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Tuesday, July 04, 2006



They Did Get Back Together After All ...


I’ve always heard these two didn’t really hit it off during Gone With The Wind. I think the story got started with that Ann Edwards book on Vivien Leigh. Not that they actually fought or anything --- just weren’t each other’s type, apparently. But I’d always wondered if they ever met up again --- like at a party or a premiere or something. We know Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh never worked together after Gone With The Wind, but surely they occupied the same space at some point. Well, here’s two shots I’ve found so far --- the only two --- and since I don’t expect to encounter more, now’s as good a time as any to present them both for quick comparison. The first is from from 1940 --- Gable’s visiting the set of Waterloo Bridge --- the two look convivial enough here, don’t you think? He probably dropped over from Comrade X or Strange Cargo. The nightclub pose is ten years later, and you can really see the miles on both their faces. They’d both endured a war up close, Gable had lost one wife and unwisely took another, Vivien was headed toward her own emotional tumult that would shorten her career (although it was around this time, 1950, that she started work on A Streetcar Named Desire). If I could have approached their table that night, I would have probably told Clark to put out that nasty cigarette and never, ever smoke another one --- then when I regained consciousness out in the parking lot an hour or so later, I would perhaps ask the Mike Mazurki/I Walk Alone looking doorman/bouncer if he would please go to the kitchen and bring me back a piece of raw meat for my black eye. But I would have at least gotten that Surgeon General’s warning to Gable (even if it was fifteen years early), and done my good deed for the evening.

4 Comments:

Blogger East Side said...

If you hadn't told me that was Vivien Leigh in that nightclub shot, I would've sworn it was Keely Smith.

8:04 PM  
Blogger convict 13 said...

It's funny really that they did not get along. Considering both of their reputations for let us say "indoor sports". I realise that Clark had just gotten married but still!

8:24 AM  
Blogger Director Robert said...

This candid from 1950 is really something. All at once I was imagining it as proof that Rhett & Scarlett DID make it through after all. And do you think he wanted to live longer than he did? The death wish he acquired the moment he learned about Lombard took him almost 20 years to fulfill. If you HAD tipped him off about smoking, he'd have thanked you and done it more, not less.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Charles Ellis said...

Well, if producer-director Joshua Logan had his way circa 1959, we would've had Gable & Leigh reunited onscreen. He was planning to film the novel Parrish with Warren Beatty in his film debut, and Jane Fonda (also in her proposed film debut). Logan had wanted Gable as Fonda's father and Leigh as Beatty's mother. In the plotline Clark was to play a Connecticut tobacco baron who marries Leigh, a widow hired as a chaperone/companion to his daughter Fonda. However, the negotiations for the actors fell through and Logan lost interest in the project. Delmer Daves later did Parrish with Troy Donahue and Sharon Huegenyas the young lovers and Karl Malden and Claudette Colbert in the older lead roles vacated by Gable and Leigh. If only they had done the film for Logan, then Gable wouldn't have done The Misfits and literally work himself to death doing all those stunts!

8:35 PM  

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