Forsaking All Others (1934) Poster

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Interesting Romantic Farce
nycritic9 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
And yet another of the film pairings of Crawford and Gable, this time in one of the romantic triangles which became the norm for most of Crawford's films from the 1930s as Robert Montgomery is added to the mix of her suitors. Essentially a will they-won't they situation, for a swift 84 minutes one is put to the task to see how long will it take before Gable and Crawford wind up in each others' arms.

This one actually fares pretty good as a farce, mainly because the players make the story work in a light yet believable way even when the story per se becomes somewhat silly and even predictable. Also of note is an early appearance by Rosalind Russell in a short role later in the movie.
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Good solid fun
Jim Tritten24 March 2002
A better than average comedy that certainly entertains. Plot is believable and somewhat unusual. Clark Gable returns from Madrid (we are not told what he was doing there nor really what anyone does for a living) in order to propose to Joan Crawford. Clark has secretly loved Joan since they were children but in his absence, Joan has agreed to marry Robert Montgomery who she has loved since they were children. Enter the old flame, Frances Drake, who whisks Montgomery away on the eve of his nuptial leaving Crawford standing at the alter. The marriage does not work and soon Crawford steps out with Montgomery on the side. Gable criticizes and consoles Crawford eventually making plans to return to Spain. Good performances by Crawford (opening shot with cream on her face is in contrast to other stars who preferred glamorous introductions), Montgomery (he really is funny), Gable, Billie Burke (who can do "flustered" any better), Rosalind Russell (does well in one of her early films) and a very droll Charles Butterworth. I never thought Frances Drake was believable as the lower class wife but this can easily be overlooked. Recommended as an evenings good entertainment.
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A very good 1930's romantic comedy
calvinnme14 November 2009
This is one of the several movies that Joan Crawford made with Clark Gable, and fortunately quite a few of them (maybe all) have made it to at least DVD-R via the Warner Archive. This is one of the best the two did together. It's a romantic comedy in which Joan plays socialite Mary Clay, who is about to marry lifelong acquaintance Dillon Todd (Robert Montgomery). Clark Gable plays another of Mary's lifelong friends, Jeff Williams. Jeff has been long away from home and decides to come back just to ask Mary to marry him, unaware that Mary is about to marry Dillon. When he learns about their upcoming marriage he decides to keep his feelings to himself, although the look he has as if having been punched in the stomach when he hears the news says it all. Robert Montgomery is playing the usual harmless playboy character here that he did so much of in the early 1930's. It looks like Mary and Dillon's marriage is about to go off without a hitch until one of Dillon's old girlfriends appears on the scene.

This film was released about six months after the precode era ended, so there is nothing really racey going on here. About the most extreme thing you will see is Robert Montgomery in a dress. However, W.S. Van Dyke is the director of this film, and he knew how to combine sexual tension and comedy in an age of aggressive censorship, and this is a fine example of his work. I highly recommend it to fans of films of the 1930's.
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Familiar Ground
bkoganbing29 May 2008
I have to imagine that in order for MGM to justify using two of their top leading men with Joan Crawford, their parts in Forsaking All Others would have to have been built up considerably. The original Broadway production of this comedy that ran 110 performances in 1933 starred Tallulah Bankhead and it was strictly her show. As if it would have been any other way.

I have to give Joan Crawford credit on this one. Unlike her later film Susan and God where she tries to imitate Gertrude Lawrence with accent and all, she wisely does not try to do a Tallulah impersonation. She creates her own character here and it's a good one. She's got both Robert Montgomery and Clark Gable after her, but she chooses early on and in the end she finds out she chooses wrong. In fact the only impersonation Crawford does is one of her Grand Hotel co-star Greta Garbo.

Both Clark Gable and Robert Montgomery settle into familiar stereotypes for them. Gable is another reporter character like he is It Happened One Night and Montgomery is an irresponsible playboy like he was in a gazillion films.

Montgomery and Crawford are set to be married, but Montgomery leaves her at the altar and runs off with his demanding mistress Frances Drake. But Crawford has Gable's shoulder to cry on for most of the rest of the film. By the way, Drake gives a performance that's a case study in canine feminus. She makes Joan Collins in Dynasty look like Maria Von Trapp. Drake dominates in whatever scene she's in. No way that Tallulah Bankhead would have let that happen on stage.

