Clark Gable Movies

Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in 1934's It Happened One Night -

Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in 1934’s It Happened One Night –

Want to know the best Clark Gable movies?  How about the worst Clark Gable movies?  Curious about Clark Gable’s box office grosses or which Clark Gable movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Clark Gable movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

Clark Gable (1901-1960) appeared in 14 movies in uncredited parts from 1924-1930. In 1931 things started to turn around for Gable and his career. Four big things happened for him. (1st) He got his first screen credit in the long forgotten, The Painted Desert. (2nd) He received strong reviews in supporting roles in A Free Soul and The Secret Six. (3rd) He co-starred with Joan Crawford twice that year….they would end up starring in eight movies together and (4th) Gable ended 1931 with his first starring role in Sporting Blood.

Gable would end the 1930’s having starred in three of the biggest films of the decade...It Happened One Night, Mutiny on the Bounty and of course Gone With The Wind….all three of these movies won the Oscar® for Best Picture of the year. 

Clark Gable would appear on Quigley Publishing’s Annual Top Ten Money Making Stars sixteen times. Only John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise and Gary Cooper have appeared more times on that poll. During World War II, Gable flew several combat missions over Germany. After the war ended, he would appear in 21 more movies, the last being 1961’s The Misfits co-starring Marilyn Monroe. Clark Gable died two weeks after finishing the film of a massive heart attack, he was 59. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Gable the seventh greatest male actor of all time.

His IMDb page shows 82 acting credits from 1923-1960. This page will rank 64 Clark Gable movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television shows, cameos and his uncredited or bit roles were not included in the rankings.

