Monday, March 14, 2011
Clark Gable's Big Hands
“To Sid who is a great guy,” he wrote into the cement. Sid, of course, refers to showman Sid Grauman, who owned the (then) Grauman’s Chinese Theater, among others. The date was January 20, 1937, the same day President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was being sworn into his second term of office and frankly announcing, “I see one third of our nation ill-housed, ill-clad, and ill-nourished.”
It was also the same day director W. S. Van Dyke, II got to put his hands in cement at Grauman’s as well. I don’t know if there was a tie-in (Van Dyke had directed Gable a few years previously in “Manhattan Melodrama”), or if this was just the chance way the scheduling came together. “One-take Woody” directed “After the Thin Man”, which had been released the previous month, and his “Personal Property” with Jean Harlow and Robert Taylor would be released in another two months. He turned them out like clockwork.
Gable’s next picture to be released would be “Parnell” in June, which in a way dovetails us into Thursday’s St. Patrick’s Day post. It won’t be “Parnell” this time, about the 19th century Irish politician, a role for which most people agree Gable was probably not the best choice. Instead, we’ll look at another film tackling Irish politics and “The Troubles” -- “Beloved Enemy” (1936).
For more on the Chinese Theater, have a look at this website.