Saturday, June 09, 2007

Red Dust (1932)

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


Y Kant Goran Rite said...

Yeah I finally managed to track this down just the other week and I was also amazed at how steamy it was - especially that shot of Gable reclining, in that 3-4 seconds I understood precisely why this heavy-looking big-eared guy was a sex symbol.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhhh. As an old lady, I am particularly pleased to observe you young guys finding out what "it" is all about! Good for you! Now, go practice!

Anonymous said...

Actually I prefer this to the coloured remake MOGAMBO, even if that one is directed by John Ford and stars marvelous Ava Gardner in an oscar nominated performance (her only one, SHAME OF YOU, ACADEMY!) and ever beautiful Grace Kelly.
But Jean Harlow rocks and Gable is not bad at all without the moustache.

Mirko S.


anonymous #1 --i'm no spring chicken (sigh) but I still appreciate the label of "young"

Mirko --yeah, i'ma have to check out more Harlow stuff. I just never liked the look of her before... and as shallow as that sounds when it comes to film stars who you only see from stills (unless you're tracking down the oldies) that does tend to peek or dissuade interest. And Gable w/out moustache please.