Clark Gable and The Three Stooges on the set of 1933's Dancing Lady

Clark Gable and The Three Stooges on the set of 1933’s Dancing Lady

Clark Gable Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Clark Gable movies by co-stars of his movies.
  • Sort Clark Gable movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost
  • Sort Clark Gable movies by adjusted worldwide box office grosses using current movie ticket cost
  • Sort Clark Gable movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and how many Oscar® wins each Clark Gable movie received.
  • Sort Deanna Durbin movies by Ultimate Movie Ranking (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • Use the search and sort buttons to make this table very interactive.  For example type in “Joan Crawford” in the search box…and up pop the 8 Crawford/Gable movies.
RankMovie (Year)UMR Co-Star LinksAdjusted B.O. Domestic (mils.)Adjusted B.O. Worldwide (mils.)Critic Audience RatingOscar Nom / WinUMR Score
It Happened One Night (1934)Claudette Colbert & Directed by Frank Capra$190.70$314.7091.0%05 / 0592.33
Gone with the Wind (1939)Vivien Leigh & Olivia de Havilland$1758.30$3059.3090.0%13 / 0891.30
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)Charles Laughton & Donald Crisp$286.50$508.5086.0%08 / 0186.22
San Francisco (1936)Spencer Tracy$425.50$696.5086.0%06 / 0177.42
The Hucksters (1947)Deborah Kerr$223.80$273.8079.0%00 / 0068.13
Saratoga (1937)Jean Harlow$315.40$421.4078.0%00 / 0067.66
Test Pilot (1938)Spencer Tracy & Myrna Loy$303.60$487.6068.5%03 / 0067.40
Boom Town (1940)Spencer Tracy$394.50$511.5075.5%02 / 0067.28
Honkey Tonk (1941)Lana Turner$257.40$362.4075.0%00 / 0066.25
The Tall Men (1955)Jane Russell & Robert Ryan$196.90$312.8075.0%00 / 0065.77
Mogambo (1953)Ava Gardner & Grace Kelly$194.80$351.8067.7%02 / 0062.79
Homecoming (1948)Lana Turner$205.10$310.1067.0%00 / 0062.49
Command Decision (1948)Walter Pidgeon$160.90$204.9076.0%00 / 0060.66
Too Hot To Handle (1938)Myrna Loy$203.20$299.2062.0%00 / 0060.14
The Misfits (1961)Marilyn Monroe & Montgomery Clift$130.20$170.2084.0%00 / 0059.66
Any Number Can Play (1949)Alexis Smith$134.30$174.3082.5%00 / 0059.60
China Seas (1935)Jean Harlow & Wallace Beery$171.60$287.6070.0%00 / 0059.50
They Met in Bombay (1941)Rosalind Russell$150.90$244.9075.0%00 / 0058.64
Possessed (1931)Joan Crawford$122.30$180.3082.0%00 / 0057.50
Wife vs Secretary (1936)James Stewart & Myrna Loy$151.70$232.7070.5%00 / 0056.65
Across the Wide Missouri (1951)Ricardo Montalbán$134.40$222.4076.0%00 / 0056.55
Somewhere I'll Find You (1942)Lana Turner$239.60$333.6053.5%00 / 0056.14
Dancing Lady (1933)Joan Crawford & Fred Astaire$156.00$252.0067.0%00 / 0055.67
Soldier of Fortune (1955)Susan Hayward$127.40$177.4076.0%00 / 0055.47
Chained (1934)Joan Crawford$136.20$208.2072.5%00 / 0055.18
Red Dust (1932)Jean Harlow$85.50$133.5088.3%00 / 0054.77
Adventure (1945)Greer Garson$292.70$419.7049.0%00 / 0054.03
A Free Soul (1931)Norma Shearer & Lionel Barrymore$105.60$168.6075.0%03 / 0153.42
Teacher's Pet (1958)Doris Day & Gig Young$108.40$149.4073.3%02 / 0053.32
Run Silent Run Deep (1958)Burt Lancaster$100.40$141.4079.0%00 / 0052.69
Love on the Run (1936)Joan Crawford$128.20$209.2069.5%00 / 0052.53
Hell Divers (1931)Wallace Beery$147.70$256.7063.0%00 / 0052.50
Strange Cargo (1940)Joan Crawford$112.80$164.8072.0%00 / 0051.32
Forsaking All Others (1934)Joan Crawford$146.50$229.5059.0%00 / 0050.44
Susan Lenox (Her Fall and Rise) (1931)Greta Garbo$95.70$178.7075.5%00 / 0050.31
Band of Angels (1957)Sidney Poitier$107.50$135.5069.0%00 / 0049.09
Manhattan Melodrama (1934)William Powell & Myrna Loy$77.00$129.0076.5%01 / 0148.90
Idiot's Delight (1939)Norma Shearer$140.50$206.5054.0%00 / 0047.16
Cain and Mabel (1936)Marion Davies$101.20$101.2066.0%01 / 0047.11
Comrade X (1940)Hedy Lamarr$130.80$178.8055.0%00 / 0046.12
Hold Your Man (1933)Jean Harlow$68.50$112.5074.0%00 / 0045.40
Dance Fools Dance (1931)Joan Crawford$100.70$150.7060.0%00 / 0043.81
Men In White (1934)Myrna Loy$93.20$152.2062.0%00 / 0043.59
The Call of the Wild (1935)Loretta Young$86.20$86.2063.0%00 / 0042.97
Key to the City (1950)Loretta Young$115.20$149.2053.0%00 / 0042.77
The Secret Six (1931)Wallace Beery & Jean Harlow$84.10$118.1062.0%00 / 0042.18
The White Sister (1933)Helen Hayes$78.50$175.5061.0%00 / 0040.84
Night Flight (1933)Myrna Loy & Lionel Barrymore$60.30$112.3066.5%00 / 0040.61
Night Nurse (1931)Barbara Stanwyck$44.50$44.5071.5%00 / 0040.50
Polly of the Circus (1932)Marian Davies$58.00$77.0066.5%00 / 0040.25
It Started In Naples (1960)Sophia Loren$76.80$76.8058.0%01 / 0040.18
Lone Star (1952)Ava Gardner$105.50$167.5049.5%00 / 0039.61
The King and the Four Queens (1956)Eleanor Parker$98.50$137.5051.5%00 / 0039.47
Betrayed (1954)Lana Turner$102.90$217.9049.5%00 / 0039.21
The Easiest Way (1931)Robert Montgomery$77.70$107.7057.5%00 / 0039.06
Parnell (1937)Myrna Loy$128.70$204.7040.5%00 / 0038.99
Sporting Blood (1931)Ernest Torrence$65.00$106.0061.0%00 / 0038.74
After Office Hours (1935)Constance Bennett
$76.20$128.2056.5%00 / 0038.37
No Man of Her Own (1932)Carole Lombard$53.10$53.1064.0%00 / 0038.31
To Please A Lady (1950)Barbara Stanwyck$103.40$146.4043.5%00 / 0036.47
Laughing Sinners (1931)Joan Crawford$74.10$91.1052.0%00 / 0035.93
Strange Interlude (1932)Norma Shearer$104.80$134.8039.5%00 / 0034.80
Never Let Me Go (1953)Gene Tierney$63.10$103.1053.0%00 / 0034.69
But Not For Me (1959)Carroll Baker$76.30$106.3043.0%00 / 0033.91