Charles Butterworth and Billie Burke are also on hand and young Rosalind Russell on her way up has a small part as one of Crawford's friends. Nothing new in Forsaking All Others, but the ground is familiar enough.
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I loved this movie.
cng416 July 2000
Granted I am a huge Clark Gable fan, I thought this movie was one of the most fun films I had seen in a long time and not just because he's pretty to look at-- the whole cast was great as was the writing. I wish it hadn't been overlooked on AFI's recent top 100 comedies. I felt it was a very humorous, screwy comedy that deserves more recognition.
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The triangular tease of a jilted bride's pursuit of the man that got away, recognizing ultimately that her devotion is misplaced, and finally, aptly directed to her true heart's desire.
PhyllisBrooks23 January 2002
An ideal vehicle for Joan Crawford, and a role to which she applies herself consummately! The chemistry between Ms. Crawford and Clark Gable is palpable and registers like a blister. The ever-clever and witty Robert Montgomery is in fine form as the character of "Dill", and an apt foil for the combine of Ms. Crawford and Mr. Gable. I particularly enjoyed Frances Drake's portrayal of Connie, as her elegant piquancy in this characterization is right on the nose.
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Now THIS is the type of film I've been talking about....
mark.waltz24 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Yes, it might be fluff to some, but it is fluff that makes the pillow comfy! The type of film that helped make living in the depression fun, acting like the depression didn't exist, that millionaires never lost their fortune, that everybody dressed in silks, ermine, white tie & tails. Everybody was gay, when gay meant giddy....

It's no wonder that Joan Crawford was the biggest female star of the mid 1930's, not a female impersonator who actually happened to be a woman (Mae West) or a snappy little girl with curls (Shirley Temple). She was glamorous, full of life, and someone who rose from poverty to be a beautiful movie star. And here she is, a bride left at the alter by her childhood pal (Robert Montgomery) who nevertheless continues to see her socially on the side unaware that their other best pal (Clark Gable) is madly in love with her himself. Montgomery is instantly unhappy in his new marriage to venomous Frances Drake and longs to rekindle his romance with Crawford.

People forget that Joan was adept in both comedies and musicals, not just the women's picture, so this film (based upon a Broadway play that starred Tallulah Bankhead) is overlooked in the history of great screwball comedies. Toss in flighty Billie Burke, droll Charles Butterworth and wisecracking Rosalind Russell (in one of her first films), and you end up with a practically perfect crowd-pleaser that shows us how "Mommie Dearest" was as once as hot as today's "A" list stars and got to the top in a style that can't be copied today.

The fun opening credits instantly got my attention with music that made me think that the three stars were going rollerskating. My favorite scene was the one in which Crawford and Montgomery stop by a roadside hamburger stand and Montgomery takes over while the cook is out back. It is a witty moment of rhythmic dialog that is sadly a thing of the past. This scene flows nicely to another great scene with Montgomery riding a bicycle with a nervous Crawford on the handlebars that ends up with a nice pratfall. Here's mud in your eye!
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fun cat & mouse romp with Montgomery,Crawford,Gable
ksf-229 May 2008
throughout the film, all the big names are laughing, joking, playing, having a grand ol time, until every now and then some real life adult situations get in the way. liberal use of backdrop scenery. also a lot of getting dressed and undressed. Miss Joan Crawford (Mary) getting spanked. naughty naughty. Billie Burke with the hair curler contraption on her head. all right at the beginning of enforcement of the film production code, with the official card at the beginning of the movie to prove it. Clark Gable (Jeff) and Robert Montgomery (Dill) keep stepping out of the shower. Montgomery in a dress. Fun stuff! Rosalind Russell and Charles Butterworth ("Shemp"... not to be confused with one of the Stooges... has nothing to do with that) thrown in for more wisecracking. Even the butler gets a couple funny lines. Why isn't this shown more often? and why is it rated so low? Catch this one and see Joanie in a glamorous but not over-done over-bearing role.... before she turned to the dark side...
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Yet another bombshell hit for Crawford.
TOML-42 September 1999
This is one of more than a dozen 1930's films which were blockbusters for Crawford. She is nothing less than hilarious in this film and it paved the way for I Live My Life and Susan and God. She and Gable had major chemistry, although her acting skills made his look inferior, which of course they were. Rosalind Russell and Crawford work very well together.
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Gable carries film
snowy-918 August 2000
A witty film that benefits mostly from the pairing of Clark Gable and Joan Crawford. After a brisk and entertaining first half, things start to drag a bit when Gable is absent from the screen for a protracted period. Nevertheless, its well worth seeing.
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hmmm,....I guess this movie doesn't totally suck
MartinHafer18 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
There are many aspects of this movie that make it seem like Clark Gable has taken a step forward in his career. First, the full MGM budget and supporting cast is here. At this time, Robert Montgomery and Joan Crawford were big stars and the movie isn't nearly as off-the-wall as many of the weird early Gable films (featuring him in a dizzying array of strange roles). The problem, though, is that although Gable should have probably gotten top billing, he was still a young and relatively unproven actor. In addition, the plot really needed a re-write and Gable's character just seems really needy and weak.

