7.4/10
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52 user 30 critic

Red Dust (1932)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 22 October 1932 (USA)
The owner of a rubber plantation becomes involved with the new wife of one of his employees.

Director:

Victor Fleming (uncredited)

Writers:

John Lee Mahin (screen play) (as John Mahin), Wilson Collison (from the play by)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clark Gable ... Dennis Carson
Jean Harlow ... Vantine
Gene Raymond ... Gary Willis
Mary Astor ... Barbara Willis
Donald Crisp ... Guidon
Tully Marshall ... McQuarg
Forrester Harvey ... Limey
Willie Fung ... Hoy
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Storyline

Conditions are spartan on Dennis Carson's Indochina rubber plantation during a dusty dry monsoon. The latest boat upriver brings Carson an unwelcome guest: Vantine, a floozy from Saigon, hoping to evade the police by a stay upcountry. But Carson, initially uninterested, soon succumbs to Vantine's ostentatious charms...until the arrival of surveyor Gary Willis, ill with malaria, and his refined but sensuous wife Barbara. Now the rains begin, and passion flows like water... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

a flaming, flaming thrill! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 October 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die gelbe Hölle See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$408,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's television premiere took place in Los Angeles Monday 5 August 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11); sponsors were so shocked by the raciness of its pre-code dialogue and suggestive situations, it was taken off the market for several months while undergoing some judicious editing before it was again telecast. The laundered version first aired in Akron 25 December 1957 on WAKR (Channel 49), followed by Norfolk VA 30 December 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), by San Antonio 24 January 1958 on WOAI (Channel 4), by both New York City and by Indianapolis16 March 1958 on WCBS (Channel 2) and on WLW-I (Channel 13), by Salt Lake City 31 March 1958 on KTVT (Channel 4), by Chicago 13 April 1958 on WBBM (Channel 2), by both Windsor ON (serving Detroit) and by New Haven CT 9 May 1958 on CKLW (Channel 9) and on WNHC (Channel 8), by Cleveland 29 May 1958 on KYW (Channel 3), by San Francisco 12 July 1958 on KGO (Channel 7) and by Seattle 18 January 1959 on KING (Channel 5); last in line came Philadelphia 6 January 1961 on WFIL (Channel 6). Today's television viewers need not fear; the Turner Classic Movies version frequently shown on cable TV on TCM is complete and uncut, exactly as shown in 1932. See more »

Goofs

When Clark Gable and Gene Raymond are in the tree while hunting, after the line: 'this would be a bad country to raise children in, wouldn't it?', the cloud in the background changes dramatically. See more »

Quotes

Dennis Carson: Listen, what goes on here is my business.
Vantine: Suppose I were to tell that nice white kid? He'd make it his business, wouldn't he?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Harlow: The Blonde Bombshell (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

There's No Place Like Home (Home, Sweet Home)
(1823) (uncredited)
Music partly composed, and arranged by H.R. Bishop from a Sicilian air
Hummed by Jean Harlow
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Trip to Cinema's Past with a Timeless Theme
10 January 2004 | by lawprofSee all my reviews

If you can't stand old films that perpetuate and even celebrate racist notions, skip 1932's "Red Dust." Putting that historical reality in perspective, "Red Dust" is a very good, well-acted film set in a studio's fantasy of the Indo-China jungle and its rubber plantations.

Where would film have gone in depicting real romantic relationships with steamy exchanges and barely hidden amorous capers if, two years after "Red Dust," the puritanical code that stifled sexuality hadn't been imposed? Who knows but here Clark Gable as Denny, a plantation manager, Jean Harlow as Lily, a woman who, as they used to say, was no better than she ought to be and lovely Mary Astor as Babs Willis act out an adult story.

Babs is married to "gosh, oh, golly" idealist and almost straight man Gary Willis, played with affecting naivete by Gene Raymond. Gary works for Denny who is working Babs. Sent away into the deep black-and-white monsoon greenery of the jungle by Denny, Gene is thankful for what he thinks is a fine job opportunity. Also happy are Babs and Denny whose obvious affair is portrayed without any of the sweaty gymnastics that are the staple of today's films.

Enter Lily who really loves Denny and knows she's the only true tramp for him. Gene is planning (in 1932!) for a house in Westchester County, NY (then a true rural backwater, not a suburban one) complete with kids. Denny doesn't know what he wants and Babs loves him but she hasn't forgotten she's hitched.

Director Victor Fleming lets this story play out within, barely, the bounds of then acceptable storytelling.

"Red Dust" shows up on movie channels and is available for sale. It's an important piece of Hollywood's pre-war history and is still a viewer-grabbing flick.

8/10.


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