POSSESSED
1931, Warner Bros., 76 min, USA, Dir: Clarence Brown

Factory worker Joan Crawford becomes the mistress of a high-powered attorney running for political office (Clark Gable) in this pre-Code classic of sex, Depression-era politics and star chemistry. Crawford's role set the tone for her many movies to come in which she would play working girls on the rise. In this, their third film together, Crawford and Gable clicked onscreen with audiences and each other, engaging in a passionate affair that was widely gossiped about on the MGM lot.


IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT
1934, Sony Repertory, 105 min, USA, Dir: Frank Capra

The first film to win all five major Oscars (as if a comedy could ever pull that off today!) remains a jewel of timing and charm, as runaway bride Claudette Colbert finds herself saddled with pushy reporter Clark Gable, who smells the story of his career. The legendary hitchhiking and “Walls of Jericho” scenes are only the tip of this matchless comic tour de force. Screenplay by Robert Riskin; with Walter Connolly, Alan Hale and Roscoe Karns.


MANHATTAN MELODRAMA
1934, Warner Bros., 93 min, USA, Dir: W.S. Van Dyke, George Cukor (uncredited)

Hard gambler and racketeer Edward "Blackie" Gallagher (Clark Gable) and bookish district attorney and would-be governor Jim Wade (William Powell) have been lifelong friends, brought together by their both being orphans. When Blackie's girlfriend, Eleanor (Myrna Loy), leaves him for the more sensible Jim, there are no ill feelings between the friends, but when Blackie kills the D.A. running opposite Jim for the election of governor, Jim must face the most difficult case of his career: convicting his best friend of murder. The first of 14 onscreen pairings between Loy and Powell, and made in the same year as their most famous film, THE THIN MAN. Look for Mickey Rooney in one of his earliest roles, playing Blackie as a child. MANHATTAN MELODRAMA has become infamous as the last film seen by gangster John Dillinger before he was gunned down leaving Chicago's Biograph Theater.


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