Here's the plot--you decide if Gable is poorly used: Joan Crawford is left waiting at the alter by Robert Montgomery who runs off with another woman. She spends most of the movie STILL trying to get Montgomery (why she would still want this schmuck, I have absolutely no idea). Gable is friends to both but secretly loves Crawford. However, he doesn't tell her because he really wants her to be happy--even if it means chasing after married Montgomery! Get a spine, man and tell her you think she's one hot tamale, you wimpy dolt!! Well, being a predictable film this eventually happens. However, if he'd just said that he loved her in the first 10 minutes, we could have been spared! I hate movies that avoid such an obvious and simple resolution.

Fortunately, despite this HUGE plot problem, the ride is enjoyable so if you just turn off your brain and watch, you will enjoy the film. But, as I said, your brain must be turned off or you'll find yourself wondering why they made Gable so spineless, Crawford so needy and Montgomery such an amazing jerk.
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love quadrangle
blanche-225 August 2011
Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, and Robert Montgomery are childhood friends who are in not only a love triangle but a love quadrangle in "Forsaking All Others," from 1934.

Crawford is Mary Clay, who is about to be married to Dill (Montgomery). Gable is Jeff Williams, who returns from Spain with the intention of proposing to Mary. When he walks in, there's a party going on celebrating the upcoming wedding. Jeff puts on a brave face as Dill and Mary are two of his closest friends. Dill, however, has some old business, and that's his ex-girlfriend Connie (Frances Drake). Turns out Connie's business isn't as old as Mary and Dill thought because, as Mary prepares to walk down the aisle, Jeff gets a telegram saying that Connie and Dill are married.

This is an entertaining comedy, with the three stars in top form. Montgomery is a riot, and Gable - what can I say. I always liked him, but let's face it, at this point in the 1930s the man was irresistible! That smile! That dimple! And that dynamite screen presence - he's wonderful. And he injects the film with warmth. Though comedy was never Crawford's forte, she actually plays this straight and is very good.

Billie Burke costars and Rosalind Russell has a small role. Good fun.
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Crawford Gable and Montgomery Earn Their Money--The Hard Way
mp9916 August 2002
The sort of old movie that makes old movies seem, well, OLD. The dialogue creaks and heaves towards the punch lines, the plot twists can be seen coming a mile away, and the characters behavior is totally subservient to the need to keep the hero and heroine from recognizing their obvious love for one another until the last possible moment. That Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, and Robert Montgomery bring something even RESEMBLING emotional truth to this remainder-bin exercise is a tribute to their talent. As for poor Crawford, she has to do this heavy lifting in a closet full of really ugly costumes, full of frills and doo-dads (in one scene, she wears an evening gown covered with what looks like looped extension cords--was the designer smoking dope when they dreamed this one up?). Anyone who says they don't make movies like they used to is right--and that isn't necessarily a bad thing . . .
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Dill the Pill
utgard1410 January 2014
Mary (Joan Crawford) loves Dill (Robert Montgomery) but he leaves her waiting at the altar and elopes with another woman. Their friend Jeff (a miscast Clark Gable) loves Mary but won't say so because she loves Dill, even after the humiliation and despite him being married to another woman. Why either Mary or Jeff would even want to be around this guy is beyond me but I guess they had to fill time with something.

