Russ Ward, after 30 years of producing broadway plays, is ready to quit. His secretary, Ellie Brown, on being given notice, tells him she loves him. Russ proceeds to turn this into a hit ... See full summary »
Russ Ward, after 30 years of producing broadway plays, is ready to quit. His secretary, Ellie Brown, on being given notice, tells him she loves him. Russ proceeds to turn this into a hit play starring Ellie and romance her in a May-December affair. Written by
Bob Lipton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
But Not For Me is one of the weakest of Clark Gable's later films. It is based on a 1935 broadway play, Accent on Youth by Samson Raphaelson, the same guy who wrote The Jazz Singer.
The plot revolves around a fifty something broadway producer who gets his batteries recharged when his secretary, Carroll Baker, confesses her love for him. That would do something for just about anyone's mojo and pretty soon they're involved.
Her confession also sparks an idea in Gable for a reworking of a play that he and writer Lee J. Cobb are trying to get produced. Baker goes from secretary to star. Of course her co-star in the play, Barry Coe, is not happy with Baker and Gable as an item as he would like to be the item with Baker.
Possibly in 1935 the May/December romance bit was naughty, but in 1959 it was pretty old hat by then. Fellow stars Tyrone Power and Bing Crosby both married women considerably younger than themselves during that decade. Gable's fifth and last wife was about 17 years younger than him. And today with the latest tabloid fodder being Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, But Not For Me is really tame stuff.
The best performance in the film is from Lilli Palmer as Gable's ex-wife who would like to win him back. Oddly enough she was living some of that same drama in real life. A little earlier in the decade Palmer split from her husband Rex Harrison who married Kay Kendall.
According to her memoirs, Palmer agreed to the divorce because Harrison told her Kendall was dying and she did pass away of leukemia within a couple of years of their marriage. Palmer said Harrison would remarry her after Kendall died, but Harrison doublecrossed her.
If you're interested in seeing how things worked out for Lilli Palmer than by all means see this film. Otherwise it really is for hardcore Clark Gable fans.
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