No Man of Her Own (1932)

  • I’ve waited years to watch this movie. Carole Lombard & Clark Gable in their only film appearance together, 7 years before they got married in real life?! Are you kidding me?!

It’s finally within reach!

  • Ben Mankiewicz tells us that the only reason Carole Lombard got this role – since she was not a big star at the time – was because Miriam Hopkins refused (like a badass) to accept second billing to Gable.
  • Gable was mostly in this movie (produced by Paramount, while he was under contract at MGM, of course) because the other likely star, Bing Crosby, had been requested by Marion Davies for her next film (GOING HOLLYWOOD (1933)), over at MGM. Crazy!
  • Directed by Wesley Ruggles.
  • The poker-hand format of the credits is neat! I like it.
  • Aw…Baby Clark Gable, with no facial hair of any kind! Adorable.
  • So Clark Gable, Dorothy Mackaill (her character’s name is Kay), Grant Mitchell (Charlie), & Paul Ellis (Vargas) are shady cardsharps who scam people out of their money via poker games.
  • It is very evident that Kay is madly in love (lust?) with Clark Gable…only he isn’t having it.
  • “Did I ever tell you I loved you? You bet I didn’t! I’m a square shooter.” –Babe Stewart (Gable)
  • Well…a man named Mr. Collins (played by J. Farrell MacDonald) is onto the group’s crooked habits – so Charlie & Babe skedaddle.
  • Babe winds up in Glendale, a rather sleepy little town where, as resident Connie Randall (Lombard) explains, “Nothing ever happens.” (“Sometimes I go out in the woods and scream, just to keep from bursting,” Connie also complains.)
  • Lombard & Gable are immediately magic. I love it!
  • On the day of their first meeting, Babe waits all day in the library, just to kiss Connie (who is a librarian) when it’s finally library closing time.

“You shouldn’t have done that. I must go. You must go. See you in church.” — Connie

  • Babe follows through on that not-quite-suggestion, wordlessly squeezing his way in between Connie & her brother in their family’s church pew on Sunday. It’s a great scene, in its simplicity.
  • On a whim, Babe & Connie decide to get hitched, & afterwards head back to NYC, because allegedly (according to Charlie) the coast is clear for a couple of months.
  • Charlie stops by Babe’s apartment & Babe’s like ‘Oh hey! I want you to meet the wife!’ Charlie’s like, ‘Oh. Ha ha. …Wait. What?
  • Lombard’s gown (this low-cut, black, sequined number) when they come back from their first night out on the town is drop-dead gorgeous.
  • The morning scene, where Connie wakes Babe up & tries to get him out of bed is adorable. Also, it gives us this quote, which is more relevant to my life than perhaps any movie quote before it:

“Darling, don’t be funny so early in the morning. I never laugh until I’ve had my coffee.” — Babe

  • Babe gets a fake job, so as to keep up his “honest man” charade with Connie.
  • Eventually, though, Connie sees Babe hide a stacked deck of cards in a hidden table compartment – which confirms her suspicions that Babe is, in fact, a cheat.
  • When Connie confronts him, Babe is at first like, ‘We’re over – this is through! The card playing racket is the only thing I’ve ever done and will ever do!’ But then Connie tells him that she doesn’t think that’s true, & that she believes in him & thinks he’s more than that.
  • The best part is that she just leaves it up to him, but totally unwaveringly says “I’ll be waiting for you.”
  • He caves, under the gaze of The Lombard. Because The Lombard is the best.
  • (Babe sends Connie back to Glendale, while he “goes to South America” – aka makes a deal with Mr. Collins to spend 90 days in jail, if he (Babe) promises to go straight afterwards.)
  • When Babe says goodbye to Connie at the airport, he calls her Skipper!

(Just like Torchy & Steve, except reversed!!!)

  • It almost works – Babe’s South American lie – until Kay decides to drop by & have an honest chat with Connie, who’s come back to NYC to surprise Babe upon his return. Kay does this with bad intentions – but when Connie barely blinks an eye about Babe actually being in jail – she realizes the Stewarts’ marriage is the real deal…and she & Connie part as friends.

(This part is awesome. Women being empathetic & decent & yet still being strong-willed & confident…and showing genuine respect for each other? What a badass thing to write into a movie in 1932!)

(Edit: I totally forgot that during the credits, I noticed that this was co-written by a woman – Maurine Dallas Watkins. No wonder these plot happenings are so great, female-power-wise.)

(Edit #2: Maurine Dallas Watkins is, of course, the woman who originally wrote the play CHICAGO. Yes, that CHICAGO. Cool, right?)

  • Well, Jerry (that’s Babe’s real name, by the way) gets out of prison on schedule, and Connie lets him pretend he was in South America, and they all live happily ever after! Yay!
  • I really liked this movie, you guys! It left me smiling. It was so worth the wait!

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