After Gable’s rare failure in historical drama Parnell, Lombard handed out flyers in MGM, “If you think Gable is the greatest actor in the world, see him in ‘Parnell.'” Garland, “Honey, I love you madly, but please don’t do it’ our song’ too.”
But as Matzen explains, Lombard’s real gift was her generous nature. “Carole’s Cause” includes countless crew members, bankrupt Anthony Quinn, actor-turned-designer William Haines (blacklisted for being gay), ex-husband William Powell , young Robert Stack, tuberculosis tennis star Alice Marble, skater John Barrymore, and an awkward Lucille Ball. According to Matzen, Lombard never wanted people to notice her good deeds or her contributions, only quipping, “Oh damn it, forget it!” “When someone tries to thank her.
One feels that Lombard’s spirit of dedication is a tonic for orphaned Gable, whose difficult childhood left him emotionally tight and vulnerable. As he once said, according to Harris, “You can count on your life.”
Ma and Pa
So, what exactly did Lombard see in Gable? According to Harris, she had seen a charming, solitary man who was equally humble, gentle, and loved to laugh and calm her down. “[Clark] My number was so fast, it was horrible,” Lombard told a friend, according to Harris. “He told me what kind of person I was—a fool, neurotic, asshole—and he was right. I was never anything else… I just fooled people. But I can’t fool him, and I know it.”
But for the role of Matzen, there isn’t Harris’s keen eye for Lombard, note, the highly competitive actress also sees Gable as an award to be won. Ria Gable’s furious refusal to divorce Clark infuriates Lombard, and one night she breaks into her rival’s house in horror. “Lombard walked quietly to the doorway, cleared his throat, and shouted at the startled Mrs. Gable, ‘Hi, old witch. If you want to call me a spoiler now, that’s your favor,” Harris wrote.
For feminist readers, the amount of time Lombard took to please Gable—her “Clark first” attitude—was one of heart-wrenching eagerness and regress. The global comedian transforms into an outdoor woman, practicing fly fishing with Claudette Colbert, learning how to hunt, shooting skewers, and defying countless camping trips with Gable while nestling in her sleeping bag lined with her beloved fur coats.
She bought a farm in Encino, dubbed “The House of Two Roofs,” where the two stars live in seclusion, transforming into rustic ranchers — riding tractors, raising chickens, and calling each other ““ Ma” and “Pa”.
In one particularly impactful passage (despite the fact that it seems a bit too perfect to be true), Harris describes a particularly happy night on deck at the ranch:
“Gable said, ‘Mom, we’re the lucky ones. We have this farm…… we all have good jobs, friends, money in the bank and our health. God has been good to us. Can you think of anything you really want that you don’t have yet? ‘ Lombard took a sip of Coca-Cola before she answered. “Father, to tell you the truth, you could use a few piles of manure if we want to do good with those fruit trees.”
Enter Sweater Girl
Despite Lombard’s Herculean efforts, there are some things that her love and care cannot fix. Throughout Gable & LombardHarris subtly points out that the couple had very real problems, even after they married in 1939. According to Harris, Lombard was particularly annoyed by Gable’s stinginess. His selfish nature was also on display in the bedroom, prompting Lombard to quip, “God, you know how much I love Pa, but I can’t say he’s a stubborn man.”
https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2022/05/clark-gable-carole-lombard-romance Made for Each Other: Clark Gable and Carole Lombard’s Real Romance