6 Clark Gable Movies

Classic Films Starring the King of Hollywood

In a thirty-year career, Clark Gable's masculine presence and dimpled grin enlivened 67 films, many of them classics. Here are six classic Clark Gable movies that represent him at his charismatic best.
01
of 06

'It Happened One Night' - 1934

It Happened One Night
It Happened One Night. Columbia

Often credited as the first screwball comedy, this Frank Capra film brought Gable an Academy Award for his iconic performance as Peter Warne. When Gable did without an undershirt to keep up the comic timing in the famous undressing scene, sales of undershirts plummeted nationwide. Animator Friz Freleng loved the film, and in fact, based the character of Bugs Bunny on Gable's portrayal -- particularly the scene in which Gable talks fast while eating carrots. (Also, Gable's character uses the name "Bugs Dooley" to frighten actor Oscar Shapely, who calls him "Doc"). Gable and costar Claudette Colbert, didn't even want to make the picture, but they make a delightful team, and the movie sparked dozens of copycat "runaway heiress" films.

02
of 06

'Mutiny on the Bounty' - 1935

Mutiny on the Bounty
Mutiny on the Bounty. MGM

Here Gable is Fletcher Christian, who leads the crew of the HMS Bounty to mutiny against the cruel Captain Bligh (Charles Laughton). The clean-shaven, handsome Gable gives a convincing performance as Christian, who maintains a friendship with the upperclass Midshipman Roger Byam (Franchot Tone). Despite several remakes, including one starring Marlon Brando as Christian, Gable's Mutiny on the Bounty

03
of 06

'San Francisco' - 1936

San Francisco
San Francisco. MGM

In this fictionalized story of people caught in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Gable plays the tough Barbary Coast saloon owner Blackie Norton. He falls for opera singer Jeanette MacDonald, whom he hires to work in his saloon, but finds he has to compete with her desire to sing opera and the affections of Nob Hill socialite Jack Burley. Spencer Tracy is the priest who constantly tries to reform Blackie. Nowadays, you'd never see the earthquake at the end of the movie, but San Francisco concentrates on building the plot and characters. Don't worry, though - the earthquake, like the film's cast, is spectacular!

04
of 06

'Gone with the Wind' - 1939

Gone with the Wind
Gone with the Wind. MGM

By popular demand, Clark Gable was chosen to portray Rhett Butler, the southern rogue who falls for the beautiful, selfish Scarlett O'Hara in the novel on which the film is based. This sprawling southern epic, produced by David O. Selznick, remains one of the most popular films of all time more than 70 years later and has seen several releases in DVD. Gable stars with Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, and Leslie Howard in this, one of the great cinematic achievements of all time.

05
of 06

'Command Decision' - 1949

Command Decision
Command Decision. MGM

Based on the play of the same name, Command Decision is about the desperate choices that must be made in wartime - decisions that can take dozens of lives in order to save thousands. Clark Gable is the commander in question, and he gives a strong performance as a tough officer with a huge burden on his shoulders. Also starring Walter Pidgeon and Van Johnson.

06
of 06

'The Misfits' - 1960

The Misfits
The Misfits. United Artists

This classic has earned a place in film history not only as Clark Gable's last film, but also that of his co-star Marilyn Monroe. With a screenplay by Arthur Miller and direction by John Huston, Gable went out in style as Gay Langland, a washed-up, aging cowboy. Monroe is divorcee Roslyn, who impetuously takes off with Gay and his friend Guido (Eli Wallach) and accompanies them to Guido's desert home. Both of the men fall for her, leading to complications. Montgomery Clift plays another cowboy friend. Gable totally inhabits the character, making the audience respect and sympathize with him. Already in poor health, the strenuous shoot may have hastened Gable's demise.

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Ciaccia, Maria. "6 Clark Gable Movies." ThoughtCo, Feb. 28, 2017, thoughtco.com/best-clark-gable-movies-728229. Ciaccia, Maria. (2017, February 28). 6 Clark Gable Movies. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/best-clark-gable-movies-728229 Ciaccia, Maria. "6 Clark Gable Movies." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/best-clark-gable-movies-728229 (accessed November 23, 2017).