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Dec 12, 2021

For this week's Studios Year by Year, it's MGM 1938 and two aviation movies starring the King and Queen of Hollywood, Clark Gable and Myrna Loy. In Jack Conway's wildly entertaining Too Hot to Handle, Loy is a daredevil aviator with a sentimental mission and Gable an unscrupulous journalist who doesn't know whether he wants to exploit or worship her. It's all in good fun until the movie decides to take a weird comic turn into white supremacist psychosis, albeit in a way that's (maybe?) self-subverting. In Victor Fleming's masterful Test Pilot, Clark Gable's magnetic masculinity is under the microscope of Loy's female gaze and Spencer Tracy's queer one. We discuss Loy's thespian opportunities and Gable's perennially underrated emotionalism. Then: the return of Fear and Moviegoing in Toronto. Movies discussed (and spoiled): Niagara (1953), with Marilyn Monroe and Jean Peters, and Moontide (1942), with Jean Gabin and Ida Lupino. 

Time Codes:

0h 01m 00s:                       MGM Star Roster, 1938

0h 03m 43s:                       TOO HOT TO HANDLE [dir. Jack Conway]

0h 29m 37s:                       TEST PILOT [dir. Victor Fleming]

1h 04m 45s:                       Fear and Moviegoing in Toronto – NIAGARA (1953) & MOONTIDE (1942)  


Studio Film Capsules provided The MGM Story by John Douglas Eames

Additional studio information from: The Hollywood Story by Joel W. Finler



* Marvel at our meticulously ridiculous Complete Viewing Schedule for the 2020s

* Intro Song: “Sunday” by Jean Goldkette Orchestra with the Keller Sisters (courtesy of The Internet Archive)

* Read Elise’s latest film piece on Preston Sturges, Unfaithfully Yours, and the Narrative role of comedic scapegoating.

* Check out Dave’s new Robert Benchley blog – an attempt to annotate and reflect upon as many of the master humorist’s 2000+ pieces as he can locate – Benchley Data: A Wayward Annotation Project! 

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