Gable took Atlantans by Storm
By Bill Pope
Source: Atlanta Constitution. Nov 18th, 1960
"I'm no actor and I never have been," Clark Gable once told an
interviewer. "What people see on the screen is me."
But some of Gable's co-workers in the film business disagreed.
"I'd rate Gable with that master, Charles Laughton," director George
Seaton once said. "Both of them know what to do with eyes, facial
muscles, and combine them with the delivery of the line to get the most
DIDN"T SWELL HEAD
Gable didn't let the acclaim for his role of Rhett Butler, swell his head,
either. Said he in Atlanta during the 1939 premiere of "Gone With The
Wind": "For me to pose as a Southern hero would be inviting
trouble. I'm just the guy who was assigned to play a very difficult role
in a picture everybody has very pronounced ideas about."
But his portrayal - and the man himself - won over the author of GWTW, the
late Margaret Mitchell, as well as other local observers. "Clark
Gable was the character in my story as I wrote it," commented Miss Mitchell
after she saw the picture. "He seemed to grow as the story
progressed. At the end he was a mature character, not too cynical, no
"A bronze and debonair Gable - a very 'Rhett Butler' of a man - came
into Atlanta to the largest, most spontaneous, often hysterical demonstration
which Atlanta has ever seen," said the Constitution in commenting on
Gable's arrival for the premiere.
It was Gable all through, this time ... truly Gable has something ... he was
the special object of solicitudes ... the crowd (estimated at 300,000 by newsmen
and 3 million by Gable) was friendly, orderly, profoundly happy.
Other reactions during the premiere was less esoteric, but they summed up the
Gable magic. "He's the handsomest man I ever saw," said
one youngster after she had rushed up to meet Gable and his wife, Carole
LAUGHED WITH BOY
Aided and abetted by Mr. and Mrs. Gable, one 13-year-old boy clambered
through police lines to meet his hero. Gable held up the proceedings while
he laughed and exchanged greetings with the youngster.
Gable was undoubtedly his own best public relations man as far as Atlanta was
concerned. "It's the most amazing thing I ever saw," he
said of the Cyclorama in Grant Park. And for lunch one day, it is
recorded, he ate turnip greens and cornbread.