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Gable and Lombard, biographical film, biography, review, biopic

Gable and Lombard (1976)

This biopic was critically lambasted at the time of its release due to its mediocre acting, lacklustre direction and a flagrant disregard for the truth. Yet despite all this Gable and Lombard still registers as an engaging love story, due in no small part to the affection still felt for these star-crossed lovers.


The story is told in flashback, as Gable waits for news of his wife’s fate after her plane has crashed into a mountain. From this sombre beginning, the movie switches gear to a screwball comedy, albeit more laboured than any of Lombard’s celebrated efforts. Food fights and a scavenger hunt precede the stars donning costumes and disguises as they try to hide their affair from studio bosses and the press.


As further obstacles are placed in their way, both characters take the chance to demonstrate their love by forgoing their own happiness in an attempt to save the other’s career. Though Clayburgh displays none of Lombard’s wit and style, she still manages to make you believe she’s really in love with her ‘big dumb ape’.


Brolin on the other hand, with a passable imitation and perpetually twitching eyebrows, does just enough to remind us of Gable. It’s unfortunate that the rest of his wooden performance leaves the impression that he just don’t give a damn.

film review
cast, James Brolin, Clark Gable, Jill Clayburgh, Carole Lombard
Morgan Brittany, Vivien Leigh, fact check, factcheck, fact vs fiction

Gable was not yet in service at the time of Lombard's death. Therefore he could not have been in uniform when he visited her plane's crash site.


The only film Gable and Lombard starred in together was No Man Of Her Own, which was NOT based on a booked titled 'It Takes Two to Love'.


Lombard did not testify at Gable's paternity suit.


Movie does not depict Lombard's marriage to William Powell, who she divorced after falling in love with Gable. This was probably due to the fact that Powell was still alive when the movie was made.

Allen Garfield, Louis B Mayer, Alice Backes, Hedda Hopper, scene comparison

Biopic’s two scene recreations occur one after the other as the two lovers spy on each other during filming. Gable pretends to be part of the film crew while Lombard is filming a bathtub scene, whereas Lombard disguises herself as an extra during a recreation of a scene from Gone With the Wind.

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