7.8/10
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22 user 4 critic

Cain and Mabel (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 26 September 1936 (USA)
A talented boxer and a gifted dancer hope to increase their waning popularity by inventing a fictitious love affair for the benefit of the tabloids.

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Writers:

(screen play), (story)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Dodo
...
Reilly
...
Jake Sherman
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Ronny Cauldwell (as David Carlyle)
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Milo
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Aunt Mimi
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Toddy
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Pop Walters
Sammy White ...
Specialty - Coney Island Number
...
Charles Fendwick
Allen Pomeroy ...
Tom Reed
Robert Middlemass ...
Cafe Proprietor
...
Reed's Manager
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Storyline

The managers of heavyweight champion Larry Cain and Broadway musical star Mabel O'Dare scheme up a romance to give the celebrities more glamour. But the two don't hit it off, having started on the wrong foot. Written by Diana Hamilton <hamilton@alumni.umbc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Warner Brothers' Biggest Musical Extravaganza in Three Years! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 September 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caim e Mabel  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Coney Island" number is the longest musical number Marion Davies performed in films. See more »

Goofs

During the gargantuan MGM-style "I'll Sing You a Thousand Love Songs" production number, a stage hand can be clearly seen walking behind a white horse and carriage. See more »

Quotes

Toddy: Listen, if you ever lose that voice, you'll end up as a ventriloquist dummy.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Three Cheers for the Girls (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms
(uncredited)
Traditional
Lyrics by Thomas Moore (1808)
Sung by Dick Dennis during the grand production number
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Davies socks it to Gable
1 February 2007 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

Since Clark Gable became famous for punching women in films (notably Barbara Stanwyck in Night Nurse), it is worthy to note that Marion Davies gives HIM the black eye! Cain and Mabel has a cute premise: a boxer and an actress get together for the sake of publicity but secretly despise each other! Unfortunately there isn't much spark here. Davies is serviceable in the reluctant golddigger role with platinum hair and impossibly blue eyes that seem to have no iris at all, but she doesn't seem particularly committed. Gable also phones it in as a one-note brute -- almost a parody of his many other roles. The subplot that they'd both rather stay home and eat pork chops than act out their romance for the audiences, seems a little too real. This is one of those films that pairs up two huge stars in a mediocre script, hoping sparks will fly with arguments and overturned ice buckets, but mostly it fizzles.

The one stunning exception comes in the third reel when Davies performs in the finale of her Broadway show. It is a jaw-dropping tableau of romantic imagery in huge puffy sleeves and fluffy white feathers. From Louis XVI wigs, to Venice canals, to flying angels, to a choir arranged to look like a pipe organ. Curving staircases, ornate bridges, miles of drapery, and a princess double-cone hat with cascading tulle..., and it just keeps coming. Thematically it steals -- I mean, pays homage to half-a-dozen depression era musicals like "Shall We Dance", and even borrows the violin song from "Gold Diggers of 1933". At the center of it all Davies struggles to keep a relaxed smile, like a bride statuette on a wedding cake so ornately decorated with white icing there is no room left for the groom!

Without this scene I would have only given the movie a 4, but this sequence is EVERYTHING YOU WATCH SILVER-AGE MUSICALS FOR! I have to bump it up to an 8 as a "must see" in musical history.


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