Thursday, August 13, 2009
Red Dust (1932)
Oh man, I've wanted to get my hands on this one for a while! Thanks TCM!
Most of you know how much I love Jean Harlow. For the new folks, I absolutely adore her. To be able to watch what's considered one of her seminal performances was heaven! I admit, I wasn't blown over by the movie - it seemed a bit slow in spots - but all the glorious pre-Codeyness was there: subtle sex jokes, smoking, drinking, general randiness. Jean glitters as a hard-boiled "lady of the night", caught between a plantation manager (Clark Gable) and the married woman he loves (Mary Astor). The cast was excellent - I like the early rough-and-tumble Gable. It's fun for those of us brought up on his usual bemused performances a la "Gone With the Wind". But the real treat was gazing on Harlow, looking (in my opinion) the best she ever would in her life, tough yet vulnerable at the same time. She and Gable have delicious chemistry as well; I could see why they were paired together multiple times.
I give this one: