Thursday, February 3, 2011
Great On Screen Couples: Clark Gable and Jean Harlow.
Jean Harlow, is probably most remembered for the films she made with Clark Gable. Gable and Harlow sparkled together on screen, with a sense of playfulness and fun. The two were close friends off screen. Gable's wife Carole Lombard, once said that she loved Jean Harlow, because Gable thought of her "as one of the guys."
Clark Gable once said, " She didn't want to be famous. She wanted to be happy."
Harlow and Gable, co-starred in a total of six films. The first on screen film was, The Secret Six (1931). Pre-Code crime film. Cast: Wallace Beery as a character loosely based on Al Capone. Also featuring: Lewis Stone, Johnny Mack Brown, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Marjorie Rambeau and Ralph Bellamy. The film was written by Frances Marion and directed by George W. Hill for MGM.
Clark Gable and Jean Harlow followed with their second film, Red Dust(1932). A Romantic drama directed by Victor Fleming. Produced during the Pre-Code era of Hollywood. Gable's performance in Red Dust, soon made him MGM's most important male star.
Please click here to view Red Dust movie review.
Next, they performed in the huge hit, Hold Your Man(1933). A story about a young girl who falls in love with con man, who accidentally kills the man they were setting up. The con man takes off and leaves the young girl behind to take the rap..
Soon after, MGM recognized the goldmine of the Gable-Harlow pairing, putting them in a couple more films, China Seas(1935). A adventure film where Clark Gable plays a sea captain and Jean Harlow as his ship mate.
Next they went on to perform together in the film, Wife vs. Secretary(1936). A story about wife of a publishing executive who believes that her husband's relationship with his sexy secretary is more than professional.
In their sixtieth and final film collaboration., Saratoga(1937). Directed by Jack Conway. After bookie Bradley wins a horse ranch he turns his attentions to the daughter of the now deceased gambler. When filming was 90% completed, Harlow collapsed on the set and died about a week later, reportedly of uremic poisoning. Harlow, was a wonderful comedic actress, I can not imagine how far she would have gone in Hollywood if she a lived longer.
Everyone on the MGM lot called her The Baby with the exception of Clark Gable. A very close friend, he always called her Sis.