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James Gannon, the hardboiled city editor of a newspaper, believes that the only way to learn the business is by way of the School of Hard Knocks, and has a very low regard for college-taught journalism, so he's not pleased when his managing editor orders him to help Erica Stone, a college professor, with her journalism class. Finding himself attracted to her, he pretends to be a student in her class, not revealing he's Gannon, whom she despises. As they bob and weave around their mutual growing attraction, they both begin to gain respect for each other's approaches to reporting news, but how will Erica react when she finds out who he really is? Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The movie was deliberately filmed in black & white in an attempt to disguise Clark Gable's age and weight. See more »
When Gannon is in Dr. Pine's kitchen getting a drink, a cabinet is opened with the open door located right behind Gannon's head. When the scene cuts to a shot showing the kitchen from the living room, the open cabinet door is nowhere in sight. See more »
Dr. Hugo Pine:
To me, journalism is, ah, like a hangover. You can read about it for years, but until you've actually experienced it, you have no conception of what it's really like.
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"Teacher's Pet" is a deliciously funny look at journalism, and the clash between 'formal' education vs. practical experience, with higher learning championed by Doris Day, and the 'School of Hard Knocks' represented by the 'King', himself, Clark Gable. Despite an obvious age difference (Gable, at 57, was showing all of his years), the chemistry between the stars is electric, and with Oscar-nominated Gig Young providing terrific comic support as Gable's brilliant yet down-to-earth competition for Day, the film manages to be both witty and wise.
With over a quarter century of playing newspapermen, the role of hard-boiled City Editor Jim Gannon fit Clark Gable like an old shoe. No-nonsense, pragmatic, and a workaholic, Gannon was the classic 'school drop-out' who learned the newspaper business from the ground up, and held college in contempt. While Gannon was obviously a dinosaur, even by 1950s' standards, Gable appears to be having a ball as the cigarette-smoking, plain-spoken, 'blue-collar' hero.
Despite the constant "Will she or Won't she?" sexual undercurrent of so many of her best comedies of the fifties and early sixties, Doris Day was also a feminist during the era, with her characters self-sufficient, and often holding down important positions based on merit. As Erica Stone, an ex-reporter who returns to college to teach journalism, her demeanor is professional and her knowledge unimpeachable, making her the perfect foil for Gannon.
While the descriptions of Gannon and Stone sound like formula characters for Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn (not surprisingly, as the script was penned by longtime friends Fay and Michael Kanin), the Gable/Day teaming provides a sexual tension that, by the late 1950s, would have been far less apparent had Tracy and Hepburn taken the roles. Even at the twilight of his career, Gable was so totally 'male' that he raised the bar of any actress opposite him, with Day's signature 'perkiness' transformed, here, into sexual potential in a tight skirt (watch her tease Gable, swaying her hips to "The Girl Who Invented Rock and Roll"; Day has never been sexier!)
While the resolution is not surprising, some remarkably candid observations of what makes good print journalism are given by both Day and Gable, with Day's comment of television replacing newspapers as the public's source for breaking news remarkably farsighted in 1958!
If you want a terrific comedy with two stars at the top of their game, look no further; "Teacher's Pet" delivers!
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