If any of the great screen legends of the past defined what it was to be an alpha male, it was Clark Gable. Gable (1901-1960), and the men of his generation, contained a certain something that many men lack today, in our all too narcissistic and whiney world: class. Class, restraint, a certain sense of dignity, yet a class and restraint cloaking a vigorous masculinity. Gable embodied this like few other stars, or even men in general, have.
His characters in film were actually similar to his real personality. He was the top star of his generation. He played both action and romantic figures. His role as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind is one of the iconic figures in all of film. Therefore, it transcends mere entertainment, and enters the ethereal realm of art and the immortality associated with that. He also fought in WWII, willingly leaving the film industry to become a fighter pilot. He flew combat missions in Germany where his plane was hit and some of his fellow crewmen killed. Cable was nearly killed himself, when a piece of shrapnel went through his boot and almost hit his head. He won the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He also had a social conscious. When Hattie McDaniel, the first black actress to win an academy award for her role in Gone with the Wind, was not allowed to attend the premier opening of the film in Atlanta, Cable refused to attend also. Only after McDaniel pleaded with him to attend did he do so.
Perhaps the most touching thing about Gable’s life was his marriage to actress Carol Lombard. It was a true love relationship and, when she was killed in an airplane crash in 1942, Gable was never the same afterward. He deeply loved her and her loss permanently effected his life. His career was never same after her death. Such is the testament of true love. Yes, for you slavish followers of Roissy, true love does exist. (Roissy has a good analysis of Rhett’s seduction skills on Scarlett in GWTW: http://roissy.wordpress.com/2008/11/20/great-scenes-of-game-in-the-movies/)
Many in the whiney, PUA, MRA and “game” crowd should study men like Gable. Men of action, the top of the their field, men of integrity and character. I really can’t imagine Cable sitting around whining about how badly women treat him. Rather, if he had a bad experience with a woman, he probably would have laughed, enjoyed a few whiskeys, and moved on (that’s for you, Rivelino). And women have not changed that much since Gable was alive.
Here are a few quotes of those who knew Gable. Enjoy.
Doris Day summed up Gable’s unique personality, “He was as masculine as any man I’ve ever known, and as much a little boy as a grown man could be – it was this combination that had such a devastating effect on women
Life magazine: “All man… and then some.”
Joan Crawford: “He was a king wherever he went. He walked like one, he behaved like one, and he was the most masculine man that I have ever met in my life.”
Robert Ryan: “He’s what every boy thinks he’s going to be when he grows up, and wishes he had been when he’s an old man.”
I don’t see these things in too many men today. Look at these statements, “the most masculine man I have ever met”, “a combination that had a devastating effect on women”, “a king wherever he went”. Rather than be such testaments to a life of love and adventure, to the enjoyment of life, I see too many men who are either hyper masculine to the point of absurdity, or those who are soft and whiney and more feminine than most women, who, rather than risk their lives in a combat mission, would run to their girlfriends when something goes bump in the night. Yes, I know the world is different today, but it is not THAT different. I know the legal system is in many ways rigged against men. I know, and hate, the insidious influence of feminism. I know the destructive effects of social decay and dissolving mores. Yet fundamentally people never change, and the foibles that existed sixty or seventy years ago when it came to the sexes are still pretty much the same today. Yet men like Gable were able to cope, adapt, and enjoy the world as it is, and even prosper in that world. And the world of sixty or seventy years ago was a lot tougher than our world today. Nor do you have to be a movie star or war hero to gain such a character as a man like Gable, it can be achieved in the seemingly mundane inanities of our daily lives. It is all how you approach life that counts. You can work as a corporate drone and still do great things in other ways and love in great ways (you listening yet, Rivelino?).
Perhaps what these men had was balance in their lives? They could be real men, but they were not afraid to love either, and were not as obsessed about how many men their women had slept with as the men are today. And yes, women were not the pure virgins back then that most men today fantasize they were. As I said, people never really change, and a pussy got just as wet 70 years ago as it does today, and for the same reasons, and one of those reasons back then were men like Gable.
Long live men like Gable!