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Cain and Mabel
1936 Jump to Synopsis and Details
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The managers of heavyweight champion Larry Cain and Broadway musical star Mabel O'Dare scheme up a romance to give the celebrities more glamour. But the two don't hit it off, having started on the wrong foot.


Previously (and uncomfortably) co-starred in Polly at the Circus, Marion Davies and Clark Gable were reteamed in Cain and Mabel, reportedly on the demand of Davies' "sponsor" William Randolph Hearst. The story concerns a hash slinger-turned-Broadway-star named Mabel O'Dare (Davies, endearingly miscast) whose career is in the hands of hotshot publicist Reilly (Roscoe Karns). To stir up interest in Mabel's latest musical show, Karns cooks up a phony romance between his client and boxing champ Larry Cain (Gable) -- even though Mabel and Cain have already developed a healthy dislike for one another. Unfortunately, Karns' brainstorm turns out to be a drizzle: Mabel's show is a flop, and Cain begins losing in the ring. By the time Cain and Mabel have fallen in love for real, both parties have had to virtually abandon their careers as proof that it is for real. Most of the comedy setpieces in the film fall flat, save for a terrific bit near the end: Told that "The show must go on!," a disconsolate Mabel asks "Why?" -- and no one can come up with a good answer! This is the film in which a studio stagehand allegedly pops up during one of the production numbers, but don't kill yourself looking for him. PS: The handsome actor billed as David Carlyle later enjoyed a substantial screen career as Robert Paige. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide


Marion Davies as Mabel O'Dare

Clark Gable as Larry Cain

Allen Jenkins as Dodo

Roscoe Karns as Aloysius K. Reilly

Walter Catlett as Jacob 'Jake' Sherman

Robert Paige as Ronny Cauldwell (as David Carlyle)

Hobart Cavanaugh as Milo, the Stage Manager

Ruth Donnelly as Aunt Mimi

Pert Kelton as Toddy Williams

William Collier Sr. as Pat 'Pop' Walters

Sammy White as Specialty (Coney Island Number)

E.E. Clive as Charles 'Chuck' Fendwick

Allen Pomeroy as Fighter Tom Reed

Robert Middlemass as Mr. George, Cafe Proprietor

Joseph Crehan as Reed's Manager

Charles Teske as Dance Specialty

Eily Malyon as The Old Maid (scenes deleted)

John T. Murray as (scenes deleted)

Mary Treen as Cashier (scenes deleted)

Emmett Vogan as Athletic Club Clerk (scenes deleted)

Josephine Allen as Old Lady

Bill Archer as Page Boy

William Arnold as Photographer

Herbert Ashley as Vegetarian Diner

Earl Askam as Sampson

Curtis Benton as Fight Radio Announcer

George Beranger as Headwaiter

Jack Bergman as Smith Brother

Georgie Billings as Ten-Year-Old Boy

Harry C. Bradley as Man in Library

Victor Briedis as Archie, the Pianist

Tex Brodus as Dancer

George Bruggeman as Caesar

Billy Coe as Timekeeper

Joe Cunningham as Spinach Omelet Diner

Virginia Dabney as Chorus girl

Dick Dennis as Singer

Don Downen as Second Bellboy

Ralph Dunn as Diner Behind Reilly

Robert Eberhardt as Popeye

Jerry Fletcher as Bellboy with Water Pitcher

Dick French as Photographer

Peter Gowland as Dancer

Harry Harvey as Gus, Assistant Stage Manager

Stuart Holmes as Peace Conference Delegate

General Ikonnikoff as Peace Conference Delegate

Delos Jewkes as Smith Brother

Milton Kibbee as Taxi Driver

Joe King as Colonel Johnson, Madison Square Garden Manager

Lillian Lawrence as Woman in Library

John Lince as Old Man

Miriam Marlin as Chorus girl

Rosalind Marquis as Delilah

John Marsden as Manager

Leona McGenty as Fat Waitress

Tom McGuire as Bystander in Gym

Martha Merrill as Chorus girl

Bert Moorhouse as First Hotel Desk Clerk

Hal Neiman as Napoleon

Spec O'Donnell as Autograph Hound

Ted O'Shea as Sailor on Carousel

George Ovey as Stage Doorman

Paul Panzer as Peace Conference Delegate

Bob Perry as Boxing Referee

Lee Phelps as Ring Announcer

Marie Prevost as Sherman's Receptionist

George Riley as Photographer

Cliff Saum as Wax Museum Barker

General Savitsky as Peace Conference Delegate

Peter Seal as Peace Conference Delegate

Jean Sennett as Secretary

Claire Sinclair as (uncredited)

Charles Sullivan as Knockdown Timekeeper

Perc Teeple as Peace Conference Delegate

Rose Terrell as Cinderella

Arthur Thalasso as Nero

Ted Thompson as Second Hotel Desk Clerk

Earl Tree as Photographer

Victoria Vinton as Chorus girl

Marie Wells as (uncredited)

Pat West as Trainer in Gym

Leo White as Man with Cane at Deauville

Al Williams as Call Boy

Jane Wyman as Chorus girl


Directed by
Lloyd Bacon

Writing credits
H.C. Witwer (story)
Laird Doyle (screenplay)

Produced by
Hal B. Wallis - executive producer
Jack L. Warner - executive producer

Original Music by
Bernhard Kaun and Heinz Roemheld

Cinematography by
George Barnes

Film Editing by
William Holmes

Art Direction by
Robert M. Haas

Costume Design by
Orry-Kelly (gowns)

Production Management
Samuel Bischoff - production supervisor

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Richard Maybery - assistant director

Harvey Parry - stunts

Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein - musical director
Ray Heindorf - music arranger: orchestral music

Other crew
Bobby Connolly - production numbers staged
Earl Baldwin - screenplay constructor

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