Monday, January 14, 2002


Until recently, I haven't been a huge fan of Clark Gable or Joan Crawford, but I have discovered that I like their early movies quite a bit. They have wonderful chemistry here. Gable returns from an extended trip overseas, finally having made up his mind to propose to his old pal Crawford. However, on the day of his return, he stumbles in on a party being given on the eve of her wedding to Robert Montgomery. The three are all friends and Gable hides his disappointment. But Montgomery jilts her at the altar for a snooty bitch from his past, leaving Crawford distraught. Time passes and Crawford soon schemes to break up Montgomery's marriage. Gable gets caught in the middle--he still loves Crawford, but he knows she still loves (or at least she *thinks* she still loves) Montgomery so he is reluctant to let her know how he feels.

The plot works nicely (a romantic comedy with melodramatic edges), although it wraps up too quickly at the end. The writing is good, with some sharp and witty dialogue, but the acting is what really makes this movie shine. Gable and Crawford both give it their all but still come off as relaxed and charmimg. Also wonderful are Billie Burke and Rosalind Russell. Russell's part is too small--she has a fair number of lines in the first half, but basically vanishes in the last half. Montgomery is Montgomery, fulfilling the role of the charming heel. Charles Butterworth plays Gable's friend. I don't remember seeing him before and he's good, but I kept thinking that Roland Young would be better--there's even a faint physical resemblence between the two actors.

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