Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Idiot’s Delight


Made from a rather forgettable anti-war play by Sherwood Anderson. Clark Gable is an itinerant entertainer, doing anything that comes to hand, from trained penguins to mentalist acts, and Norma Shearer is more or less a con woman. They meet after a 20-year separation in an unnamed alpine country as the border is closing due to Nazi aggression. She is married to a Nazi and posing as a dispossessed Russian countess. This one is memorable largely for Gable singing and dancing to “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” He’s not quite as bad as the monster in Young Frankenstein (who actually wasn’t all that bad), but he’s no Fred Astaire. As a singer he’s better than Jimmy Stewart in Born to Dance, but that’s not saying much.