Wednesday, February 6, 2013

No Man is an Island

No Man of Her Own (1932) is an interesting pre-code comedy. Directed by Wesley Ruggles (I Met Him in Paris, from last week), it stars Clark Gable and Carole Lombard from before they were a real-life couple.

Gable is a crooked gambler, who decides to lay low in "Glendale" (a New York suburb?) when the cops get a little too close. There he meets Lombard, a prim librarian who is a little bored with her small-town life. After a courtship that reads more like harassment to me, they make a bet. Gable will flip a coin. Heads, they do it, tails, they get married - This is a direct quote.

The next scene shows Lombard sensuously stretching in negligee in the sleeping compartment of a honeymoon express train - I guess that proves this is pre-code. But it isn't without morals. Lombard believes that Gable works for a living, and after a while, he starts to feel guilty about his evil ways. But what can he do about it?

Overall, this is pretty charming, funny and mildly naughty. Ruggles' direction had a touch of class, without really standing out. I guess that's my overall judgment - solid but not exceptional. Your mileage may vary.

In conclusion: Clark Gable had no mustache.

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