by Sarah Shotwell

Clark Gable_blog“You know, nights when you and the moon and the water all become one? You feel you're part of something big and marvelous. That’s the only place to live... where the stars are so close over your head you feel you could reach up and stir them around.
Clark Gable as Peter Warne, It Happened One Night (1934)

 

This May, we are celebrating Clark Gable as TCM star of the month! Often referred to as the King of Hollywood, America’s favorite mid-century romantic lead will be stealing the show at TCM all month long. Most famous for his role as Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind, Gable is known for his dark good looks, nonchalant smile, and that mischievous twinkle in his eye, which crushed our hearts and catapulted him to the top of the A-List following his Academy Award-winning performance in It Happened One Night (1934), Capra’s winsome Depression era screwball. In the film, screening on TCM this month, Gable is cast opposite the fiery Claudette Colbert in a he-meets-she-road-trip-romp-from-hell that ends, of course, in unexpected true love.

The set up and ensuing pandemonium, so full of friction between two unlikely lovers (friction that is rumored to have been as real off screen as on!) was so successful, it has since become a Hollywood cliche. But for all the images that ossified into the tropes we now recognize (quarrels between a down-and-out journalist and a bratty socialite, pretending to be a married couple, a sexy leg stopping traffic), Capra was breaking ground when wrote the play book for the modern rom-com, and Gable certainly set the standard for Hollywood heartthrob, a bar modern actors are still trying to reach. This month, we hope you join us as we kick back and celebrate Clark Gable (and Capra!) with a glass of something dark, red, and sassy. And while we watch, they’ll remind us we’re a part of something as big and marvelous, too.