Tag: clarke gable

MOVIE REVIEW | Run Silent Run Deep (1958)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “I’m not saying that Run Silent Run Deep is the best submarine picture out there, but I am saying that it’s the one that made me realise what a unique and great part of cinema history the submarine picture is.”

Silent 1.jpg
“Mr. Cartwright, with all due respect to your rank, may I say I think you’re an ass?”

I used to make fun of my dad for once walking into a video shop and asking where the “submarine pictures” were.  The idea of him thinking they were their own genre seemed so goofy to me.  But the more I watch, the more I realise the “submarine picture” isn’t far from being its own genre.  Separate from war movies, and even from navy specific war movies, they have their own filmic language, they have their own devices, rules and even clichés.  And I started to really notice this while watching Run Silent Run Deep.

We’re balls’ deep in WWII, and an area known as the Bungo Straights has seen many a US ship and sub sunk by the enemy Japanese.  At home in Pearl Harbour, Lt. Jim Bledsoe (Burt Lancaster) is on the verge of getting command of his own boat. Until an old seadog, Commander BJ ‘Rich’ Richardson (Clark Gable) decides he’d like a sub to command.  Now he’s in charge, Bledsoe is his number two, and they’re shipping out with a disgruntled crew, heading towards the Bungo Straights. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #6. Gone With the Wind (1939)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
Wind 1
“Take a good look my dear. It’s an historic moment you can tell your grandchildren about. How you watched the Old South fall one night.”

These days, Hollywood is accused by the right wing of being militant lefties, always pushing an overly progressive agenda, trying to kill good old fashion values and conservativism. But apparently, in its earlier, golden years, Hollywood seems to have been a little on the redneck side itself, with a strange habit of telling Civil War stories where the slave owning southerners were the heroes. Birth of a Nation, the first ever feature length film was one. A decade later, Buster Keaton’s The General, arguably his best move, was another. Then, another decade after that, it was time for what may be the most famous movie of all time to make heroes out of a world of assholes, with Gone With the Wind.

On the Eve of the Civil War, spoiled plantation owner’s daughter Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) is sick of hearing about Georgia’s secession from the Union. All she wants to do is swan around in pretty dresses and win the heart of neighbouring plantation heir, Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard). But when Ashley declares his engagement to his cousin Melanie Hamilton (Olivia de Havilland), Scarlett spitefully replies by marrying Melanie’s younger brother, Charles (Rand Brooks). But not before meeting the handsome and charismatic Rhett Butler (Clark Gable). He’s so tainted with scandal and so rich, the only thing he can’t buy in the old south is respect. But before either of these fresh marriages can take root, the Civil War breaks out, with the men going to the front, while Scarlett and Melanie take refuge in Melanie’s aunt’s house in Atlanta. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #46. It Happened one Night (1934)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.

“Any guy that’d fall in love with your daughter ought to have his head examined.”

Clear, predictable formula is something that gets pointed at a lot when talking about bad movies.  But I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with movies following a tried and true formula, as long as it’s done well.  And the reason these formulas have been used so many times that even the most casual move goer can recognise them in action, is that they work.  A good movie can take a formula, adhere to the rules, hit every beat you expect when you expect it, but still surprise you in some ways.  If you’ve ever seen a romantic comedy, you’ll know the rules and every beat of It Happened One Night.  But with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert at its centre, and with Frank Capra doing his thing behind the camera, I reckon you’ll still be surprised by just how watchable it is.

Spoiled little rich girl Ellie (Colbert) has just eloped, and her Wall Street mogul father, Alexander (Walter Connolly) is trying to force her to have the marriage annulled.  Diving off his is luxury yacht in Florida, Ellie runs (swims) away, determined to be with her new husband in New York.  Meanwhile, professional journalist and professional drunk Peter (Gable) has just been fired from his job at a newspaper. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***SWANSONG WEEK*** The Misfits (1961)


“Honey, nothing can live unless something dies.”

Before I decided to do this Swansong Week, I’d never heard of The Misfits. I just decided Marilyn Monroe was legendary enough to be included and went to the last movie listed on her IMDB page.  Then, as the opening credits began to roll, I discovered I was in for something big.  The actors alone would make The Misfits more than worth your time.  As well as Monroe, you also get Clark Gable (also giving his last movie performance), Eli Wallach and Montgomery Clift.  Plus, behind the camera is director John Huston.  Then, you have all of this immense talent working from an Arthur Miller screenplay.  How could The Misfits be anything less than amazing?

The recently divorced Roslyn (Monroe) is going out to celebrate with her friend Isabelle (Thelma Ritter).  With Roslyn’s car is undrivable after an accident, they get a lift to a divey Reno casino with mechanic Guido (Wallach).  At the casino, they meet Guido’s friend Gay Langland (Gable), an aging cowboy who immediately sets his sights on Roslyn.  Soon, they all end up at Guido’s house out in the desert where he’s let things go after the death of his wife.  Gay convinces Roslyn to take a chance on him and stay in Guido’s house with him.  She does, they begin to fall in love and play house. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)


“But there’s another story, Captain Bligh, of ten cocoanuts and two cheeses. A story of a man who robbed his seamen, cursed them, flogged them, not to punish but to break their spirit. A story of greed and tyranny, and of anger against it, of what it cost”.

Clarke Gable as Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind is one of those iconic performances that will live on forever. Clarke Gable in It Happened One Night is one I only saw for the first time a few years ago, but it immediately proved to me that his work in Gone With the Wind was no fluke. He is one watchable, charismatic, charming son of a bitch. Which is why I thought it was time I saw a bit more of his work, starting with Mutiny on the Bounty.

“In December, 1787, HMS Bounty lay in Portsmouth harbour on the eve of departure for Tahiti in the uncharted waters of the Great South Sea. The Bounty’s mission was to procure breadfruit trees for transplanting to the West Indies as cheap food for slaves. Neither ship nor breadfruit reached the West Indies. Mutiny prevented it. Mutiny against the abuse of the harsh eighteenth century sea law. But this mutiny, famous in history and legend, helped bring about a new discipline based upon mutual respect between officers and men, by which Britain’s sea power is maintained as security for all who pass upon the seas”. (more…)