One of those movie moments when you say to yourself, did that really happen. CLARK GABLE singing and dancing? Never!
But it happened in IDIOT’S DELIGHT (1939).
Clark is entertainer,Harry Van and he and Les Blondes ( which included Virginia Grey,Paula Stone and Virginia Dale) are in a hotel on the Swiss border. In the audience watching them are Norma Shearer and Edward Arnold.
To polite applause,Clark says,”Thanks a million – and I won’t settle for a cent less.” He and the girls launch into “Puttin’ On The Ritz”, Clark using a cane as he dances in front of the girls.
Boy, is it fun to watch him, because it is so unexpected.
And he is singing. No dubbing for Mr. Gable.
The number only lasts not much over a minute. It ends with Clark throwing his cane aside and jumping into the arms of the girls as they finish – only to collapse in a heap out of sight of the hotel guests.
When he hears some applause,Clark says, “What’s that? Applause?
He and the girls run out again for a reprise of the song!
As if this unique moment wasn’t enough, earlier we see Clark in the centre of a line of chorus boys, singing “By The Light of the Silvery Moon”. The choreography is obviously designed to suit Clark, but again, he looks as if he is thoroughly enjoying himself.
I haven’t seen Idiot’s Delight for years, but these two scenes can be found on You Tube.