Lord almighty. How is it that no one ever talks about this movie? Hot. I'd never seen it because I was never particularly crazy about Clark Gable (It Happened One Night aside), Jean Harlow, Gene Raymond or Mary Astor ...who make up the love quadrangle. I watched it a few days ago and I still feel like I need a cold shower.
Red Dust is about a scoundrel who runs a rubber plantation. He gets involved with both a floozy and the wife of a new employee. Harlow is a completely shameless ho in this. Her very first shot finds her in bed in a slip with hair dishevelled --it's a scorcher.* I'd previously found her pretty fug as blonde bombshells go but that won me over. The performance that follows is lively and worth loving. There's an even more salacious shot later in the movie: Clark Gable reclined on his elbows with chest out -- very cock of the walk. Mary Astor plays a buttoned up married woman but once she gets wet (no really, there's a monsoon) she lets Gable in. Everyone behaves very badly and enjoys it very much. There's even a gay joke. (These pre-code movies are crazy!) It's too bad that it's marred by '30s era racism but otherwise this is one satisfying, swift, and steamy star vehicle.
*I would've included screengrabs but -- tech difficulties. Now you'll have to seek the damn thing out yourself. And that's a good thing