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A kingly salute to Clark on TCM



I wasn't yet born when Carole Lombard was alive, but Clark Gable and I shared the earth for several years -- in fact, I was a kindergarten student when he passed away in November 1960. But he's gained generations of fans in ensuing decades, largely because he played this, arguably the most iconic role in movie history...



...Rhett Butler in the blockbuster to end all blockbusters, David O. Selznick's "Gone With the Wind."

However, Gable's starring career, lasting roughly three decades, goes far beyond that classic performance. It's often forgotten just how he (and James Cagney, a far different character type) redefined the male persona in American film, an identity perfectly suited to sound, not the florid "Latin lover" of Rudolph Valentino and the silent era.

(A tangent, if I may: Could Valentino have transitioned into talking pictures? Recordings of his voice, along with the sound-era successes of contemporaries Ramon Novarro and Ricardo Cortez, argue he could have if he adjusted his style for the new medium, as they did.)

Turner Classic Movies in the U.S., which owns the rights to nearly all of former MGM star Gable's catalog, will honor Clark as its "Star of the Month" every Tuesday in May -- and since May 2017 has five Tuesdays, that means plenty of him.



Yes, that includes his only film with Lombard, 1932's "No Man Of Her Own." It will air at 10 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday, May 2, following his Academy Award-winning performance in the classic "It Happened One Night," which kicks things off at 8, and before his role in 1935's epic "Mutiny on the Bounty." The complete schedule (all times ET):



May 2-3
Following the documentary, see several examples of Gable's early '30s magnetism, notably in "A Free Soul" (above, with Norma Shearer) and "Night Nurse."
* 8 p.m. -- "It Happened One Night" (1934)
* 10 p.m. -- "No Man Of Her Own" (1932)
* 11:30 p.m. -- "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1935)
* 2 a.m. -- "Clark Gable: Tall, Dark and Handsome" (1996 documentary)
* 3 a.m. -- "A Free Soul" (1931)
* 5 a.m. -- "Night Nurse" (1931)
* 6:30 a.m. -- "The Finger Points" (1931)
* 8 a.m. -- "Sporting Blood" (1931)
* 9:30 a.m. -- "Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise" (1931)
* 11 a.m. -- "Hell Divers" (1932)
* 1 p.m. -- "Polly of the Circus (1932)
* 2:30 p.m. -- "Strange Interlude" (1932)
* 4:30 p.m. -- "Night Flight" (1933)
* 6 p.m. -- "The White Sister" (1933)



May 9-10
All eight of Clark's films with Joan Crawford (including "Dancing Lady," above), plus a few other leading ladies, including Constance Bennett and Marion Davies.
* 8 p.m. -- "Possessed" (1931)
* 9:30 p.m. -- "Strange Cargo" (1940)
* 11:30 p.m. -- "Dance, Fools, Dance" (1931)
* 1 a.m. -- "Dancing Lady" (1933)
* 2:45 a.m. -- "Chained" (1934)
* 4:15 a.m. -- "Laughing Sinners" (1931)
* 5:45 a.m. -- "Forsaking All Others" (1934)
* 7:15 a.m. -- "Love On the Run" (1936)
* 8:45 a.m. -- "After Office Hours" (1935)
* 10 a.m. -- "Cain and Mabel" (1936)
* 11:45 a.m. -- "Idiot's Delight" (1939)
* 1:45 p.m. -- "They Met In Bombay" (1941)
* 3:30 p.m. -- "Any Number Can Play" (1949)



May 16-17
Two of Gable's favorite leading ladies were Jean Harlow and Myrna Loy, and they share co-starring honors throughout the evening (and teamed with him in "Wife vs. Secretary," above).
* 8 p.m. -- "China Seas" (1935)
* 9:30 p.m. -- "Wife vs. Secretary" (1936)
* 11 p.m. -- "Red Dust" (1932)
* 12:45 a.m. -- "Manhattan Melodrama" (1934)
* 2:30 a.m. -- "Hold Your Man" (1933)
* 4:15 a.m. -- "Too Hot to Handle" (1938)
* 6:15 a.m. -- "Saratoga" (1937)
* 8 a.m. -- "Men in White" (1933)
* 9:30 a.m. -- "The Secret Six" (1931)
* 11:15 a.m. -- "Parnell" (1937)



May 23-24
"Gone With the Wind" is followed by Clark's three films with good friend Spencer Tracy (they're shown on break from "San Francisco," above) and an assortment of other Gable goodies.
* 8 p.m. -- "Gone With the Wind" (1939)
* 12:15 a.m. -- "San Francisco" (1936)
* 2:15 a.m. -- "Test Pilot" (1938)
* 4:30 a.m. -- "Boom Town" (1940)
* 6:45 a.m. -- "The Painted Desert" (1931)
* 8:15 a.m. -- "Honky Tonk" (1941)
* 10:15 a.m. -- "Across the Wide Missouri" (1951)
* 11:45 a.m. -- "Lone Star" (1952)
* 1:30 p.m. -- "Adventure" (1945)
* 3:45 p.m. -- "Homecoming" (1948)
* 5:45 p.m. -- "Somewhere I'll Find You" (1942)



May 30-31
For some reason, Clark's 1958 comedic vehicle "Teacher's Pet" with Doris Day wasn't available to TCM...but it has one from another leading lady of his still with us, Sophia Loren in "It Started In Naples" (above). That opens an evening of later Gable, including his posthumously released valedictory, "The Misfits" with Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift.

* 8 p.m. -- "It Started In Naples" (1960)
* 10 p.m. -- "Mogambo" (1953)
* 12:15 a.m. -- "The Misfits" (1961)
* 2:30 a.m. -- "Run Silent, Run Deep" (1958)
* 4:15 a.m. -- "Key to the City" (1950)
* 6 a.m. -- "To Please a Lady" (1950)
* 7:45 a.m. -- "Never Let Me Go" (1953)
* 9:30 a.m. -- "Betrayed" (1954)
* 11:30 a.m. -- "Band of Angels" (1957)

Gable frequently downplayed his ability as an actor, and while it's true much of his stardom was a by-product of his vibrant personality, he more often than not delivered the goods on screen. Carole would vouch for that.



For more on Clark and the "Star of the Month," go to http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/1311308%7C0/Clark-Gable-Tuesdays-in-May.html.
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