Tuesday, September 1, 2015

1935 - THE CALL OF THE WILD, a story about a dog is a movie about Clark Gable

William Wellman's film of Jack London's story of adventure and survival in the Alaskan wilderness told from the point of view of a dog named Buck got a major redo and was turned into a story about Clark Gable and Loretta Young falling in love in the wilderness while searching for gold.

Gable teams up with Jackie Oakie an actor usually playing comedy relief.  For a third credited actor Oakie isn't too obnoxious and actually plays off of Gable pretty well.   Clark Gable had the manly man act down pretty well by 1935.  In this film he has an affair with Loretta Young whose husband supposedly died on the trail looking for gold.

 In real life Young and Gable actually did have an affair (she claimed date rate) which resulted in a child.  Young then went through a series of maneuvers which had her putting her birth child up for adoption and then adopting the kid her self.

Back to the film.  The Call of the Wild is another well produced Daryl F. Zanuck production.  A lot of it was filmed on location in the Mount Baker National Forest near Seattle Washington.   Zanuck never had a problem shooting on location if it benefited the film.  Macho director William Wellman directed the film and it zips along for a quick 90 minutes.

Bottom line, charismatic Hollywood stars, classy production and on location photography add up to an entertaining film.

89 minutes.

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