Review: ‘Honky Tonk’

The major power in Honky Tonk is in the love scenes between Clark Gable and Lana Turner. Gable, 'Candy' Johnson, is a western grifter, working the three-card monte game. He and his sidekick (Chill Wills) wind up in a gold-strike town where Gable immediately renews an acquaintanceship with Turner. She's the daughter of Frank Morgan, also a former con guy but now the justice of the peace. Gable gets Morgan under his thumb and then proceeds to take over the town.

The major power in Honky Tonk is in the love scenes between Clark Gable and Lana Turner. Gable, ‘Candy’ Johnson, is a western grifter, working the three-card monte game. He and his sidekick (Chill Wills) wind up in a gold-strike town where Gable immediately renews an acquaintanceship with Turner. She’s the daughter of Frank Morgan, also a former con guy but now the justice of the peace. Gable gets Morgan under his thumb and then proceeds to take over the town.

Claire Trevor is in a standard part for her. As a gambling room hustler and dealer she’s tops and the inflection she puts into calling her ex-sweetheart Gable ‘Candyman’ will get a chuckle. Albert Dekker is a fine actor and able menace; Morgan does very well with his part, the same going for Chill Wills. Marjorie Main is excellent as the hard-bitten rooming housekeeper.

The screenplay, though padded a bit, is excellent for this action picture purpose; Jack Conway’s direction is good without overplay of naturally exaggerated characters.

Honky Tonk

Production

M-G-M. Dir Jack Conway; Producer Pandro S. Berman; Screenplay Marguerite Roberts, John Sanford; Camera Harold Rosson; Editor Blanche Sewell; Music Franz Waxman

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1941. Running time: 104 MIN.

With

Clark Gable Lana Turner Frank Morgan Claire Trevor Albert Dekker Chill Wills
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