office smash, with Gable and Tracy as Texas oil wildcatters who team up, split, team up, split, etc. Claudette Colbert is the woman loved by both, although the male bonding is the most engaging thing about this entertaining spectacle.
Mogambo is an official remake of Red Dust, with Gable returning, this time as an African safari leader. Even with gray hair, his masculinity is enough to entice good-time girl Ava Gardner and ladylike Grace Kelly. John Ford directed, which means the location exteriors and studio interiors alike are alive with Ford's expressive compositional eye. Included on the San Francisco disc is a TNT documentary profile of Gable. But these titles give a pretty good profile all by themselves. --Robert Horton
This is a great, great set. Each movie is wonderful in its own right. Only Mogambo is in color, but Clark Gable didn't need color. Also a great set if you love Jean Harlow. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Peter Padro
Clark Gable is always fun to watch and this set includes San Francisco with a good re - enactment of the 1906 earthquake.Published 11 months ago by Marcia Henry
This set contains six Clark Gable movies, but only San Francisco can be considered among his best. San Francisco, which also stars Jeanette MacDonald, is one of the greatest and... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Tony Marquise Jr.
If you enjoy truly good movies you will really enjoy these.
They have good stories and speak good english and no four letter words.
The item is just what my mother wanted except for "Mongambo". The collection would be perfect if it just encompassed certain years of his career. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Karen Pagliarini
My favorites were San Franciso, Boom town and Wife vs Secretary..The others did not hold my attention all through, however, they were good Saturday afternoon movies to clean by..Published 20 months ago by sharan
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Clark Gable - The Signature Collection...does it include documentaries...||
Yes, that documentary is included on the San Francisco DVD.
Jun 21, 2009 by J. Hudak | See all 2 posts
|Snap cases in set||
It's six discs in six boxes, with "Tall, Dark and Handsome" on the "San Francisco" disc. Technically, these are in amaray keepcases, rather than snap cases (the cardboard ones with the plastic snap-lock).
Jun 6, 2006 by David Horiuchi | See all 2 posts
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