Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Clark Gable makes a good living as a gambling con man, swindling rich men with his accomplice (Grant Mitchell) and his girl (Dorothy Mackaill), but when a vice squad cop gets on his tail and won't let go, Gable decides to lay low for a while and takes off for parts unknown. Mackaill wants to go along, but Gable says he's a "hit-and-run" guy and takes a train for the small town of Glendale, chosen at random as a getaway location. In Glendale, lovely young librarian Carole Lombard is chomping at the bit for something to happen, but nothing ever does. That changes when Gable crosses her path; he takes a shine to her, flirting outrageously with her at the library, arriving unannounced to sit with her family at church, and following her to a lakeside cabin. That night, on a coin toss, he agrees to marry her. He does, then takes her back to New York and tries to hide his no-good ways from her, even going so far as to get a stockbroker friend of his to loan him a phone and a desk so she thinks he's gainfully employed. But soon the cop is after him and he has to make a decision: leave Lombard and go on the run again, or stay and try to go straight.  There's also the little problem of Mackaill, who still holds a grudge.

Gable and Lombard eventually got married in real life, but during the making of this film, they remained strictly professional co-stars. However, the onscreen chemistry between them is hot indeed. The library scene, in which he gets her to climb a ladder to grab a book and then takes advantage of the view, so to speak, is great fun. We get to see Lombard in her scanties at the cabin, and later naked in a shower (obscured by fog and a wavy glass door). Gable remains clothed, but is just as sexy as she is, and most of their scenes together are delightful. The ending is a little too pat, but otherwise this pre-Code romantic drama, with a decidedly light touch, is well worth seeing. Also with Elizabeth Patterson and George Barbier as Lombard's folks. [DVD]

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