Crawford looks great but her character has little self-respect. I hated seeing her pursue Bob Montgomery's character despite his dumping her to marry another woman. I know times change and all but it taints the enjoyment of the movie for me when most of it is based around Joan wanting that creep back. Montgomery is fine I guess but the character of Dill is a royal class jerk. Gable, as I said before, is miscast. It's just very hard to buy him as the wimpy sort of guy he comes across as here. Rosalind Russell is wasted in a minor role. Charles Butterworth (the vocal inspiration for Cap'N Crunch) is OK as Gable's sidekick. Billie Burke is annoying. It's a weak effort overall but at least it ends right. Sort of.
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A pretty predictable romance
rickrudge31 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Forsaking All Others (1935)

This is a slightly better than average 1930's screwball, romantic-comedy with W.S. Van Dyke directing. Robert Montgomery, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable and Rosalind Russell, are at the top of their game. Everybody is rich, jet-setter types in tails, top-hats, and fancy ball gowns.

Jeffrey Williams (Gable) is met at the New York dock by one of his old friends, Shemp (Charles Butterworth). Jeff has just returned from Madrid and is planning on asking his childhood crush, Mary Clay (Crawford) to marry him. When they arrive at a party in progress, he's shocked to find that Mary is already happily engaged to his other friend, Dillon Todd (Montgomery).

Jeff swallows his disappointment, especially when Mary asks him to walk her down the isle, and resigns himself to getting appropriately drunk. However, an old flame of Dillon's, Connie Barnes (Frances Drake), shows up at his apartment and talks Dill into running away with her and impulsively get married; thus leaving Mary at the alter.

Jeff tries to console her. But, Mary is determined to get with Dillon even if it's behind Connie's back to the disgust of Jeff, who frankly can't take it anymore. Will Mary get her act together and realize the man for her?
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Buoyed by a witty script and supporting performances
Jimmy L.15 November 2011
This love triangle comedy is worth tracking down for its great script, which is filled to the brim with humorous wit and colorful dialogue that keeps viewers on their toes. (Joseph L. Mankiewicz wrote the screenplay, based on a stage play.) And it certainly helps to have these lines read by the likes of Billie Burke and Charles Butterworth, whose inimitable comedic talents boost the so-so story.

Robert Montgomery's and Joan Crawford's characters grow tiresome after a while, but the film is saved by the performances of Butterworth and Burke in their sidekick roles. Billie Burke is at her fluttery best. Clark Gable is Clark Gable: solid the whole way through. His character is the most likable of the three leads, but he drops out from the middle of the film.

The plot takes some tedious turns, but the ending is satisfying. I like how the scenes at the end of the film mirror the scenes at the start of the film. While I felt the production overall was uneven, I must say that the script really sparkles in places, setting this overlooked comedy apart from the pack.
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Worth Watching for Crawford and Gable
Michael_Elliott3 July 2010
Forsaking All Others (1934)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

MGM fluff has Jeff (Clark Gable) returning from Spain with plans of proposing to Mary (Joan Crawford) but once home he learns that she's about to marry Dillon (Robert Montgomery). Jeff decides to take it like a man and step to the side but when Dillon runs off and marries another woman he must try and figure out the best way to get to Mary. Only thing is that she's not too bright and goes running back to the married Dillon. There's quite a bit of plot in this 84-minutes but none of it is overly original. This isn't a bad movie but considering the cast and director one can't help but be a little disappointed that it's not better. I don't think it's any secret that the main reason to watch this is because of the terrific cast. Gable is in top-form here as he's very believable in the role and you can't help but feel for the guy and enjoy the class that the actor brings. The more I see from Gable pre-IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT films the more impressed I am. Crawford doesn't get any added benefits from the screenplay, which pretty much just writes her as a dumb-chick who makes one dumb move after another but the actress does what she can. She's certainly charming enough in the role. Montgomery isn't too bad as the romantic slime but for some reason the screenplay seems to forget this is a drama when he's on screen. There are countless scenes with him falling, tripping or hurting himself in other ways that gives one the impression that this was some sort of slapstick film at some point. Charles Butterworth steals the film in each of his scenes and we also get Billie Burke as a real bad girl. The opening credits here are extremely bizarre as the film opens with the three stars marching arm to arm down a row towards the camera with the biggest smiles on their face as if this was some sort of musical. I'm not sure what the point of this was but I doubt the studio had much of an idea on what they were wanting to do outside making a lot of cash with the three leads. If you're a fan of the stars then this is a must see but at the same time it's a shame more wasn't done to try and make it better.
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