Monday, January 10, 2011

Cain and Mabel(1936).

Cain and Mabel(1936). Romantic/comedy film designed to showcase Marion Davies in which she co-stars with Clark Gable and Robert Paige (credited under his original name, David Carlyle).

After reporter Aloysius K. Reilly, is responsible for Mabel O'Dare, to lose her waitress job, he helps find her a job in the chorus of a new production. Jake casts Mabel in the lead even though she isn't really a dancer.

The night before her opening, while practicing her routine, she keeps her downstairs neighbor, boxer Larry Cain, awake. Because he has a big boxing match the next day, Larry asks Mabel to quit, but they get into a heated argument.

Larry wins the championship, but his lack of charisma does not bring in the crowds. Mabel's show is also not doing well. So... Reilly comes up with the idea of spreading the rumor that there is a a romance between Mabel and Larry.

The publicity about their love affair does help their careers. Larry shares with Mabel that his dream is to retire to New Jersey and work in his own garage. They decide to marry and make Larry's dream come true. Overhearing their plans, Reilly gives the story to the papers, and Mabel and Larry each think the other has betrayed their secrets. When Mabel finally learns the truth, she flies to Philadelphia to find Larry.

I do not know if I would not call this a great movie, more of a curiosity piece and a must see for fans of the stars.

Ruth Donnelly (May 17, 1896 – November 17, 1982). She began her stage career at the age of 17 in 1913 in, The Quaker Girl.

Her Broadway debut brought her to the attention of George M. Cohan, who cast her in many comic-relief roles. Though she made her first film appearance that same year, her Hollywood career took off in 1931 and lasted until 1957.


  1. Ruth Donnelly was a fine comedic character actress. I particularly liked her in "Hard To Handle," where she and daughter Mary Brian wear matching wardrobes and always refer to themselves in third person plural. They cause a collective comic headache for press agent/promoter James Cagney.

    Haven't seen "Cain and Mabel," but one of the things it's best known for is that one of its musical routines was done on such a large scale that Warners literally had to raise the roof at one of its soundstages. I'm not certain whether William Randolph Hearst funded the renovation, but that enlarged stage still functions on the Burbank lot.

  2. VP81955, I would love to see the Ruth Donnelly film, "Hard To Handle,".

    I have only seen, Footlight Parade (1933), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Cain and Mabel (1936), The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)and
    Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950).

    I was disappointed that I could not find any "Cain and Mabel" musical routines on youtube. :(

  3. PS.. Thank you VP81955 for the fun facts.


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