Lone Star (1952)
Lone Star (1952) is about a cattle rancher named Deveraux Burke (Clark Gable) who is sent on a missi0n by former president Andrew Jackson (Lionel Barrymore) to convince Texas to join the United States. During his Texas adventures, he meets Senator Tom Craden (Broderick Crawford) and his girlfriend, newspaper woman Martha Ronda (Ava Gardner). Both of them want Texas to remain as the Lone Star Republic, separate from the United States. Despite their clashing opinions, Dev and Martha (of course) fall in love. And who will win the big final showdown between Dev and Tom?
I’m really sorry to say this, but i found this historical western/romance mashup to be quite…awful Getting a detailed, blow-by-blow account of the annexation of Texas made me feel like I was a junior in high school and sitting in AP American History class all over again. According to director Vincent Sherman, even the cast realized just how lame the film was shortly after shooting began. Broderick Crawford was intoxicated throughout the filming (which is something admirable to me…how can an actor be so dead drunk yet still remember all their lines?), and Gable and Gardner were just “showing up, reading lines, and going home.” It was just…nothing was really that exciting during the film. It was really quite predictable.
I also hated the Gardner character. She was such a bitch! First of all, she was dating the Broderick Crawford character, so she shouldn’t have been seducing Gable to begin with! Then she sings “Moonlight is Made for Lovers” to Gable, and when he goes in for the kiss, she pushes him away! Um, if you sing that kind of song to a man, WHAT ELSE is he supposed to do!? She also spends most of the movie flirting with him, then slandering him in her newspaper. Whadda bitch, toying with the man’s affections like that!
There were, however, two high points in the film. the first is Lionel Barrymore, in the small role of ex-Prez Andrew Jackson. This was Barrymore’s last film, and he was wheelchair-bound at this point. Barrymore is always a joy to watch and gives everything to his role, no matter how small.
The other high point is my man Gabe. Because no matter how awful the film, he provides plenty of eye candy, which makes up for everything in the end. He also has curly hair in this movie, and that combined with his blue eyes and rough-and-tough manliness turns me into a pool of melted Jell-o every time <3