A Trivia Collection
Clark Gable is a very insightful guy. In case you don't know, read these passages.
Stopped by a reporter on a set and asked what he thought of the roles he was playing, he answered," I just work here. I try to work well and hard. They have an investment in me. They've spent money on me. It's my business to work; not to think."
Another reporter, from a fan magazine, asked him how to become a star. He got one dilly of an answer:
It isn't the looks. It isn't experience. It isn't ability, because everyone knows there are stars who can't act worth a damn.
The public is the only thing that make stars; and the public wants one thing one week and something else the next. It doesn't know what it wants nor why it wants it, and neither does anyone else. You can't explain anything, in this movie business.
It's a chain of accidents. When you step into Hollywood, you wind yourself into thousands and thousands of chains of accidents. If all of the thousands happen to come out just exactly right-and the chance of that figures out to something like one in eight million-then you'll be a star.
If you're enough of a gambler or enough of a jackass to figure everything will come out right just for you, then trot ahead to Hollywood. You want to be a movie star. You think you'd like it. Maybe you would and maybe you wouldn't. You might turn out to be not so happy as you think you'd be.
Do you know that Margaret Mitchell wrote the last chapter of "Gone with the wind" first and apparently composed the rest at random?
Gable's womanizing power left himself speechless. This is what he said about the phenomenon. "This power over women that I'm supposed to have," he declared, " was never noticed when I was on Broadway, I don't know when I got it. And by God, I can't explain it."
For all those books you have read about how Gable never read any books, they are wrong. According to Lyn Tornabene, the author of "Long live the King- Clark Gable", Gable was a vivid reader. His favorite is the poetry.
This is from Uncommon Knowledge by Judy Lewis, the very own daughter of Clark Gable and Loretta Young. Clark met Loretta in "Call of the wild" in 1935. They had fallen in love and resulted in the birth of a baby girl-Judy. This is a common knowledge by most of the media, except Gable and Young never admitted their relationships.
Judy wrote about her feeling of Clark, her father.
I like to pretend that he was thinking of me when he played all his scenes with little Cammie King. After all, he knew I existed, he'd even held my infant self in his arms just as he held Cammie. Ironically, in 1939, when the movie was released, Cammie and I were the same age. And hadn't he told the Hollywood journalist Adela Rogers St. John, his very close friend," The only time that I ever saw myself when I had a right to be called a good actor was in the scene when Bonnie Blue died. It was the only thing that I did in my whole career that satisfied me."
When I see him there on the screen, smiling, I like to think that he thought of me and loved me from a distance during his lifetime. I'll never know for sure because he never told me. I'll never know how he felt about me, and so I don't know what to feel about him except a deep, deep sense of loss.
This is from Clark Gable a personal portrait. It's written by his last wife Kathleen Gable.
Clark was one of the most avid readers I've ever known. He averaged a book a day and his taste ranged from Thurber to Thoreau. he had a complete and well-thumbed, set of Shakespeare and he relished biographies, histories and books on current events. I remember he particularly enjoyed the Churchill memoirs. Pa always read the morning and evening papers and we subscribed to several of the weekly and monthly magazines. His favorites were The New Yorker, Harper's and The Atlantic. Clark had one of those wonderful big Webster's unabridged dictionaries on a stand in his study and he frequently made use of it."I enjoy learning more about words," he once remarked.
Chocolate cake was one of Clark's favorite foods, but only while not working on a picture. His favorite drinks are lemonade. Just pure, plain, raw onion was another favorite. Pa loved to just slice 'em and eat 'em.
I remember one occasion when I pulled a funny switch on Pa. We were at the airport in Trinidad. I stopped at a souvenir stand to buy a book for the children. I couldn't resist the title-Mother Goose rhymes in Calypso. When I looked for Clark, he was surrounded by a group of women eagerly seeking his autograph. I edged my way through the crowd. pa was busily signing right and left. When I reached his side, I shoved my Mother Goose book at him. He promptly autographed it and handed it back. Then he did a double-take and grinned. "Please, Kathleen," he said, "not so early in the morning."
Gable's only Oscar is from "It Happened One Night"(1934). He was nominated two more times for the best actor award, Mutiny on the Bounty(1936) and Gone with the wind(1939). Do you know what happened to his Oscar gold statue? He gave it away to a boy called Richard Lang. Richard was playing with it and asked Gable if he could take it home.
"Hey," Richard asked, tugging at Clark's sleeve, " you want this thing?"
Clark looked down at Richard, and blinked at the sight of his Oscar in the boy's hand, then he smiled and said,"No, you can have it."
Richard's mother was in the room, visibly embarrassed. "Clark, don't be silly," she said. And to her son," Put that back where you got it."
It was a charged moment, Richard looking from his mother to his friend and back again. Clark shook his head. "No, no, you keep it." he said to the boy. Then, to his mother, "Having it doesn't mean anything; earning it does."
It should be noted that after John Clark Gable(Gable's son) was borned, Richard Lung presented the Oscar as a gift back to Gable's family.
Everyone saw Clark Gable as Rhett Butler except Clark Gable himself. The role was the longest and most complex he had ever attempted. As a movie star, he was accustomed to tailor-made, man-of-action parts; Rhett required him-probably for the first time- to be someone other than his screen self. His ideas on acting technique were reflected in such remarks as :"When I played my first love scene I was scared to death. The director said, use a longing expression. So I tried thinking of a big, tender rare steak; it worked so well I've been using it ever since." That blazing fusion of actor and part, that oneness, that overriding identification that signals an outstanding characterization was beyond his reach, but with Fleming's help, he achieved the next best thing: as the critics were to say later, Gable never played Gable better.
Having Fleming as his director was his salvation; when he was unable to cope with a scene, Fleming would order the set cleared and rehearse with him alone, sometimes for as long as half a day, until the star felt confident enough to go before the camera. One scene terrified him-when Rhett breaks down and cries at the news of Scarlett's miscarriage, Gable's fears underline a fundamental difference in attitude between the star and the actor; he was unable to see past the fact that the sight of him in tears would be contrary to his hard-boiled image and feared the audience would laugh at him. When Fleming tried to persuade him that in its context the scene would only increase the audience's sympathy for Rhett, Gable remained unconvinced.
The night before it was due to be filmed, Gable was unable to sleep and complained of stomach cramps. Lombard sat up with him, trying to reassure him, but when he arrived on the set in the morning he was tired and edgy. He became very emotional and threatened to quit movies altogether-"starting with this one"-if Fleming insisted on going through with it. The director succeeded in calming him down and suggested a compromise: The scene would be shot two ways, first with Gable's back to the camera in an eloquent gesture of grief and then with Gable in a front view, weeping. The set was closed to visitors, and the crew was pared down to the minimum; only two takes were shot, with Gable still grumbling nervously. Of course Selznick used the weeping in the picture. When Gable saw the rushes he was astonished by his own performance. " I can't believe it; what the hell happened?" he asked Fleming.