Hold Your Man [1933]

Until it gets all sappy at the end, this is a crackerjack melodrama written by Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) and starring Clark Gable as Eddie, another colorful addition to his rogue's gallery. Eddie's a Depression-era hustler. When his latest scam goes awry, he hightails it into a nearby building and into the apartment of Ruby (legendary platinum blonde bombshell Jean Harlow, who teamed memorably with Gable in Red Dust and China Seas). She's a "swell kid" who shields his presence. Ruby's been around. "I got two rules," she states. "Keep away from couches and stay on your feet." Rules were made to be broken. Jail time and a false murder rap for poor Ruby threaten to keep the couple apart until the happy fade-out. Before his character's rehabilitation, Gable sparks the movie with his twinkly-eyed bravado. "I like your nerve," Ruby tells him. "That ain't all you're gonna like," he promises. --Donald Liebenson

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