This film was Clark Gable's first after he returned to Hollywood following his service in the Army Air Corps in World War II. He had joined in August 1942, following the death of his wife Carole Lombard. MGM hyped this film as Gable's big comeback, using the line, "Gable's Back and Garson's Got Him!" in the advertising. Audiences at first lined up to see the King back in action, but the novelty wore off and the film flopped. See more »
In his first film after World War II service in the Army Air Corps, Clark Gable settled down to a familiar character and one of his most familiar directors. Adventure was the last of five films that Gable did with Victor Fleming which also includes Gone With The Wind. This one never quite measured up to Gone With The Wind though.
Gable was literally met at the airport by Louis B. Mayer and rushed into this film. It was thought at the time that a film with current box office sensation Greer Garson was a can't miss item at the box office. Garson was coming off an Oscar she received in 1942 for Mrs. Miniver the year Gable went away to war.
The results were underwhelming, but seen over 60 years after it was first out show Adventure to be not a bad story at all. Gable fits comfortably into the part of the tough boatswain who loves the rollicking life at sea he leads. No woman is going to be tying him down, not one like prim and proper librarian Greer Garson. He likes them like her roommate Joan Blondell, sassy and out for a good time.
But Greer and her notions of settling down with home and family kind of get under his skin. It's what's led many a man to the altar.
Gable and Garson never worked together again, probably by mutual consent. Neither were each other's types on the screen and in life, but no one has anything to be ashamed of in Adventure.
Best performance in the cast is by Thomas Mitchell as Gable's friend and confidante. Mitchell plays the usual tragicomic alcoholic that he took a patent out on for the screen.
Another in the cast and former vocalist with the Xavier Cugat Orchestra is Lina Romay who is the woman we first see Gable with as the film opens. She would shortly be joining the Bing Crosby show as the featured female singer. That 'dame' who gets $20.00 for some conversation is none other than Barbara Billingsley aka June Cleaver. Who'd have thunk that one?
Though this one didn't set the world on fire, Gable's next two films, Homecoming and The Hucksters rank in my humble opinion as two of his very best. The King was ascending his throne again.
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