Monday, June 6, 2011

The Battle Of The Pencil-Thin Moustaches: William Powell Versus Clark Gable

Some of the biggest names of movie history have already fallen—Chaplin, Keaton, Fairbanks, Astaire—and the list is down to two in the Silent/1930s Era bracket in Monty's Best Actor Tournament at All Good Things.

William Powell and Clark Gable have squared off before. In 1934, they teamed up with Myrna Loy in Manhattan Melodrama, the Oscar-winning story of crusading politician and his roguish gangster pal. Powell may have gotten the girl in that one (the first of fourteen movies he and Loy made together), but Gable got the better of the two parts.

Nine months later, Powell and Gable squared off again, this time in the best actor category at the Academy Awards. Score round two for Gable as well, as he won the Oscar for It Happened One Night over Powell's performance in The Thin Man.

And finally, in the Carole Lombard sweepstakes, both men married her, but only Gable stayed married to her—Powell and Lombard divorced in 1933, Gable and Lombard were married in 1939 and remained married until her death in an airplane crash in 1942.

Now the two meet once again in the finals of the Silent/1930s bracket of the Monty's Best Actor Tournament and Powell is out for payback. Will he get it or will Gable trump him once again? You can help decide.

Click here to vote.

The Tale Of The Tape:

William Powell
Birth Name: William Horatio Powell
Birth Date: July 29, 1892
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Height: 6'
Film Debut: Sherlock Holmes (1922)
Awards: New York Film Critics Circle Award for best actor of 1947 (Life With Father and The Senator Was Indiscreet); 3 Oscar nominations, no wins
Marriages: three, Eileen Wilson (1915-1930, divorced); Carole Lombard (1931-1933, divorce); Diana Lewis (1940-1984, his death)
Best-Known Role: Nick Charles in The Thin Man
Best-Known Quote: "He didn't come anywhere near my tabloids."

Clark Gable
Birth Name: William Clark Gable
Birth Date: February 1, 1901
Birthplace Cadiz, Ohio
Height: 6'1"
Film Debut: White Man (1924)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Actor of 1934 (It Happened One Night); 2 other Oscar nominations
Marriages: five, including Carole Lombard (1939-1942, her death) and Kay Williams (1955-1960, his death)
Best-Known Role: Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind
Best-Known Quote: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."


Aubyn said...

Best title ever.

May the best man win!

Maggie said...

Holy cow, I didn't know Powell was married to Lombard.

I like both men, but one, just a little more. Ain't gonna tell ya neither. : )

theduckthief said...

It's Powell all the way for me. He's funny, he's cheeky and he's one half of a great team with Myrna

Mythical Monkey said...

I have to admit that while I think they're both great, I enjoy more of William Powell's movies than Clark Gable's -- in no small part because of the pairing with Myrna Loy.

I see both of them eventually winning a Katie-Bar-The-Door Award though ...

Beveridge D. Spenser said...

Powell all the way.

His marriage to Lombard was interesting. I've read that it was an open marriage - they both wanted to party and fool around. But it seemed that that was really what he wanted. So they separated amiably.

I wonder what the real story was - but Powell always has a soft spot for her.

Mythical Monkey said...

I did not know that about Powell and Lombard. I guess it's possible that an open marriage could work. Wouldn't work for me, though, and I'm reasonably sure Katie-Bar-The-Door would cut my heart out with a steak knife if I suggested otherwise.