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CHAINED(director: Clarence Brown; screenwriters: John Lee Mahin/from the story by Edgar Selwyn; cinematographer: George Folsey; editor: Robert J. Kern; music: Herbert Stothart; cast: Clark Gable (Mike Bradley), Otto Kruger (Richard I. Field), Joan Crawford (Diane Lovering), Stuart Erwin (John L. Smith), Una O’Connor (Amy, Diane’s Maid), Marjorie Gateson (Mrs. Louise Fields), Akim Tamiroff (Pablo, the Ranch Chef); Runtime: 73; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Hunt Stromberg; MGM; 1934)
“Clark Gable and Joan Crawford make this pleasing but unoriginal romantic melodrama palpable.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Clark Gable and Joan Crawford make this pleasing but unoriginal romantic melodrama palpable. Clarence Brown (“Anna Christie”/”National Velvet”) directs this glossy production that is drained of any meaningful emotions; it’s based on a story by Edgar Selwyn and scripted by John Lee Mahin.

Crawford plays Diane Lovering, the young mistress of the much older Manhattan shipping tycoon, Richard Field (Otto Kruger), whose wife Louise (Marjorie Gateson) refuses to give him a divorce because she digs her society lifestyle and is not perturbed by his affair. The gentle and caring Richard sends Diane on a luxury ocean cruise to Bueno Aires to ease her pain. On the cruise Diane meets Mike Bradley (Clark Gable), a wealthy and lively Buenos Aires horse and cattle rancher who is closer to her age, and the two fall in love despite Diane trying to be loyal to her generous man back home. The plan is for Diane, out of fairness, to return to Manhattan and tell Richard she intends to marry Mike. But, in New York, Richard tells Diane that his wife granted him a divorce. When Diane learns that the loving Richard is so much in love with her that he agreed to the divorce terms of not seeing his boys again–she decides to marry him and not mention anything about Mike. A year later Diane meets Mike by accident in New York. Diane realizes she loves Mike with a passion she doesn’t have for Richard but does not care to hurt her kindly hubby: she would rather suffer in private. But Richard, when he meets Mike, understands her dilemma and as a true gentleman allows her to marry the man she truly loves.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”