27 user 6 critic

Cain and Mabel (1936)

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.


Lloyd Bacon


Laird Doyle (screen play), H.C. Witwer (story)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Marion Davies ... Mabel O'Dare
Clark Gable ... Larry Cain
Allen Jenkins ... Dodo
Roscoe Karns ... Reilly
Walter Catlett ... Jake Sherman
Robert Paige ... Ronny Cauldwell (as David Carlyle)
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Milo
Ruth Donnelly ... Aunt Mimi
Pert Kelton ... Toddy
William Collier Sr. ... Pop Walters
Sammy White Sammy White ... Specialty - Coney Island Number
E.E. Clive ... Charles Fendwick
Allen Pomeroy Allen Pomeroy ... Tom Reed
Robert Middlemass ... Cafe Proprietor
Joseph Crehan ... Reed's Manager


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


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


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Superstars Marion Davies and Clark Gable both claimed to have been crowd extras in the chariot race sequence of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925). See more »


During the bout where Gable is knocked out, the camera shows the lighted round indicator. Indicating round 2, the counter changes to 8, denoting progression of time. Back on the fight, the film shows the indicator at round 7 when he is KO'ed. Never got to round 8. See more »


Aloysius K. Reilly: [aggressively] My name's Aloysius K. Reilly!
Secretary: Well, don't get sore at me. I wasn't at the Christening.
See more »


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


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

User Reviews

Shows Marion Davies at her best - which wasn't bad
7 February 2017 | by richard-1787See all my reviews

This isn't a great movie. It's a passable comedy, with some clever dialogue.

The real interest is Marion Davies. She is remembered, inaccurately, as the inspiration and model for Susan Alexander in *Citizen Kane*, which was evidently not altogether the case. (Yes, Kane was certainly based on William Randolph Hurst, Davies' financial backer and lover, but Susan A. was evidently based on several women in her situation in the 1930s, including at least one actual would-be opera singer.) As a result, it is assumed that she had no talent.

As this movie shows, that wasn't the case. No, she was not a Judy Garland, or a Jean Harlow, or a Ginger Rogers, or a Jeannette MacDonald. But she sang and danced quite decently, and she did a good job with light comedy. (She was evidently in over her head when Hurst put her in historical dramas.) Gable is definitely the best thing in this picture, and does a great job creating the all-man prizefighter, but Davies holds her own.

As do several of the supporting comedians, especially Walter Catlett and Roscoe Karns.

As I said, not a great movie, but a pleasant comedy, and one that makes a case for Davies.


I watched this again tonight. One thing that struck me about it this time was that, in the very large musical number in the second half of the movie, which just goes on and on and on - it's supposed to be part of the musical Mabel O'Dare is appearing in - Davies is given almost nothing to do. She just stands on top of the elaborate stage set in an elaborate costume and smiles. I kept thinking: if this were a musical with any other musical star, they would have had her doing a lot more dancing, and probably some singing.

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Release Date:

26 September 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cain and Mabel See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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