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Clark Gable Table

  1. Fourty-four Clark Gable movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 68.75% of his movies listed. Gone with the Wind (1939) was easily his biggest box office ht when looking at adjusted domestic box office gross.
  2. An average Clark Gable movie grosses $166.40 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  46 of Clark Gable’s movies are rated as good movies…or 71.81% of his movies. It Happened One Night (1934) is his highest rated movie while Strange Interlude (1932) was his lowest rated movie.
  4. Twelve Clark Gable movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 18.75% of his movies.
  5. Six Clark Gable movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 9.37% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Ranking (UMR) Score is 39.86.  51 Clark Gable movies scored higher than that average….or 79.68% of his movies.  It Happened One Night (1934) got the the highest UMR Score while But Not For Me (1959) got the lowest UMR Score.
Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe is 1961's The Misfits

Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe is 1961’s The Misfits

The Best of Clark Gable

#5 Boom Town (1940) is about rival oil-well drillers(Gable and Spencer Tracy) who fight over women and business interests over a twenty year span. The Gable/Tracy team made three very successful movies. The average gross of the three Gable/Tracy movies was 241 million in adjusted for inflation dollars. The other two movies were Test Pilot and San Francisco.  After the success of Boom Town, Tracy started insisting on the same top billing clause in his contract that Gable had enjoyed, effectively ending one of cinema’s most famous screen teams. Gable also co-starred with Joan Crawford 8 times, Myrna Loy 7 times, Jean Harlow 6 times and Lana Turner 4 times during his career.

#4 San Francisco (1936) Centered around the 1906 San Francisco earthquakes, this movie was the biggest box office hit of the year as well as a Top 10 film of the entire 1930s. It was nominated for 6 Oscars® including nominations for Best Picture and Best Actor for Spencer Tracy.  Gable felt Tracy should have gotten a Best Supporting Actor nomination since Tracy’s name was beneath the movie title in the credits. Legendary silent film director, D.W. Griffith, helped direct the famous earthquake sequence. It is rumored that Spencer Tracy is the person that gave Clark Gable his famous nickname “The King of Hollywood”.  One day he saw Gable walking on the set and said “Oh look here comes the King”. 

#3 It Happened One Night (1934) Clark Gable won his only Oscar® for this movie. Movie is one of three movies to win the Big Five major Academy Awards® (actor,actress,director, movie,and screenplay). The other two…..1975’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and 1991’s Silence of the Lambs.  To promote the movie, Gable was required to introduce the movie for each showing for two days at a pre-selected theater. Can you imagine Tom Hanks hanging out at your local theater, so he could talk about his movie before each showing for an entire weekend?  At the time, a standard practice was to release movies in packages of five movies (one popular movie and four duds) at the same time.  Then to figure out how much money a single movie earned at the box office they would take the total and divide by 5.  This practice made reaching profitability clauses in contracts almost impossible to reach, and on this particular movie, the director, Frank Capra, was not paid his bonus due to that clause.  It Happened One Night was actually much more popular than the studio books led to believe.

#2 Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)  One of the biggest hits of the 1930s. Mutiny on the Bounty won only one Oscar®, but it was Best Picture of the Year. Gable, Charles Laughton and Franchot Tone were all nominated for Best Actor Oscars® for this movie. This is the only time three actors have been nominated for Best Actor for the same movie. They all lost to Victor McLaglen’s performance in The Informer. For Gable it was his 2nd nomination for Best Actor Oscar® nomination. One of the last times Gable was seen on screen without his famous mustache.  Clark Gable was not the first or last actor to play Fletcher Christian.  Errol Flynn, Marlon Brando and Mel Gibson have all taken away the Bounty from Captain Bligh in other films.  For my money Mutiny on the Bounty is easily the best adaptation of the story of The Bounty.  And I think the difference is the team of Gable and Charles Laughton as Captain Bligh

#1 Gone With The Wind (1939).  Gone With The Wind is the all-time box office champ when using inflated grosses. It’s current estimated box office total is 1.7 billion dollars in North America…yes billion not million. When looking at total worldwide gross the number falls a little under 3 billion. Gone With The Wind was re-released numerous times over the years(believe it or not…VCRs and DVD players were not around).  So not only is Gone With The Wind the number one movie of 1940 and 1941. It finished as the number 10 movie in 1947, number 4 in 1954, number 9 in 1961. It’s final major re-release was in 1974 with an additional 70 million in box office. Gable received his third Oscar® nomination for Best Actor, but lost to Robert Donat. Gone With The Wind did win the Oscar® for Best Picture of the Year as well as 7 other Oscars® . I think it is safe to say….”That frankly we do care about this movie”.

Check out Clark Gable’s career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

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