Film Review: Gable and Lombard

Hollywood is full of famous couples. Some titilated with dramatics like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton while others, like Clark Gable and Carole Lombard led a somewhat quieter life, by comparison. The 1976 film Gable and Lombard explores the relationship between the couple with James Brolin and Jill Clayburgh bringing the classic film superstars to life.

According to Gable and Lombard, the two met when he showed up at a party at her home. From the start, the couple have a rocky start — he disliking her Hollywood airs and she his gee-golly attitude. But, of course, opposites attract. The two then carry on a serious relationship behind closed doors. Due to the modesty rules of the era, their movie studios refuse to let them make their involvement public. The film follows them through jealousies while filming romantic scenes, sneaking around Los Angeles and when Gable faced a rather scandalous paternity suit.

Unfortunately Gable and Lombard falls short in almost every aspect. From the very start the film doesn’t feel like it is set in the 1930s. While Brolin has, for the most part, the physical demeanor to portray Clark Gable but the rest is just laughable. Brolin’s King is more of an impression of a dopey Midwesterner than the charismatic leading man. Clayburgh meanwhile is lively and perhaps a bit over the top. Not to mention that the plot is full of holes in addition to being more than slightly historically inaccurate. Gable and Lombard is a bit too long and emotionally unmoving.


In a previous life, Corinne ran a music website. After going strong for a decade, the site went on a hiatus. Consider her the antiTastemaker.