Chapter 4. Stardom

Shirtless Gable, Classy Colbert

  1. Linda Mizejewski

Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444310153.ch4

It Happened One Night

It Happened One Night

How to Cite

Mizejewski, L. (2009) Stardom, in It Happened One Night, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444310153.ch4

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2009
  2. Published Print: 4 DEC 2009

Book Series:

  1. Wiley-Blackwell Studies in Film and Television

Book Series Editors:

  1. Diane Negra and
  2. Yvonne Tasker

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405173896

Online ISBN: 9781444310153



  • stardom - shirtless Gable, classy Colbert;
  • cave man and menace to morals;
  • undershirt sales story - an urban legend;
  • Gable and It Happened One Night;
  • Clark Gable and long-term impact on popular culture;
  • Clark Gable and his devastating effect on men's undershirt sales - with release of It Happened One Night;
  • depression-era audiences - Ellie having no way to provide for the woman he loves;
  • “Gold-digging” buzz word in 1920s and 1930s - female trading of sexual favors for money;
  • ineffectuality of American male in the face of the Depression;
  • tough dame, lovely frog - Colbert ranking top of Paramount's leading ladies


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Cave Man and a Menace to Morals

  • “Who Do You Think You Are? Clark Gable?”

  • Tough Dame, Lovely Frog

  • The Runaway Bride