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Film / No Man of Her Own (1932)

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Checking out some, er... books.

No Man of Her Own (1932) is a pre-Code comedy-drama film directed by Wesley Ruggles, starring Clark Gable and Carole Lombard.

The film begins with card shark Jerry “Babe” Stewart (Gable) hiding for awhile from the law. He goes to the small town of Glendale where he meets sassy librarian Connie (Lombard). Babe just wants a quick fling, but due to the flip of a coin, they get married. Problems arise because Connie has no idea about Babe’s criminal past, and he refuses to let her know.

(Very) loosely based on the Val Lewton novel No Bed of Her Own, this film is notable as the only on-screen pairing of Gable and Lombard, who belonged to different studios (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Paramount, respectively) and never worked together again even after becoming one of Hollywood’s most famous couples. Lombard wasn't the first choice to play Connie: Miriam Hopkins was slated to play the part, but after she refused to give Gable top billing the part went to Lombard. It's one of the few pre-Code films she had a starring role in before her breakthrough in Twentieth Century.


Not to be confused with the 1950 film noir of the same name starring Barbara Stanwyck.

No Man of Her Own demonstrates the following tropes:

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The reason Connie falls for Babe.
  • Card Sharp: Babe is the head of the operation to fleece dumb rich men out of their bounding money.
  • The Charmer: Babe, played by the always charming Clark Gable.
  • The Con: The marks in Babe’s games are usually older men who are swayed by his lady friend, Kay.
  • Con Man: Babe is a card shark, setting up games with rich men and cheating them out of their money.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    Connie: You'd [Babe] be lovely to have around, just to sprinkle the flowers with your personality.
  • Heads or Tails?: Whenever Joe wants to make a quick decision, he flips a coin and never goes back on it. He does this to decide whether he should marry Connie and has to keep his word.
    Babe: I never go back on a coin.
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  • Hot Librarian: Played by none other than Carole Lombard. She's a little bit sexier than the regular hot librarian. She doesn't need to take off her glasses, just let Babe sweep her off her feet.
  • Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Babe has had many flings with many women but never with the right one.
  • Loveable Rogue: Babe fleeces people out of money during card games, but he’s so darn likeable.
  • Male Gaze: As can be seen in the picture above, Babe is quite appreciative of Connie's legs.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Word for word, Connie says this and guess who appears to change everything?
  • Playing Hard to Get: Connie attempts to, but the more she tries, the more her true feelings seep out.
    Connie: The girl who lands him will say no and put an anchor on it... But isn't it tough when all you can think of is yes?
  • She's Got Legs: Babe asks Connie for some books that are hard to reach to check out her legs.
  • Small Town Boredom: Glendale is a small town, and Connie's bored in it. She eventually moves to New York City with Babe.
  • Video Credits: An interesting version: the film introduces its actors on playing cards.