Red Dust (1932)
Reviewed in April 2010
Director: Victor Fleming. Cast: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Mary Astor, Gene Raymond, Donald Crisp, Willie Fung, Tully Marshall, Forrester Harvey. Screenplay: John Lee Mahin (based on the play by Wilson Collison).

Photo © 1932 Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Semen dripping from the rubber trees in first shot; taste-tested by furious Gable; abrupt storm or monsoon; "Well, for the love of mud" - "Don't rush me, brother"; so that some old woman can go to bed with a hot-water bottle?; tiger outside; CG: "Put the rest of that cheese in your mouth, where it'll do the most good"; JH all about how they make Roquefort??; CG coarsely insists on paying her; pre-THHNot; CG to MA, before slap: "You don't expect me to sit around and hold his hand, do you?"; Harlow's boat waylaid for six more weeks?; JH calls Hoy "slightly simple minded"; love MA's politely wicked stutter: "Are you, uh, married to one of the men here?"; she's truly dismayed by this species of person (Mary Astor!); Harlow makes it funny instead of just sexy when she takes off shirtless CG's boots; "Whats'a matter, afraid I'll shock the Duchess? Don't you suppose she's ever seen a French postcard?" Harlow splashing in elevated shower/bath, in drinking cistern; "cheese-making" stage of crude rubber: Astor disapproving without being cold or rigid; Astor coyly asking "Is she a part of the... life here?" while peering into microscope, interest/evasion; MA: "Don't you really think I could fit in out here? Don't you think I could be happy?" - "I want everyone to like me out here"; unmoved by beauty-compliment, only admitting a bit of breathlessness as ehs outwardly calls him on the "polish" of this little speech; wind takes her hat; MA rain-soaked white dress, JH in wind-blown tropical frock, watching CG rush MA home in his arms; she's PISSED; JH becoming a worry-projection of her life in country, = lightning-flash shadows of shutters and trees; JH: "...if you can stand the company"; "Put this inside of you, ALL of it - it'll make you forget a lot of things"; "He came out with rouge all over his mouth. I suppose he asked to use your lipstick"; JH: "I didn't hear any cries for help"; couldn't help it, MA low-voiced, dark, husky "No - that's why I'm scared"; MA already perturbed, bothered by moth at table; CG: "THIS PLANTATION'S GOT TO INCREASE PRODUCTION"; nothing rakish or charming about his egotism here, just a self-conscious, sort of myopic virility; he'd dislike Rhett Butler, quite a bit; surveying in rain; GR "would fold up without Babs" - "this would be a bad country to raise children in, wouldn't it?" staking out some game; going to settle down in Hudson Valley, trying for kids; manages to dampen the thrill of shooting a tiger by actually saying out loud, "Gee, what a thrill that was" at fadeout; I like the dingy, humid dark gray, low-contrast photography; DC angel of bad news to GR, leading to punching match; "Is the burial private, or isn't the body with you?" JH taunting CG in his drunk, unbuttoned misery; "Say whatever become of - what's his name, the young fellow with the attractive wife?"; finally a lover's clench, JH not caring that she's essentially getting propriety's leavings, but induces a hair-pulling, wrestling scuffle (rather superficially played) of CG calling them "bad people," even though she puts the words in his mouth; CG hits her up with her hypocrisy and his own refusal to be a "one-woman man" - AND SHE SHOOTS HIM!: "okay... if it makes you feel better," though apparently she's wide of really dooming him; they cover for him, and JH uses it to get them out!; JH weirdly simpy: "Does it hurt awful?" and he does tell her to stop blubbering, that she's been strong enough heretofore; rips open his shirt so she can cauterize the bullethole in his abdomen; it's breaking her; PENETRATION SCENE: he's gasping, arching in his chair, she's getting lower and lower (fellatio?), he's moaning, "All the way through!"; reading Peter Rabbit to him in bed; reads from paper that they've sailed; weird motif of roquefort and gorgonzola; final, minstrely arrival & mad laughter of Hoy B+

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