Gable Lombard No Man of Her Own

No Man of Her Own (1932)

Babe Stewart (Clark Gable) has a reputation in Manhattan for being a crooked gambler and the police would love to be able to nab him. When his lover Kay (Dorothy Mackaill) doesn’t take too kindly to Babe trying to give her the brush-off, she threatens to rat him out to the cops. To stay a few steps ahead of the law, Babe takes cover in Glendale, a small town he chose at random.

Connie Randall (Carole Lombard) is a librarian in Glendale. She’s young, unmarried, and utterly bored with her existence. She’s dying for some excitement in her life and finds it when she meets Babe. She knows she shouldn’t go after the first stranger in town she meets, but he’s eager to pursue her and she desperately wants to let him. With the flip a coin, they’re headed toward the altar and headed back to Manhattan together.

Only Connie is totally oblivious to her new husband’s criminal history; she thinks he works on Wall Street all day. She discovers the truth when she finds a deck of stacked cards and shuffles them so his game will be ruined. When Babe finds out what she’s done, he’s angry at first, but ultimately still loves her and knows the best thing he can do is pay his debt to society and go straight.

I liked No Man of Her Own more than I expected to. Being able to see Lombard and Gable together absolutely made the film. If this movie had featured lesser stars, I don’t think anybody would still be talking about No Man of Her Own today. But they successfully took a movie with a so-so story and made it enjoyable through sheer chemistry. Even though this was made several years before they were married, they had fantastic chemistry together. If it weren’t for the fact that Lombard and Gable worked at different studios at the time, I like to think they probably would have done more movies together. I particularly loved their scenes together before they moved back to Manhattan. And I’m always happy to see Dorothy Mackaill, even though she doesn’t get much screen time here. All in all, there are far worse ways you could spend 85 minutes.

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2 comments

  1. Thank you, thank you for the review of a favorite of mine, wish they could have worked together later

  2. At the time the film was made, there were no personal sparks between them, and Lombard herself said she thought Gable then was “just the latest hunk of meat.” She was still married to William Powell, and Gable was well-immersed in an affair with Crawford.

    Love would certainly come later on, and it would be costly. When Gable finally read Gone With The Wind through one hectic weekend, and long after the public had pronounced only he could do it, Gable felt it was a Ronald Coleman role and had no enthusiasm. The money was the deciding factor. His second wife, Rhea Langham wanted a six-figure settlement to let him go, and Gable wanted Carole as his wife. The lion’s share of Gable’s pay for Rhett went right into Langham’s pocketbook.

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