18 March 2008 | bkoganbing
Spies And Weddings
Love On The Run is yet another example of Louis B. Mayer trying to cash in on the success that eluded him when he 'punished' Clark Gable by sending him to Columbia Pictures for a minor comedy that turned out to be It Happened One Night. For the rest of the decade Hollywood saturated the American public with madcap heiress stories.
When you've got one of the leading players under contract to you however it's a bit easier. Gable is given a rival reporter to contend with in Love On The Run in the person of Joan Crawford's real life husband, Franchot Tone. These two room together, but are ready to do everything short of cutting each other's throats to scoop the other.
Two stories that they are both assigned to cover, heiress Joan Crawford's wedding to a prince, Ivan Lebedeff, and a trans-European flight by Baron Reginald Owen get mixed up together as Crawford gets cold feet and Owen turns out to be an international spy.
Gable and Crawford have done it all before, especially Gable. But I kind of feel sorry for Franchot Tone. If he wasn't in a dinner jacket in his MGM parts he was in a film like this, essentially playing the Ralph Bellamy role. It's a very one sided rivalry Gable and Tone have. It's like the Yankees and Red Sox of the last century with the Yankees constantly coming out on top. No wonder Tone left MGM to try for better acting roles. At MGM he showed what he could do in films like Mutiny on the Bounty and Three Comrades, but even these were in support of bigger stars.
There's some nice performances in the cast from Mona Barrie as Owen's wife, Donald Meek as a most eccentric caretaker and William Demarest as Gable's editor. But no new ground was broken here.