Mike Brannon is a former war hero turned midget car racer. His ruthless racing tactics have made him successful but the fans consider him a villain and boo him mercilessly. Independent, beautiful reporter Regina Forbes tries to interview him but is put off by his gruff chauvinism, and when Brannon's daredevil tactics cause the death of a fellow driver, he finds himself a pariah in the sport thanks to her articles. When she finds him earning money as a barnstorming daredevil driver hoping for a comeback, they begin to become mutually attracted.
A former war hero and midget car racer meets his match in a feisty reporter who blames his reckless tactics for an accidental racing death.
Surprisingly unexciting race car drama with two top stars. Clark Gable plays a war hero turned successful race car driver. He wins races but not friends, with his gruff demeanor and recklessness on the track. When Gable's tactics during a race cause another driver's death, reporter Barbara Stanwyck writes a scathing piece on him that gets him banned from racing. The two then enter into a ridiculous and implausible romance.
Black & white helps the aging Gable. Stanwyck's character is completely unlikable. Ho-hum, predictable, and formulaic. A waste of two top talents, even if they are past their prime. Awful title, too. So, in 1950's "To Please A Lady" (TPAL, for short), I'm being told that in order for the irresistible Mike Brannan to win over any woman (yes, even super-bitch, Regina Forbes), all that he has to do is, first, slap her face (good & hard), and, then (without missing a beat), forcefully plant a big, wet, lovable kiss, smack-dab, on her eagerly waiting lips.
And, with that done, you can be sure that any dame (in her right mind, of course) would be more than willing to follow Mike to the very ends of the Earth, and beyond. (Yes. Even that all-time castrator, Regina Forbes).... Ha! Yeah. As if!
Well, here's one thing positive that I can say about TPAL - Thank goodness Clark Gable had enough "star-power" clout to keep Barbara Stanwyck completely out of at least some of the scenes in this predictable and petty, little "Chick Flick" - 'Cause, otherwise, Stanwyck would've literally chewed up this picture to absolute shreds with her over-bearing and detestable character portrayal.
At least when Gable was on screen (at first, anyways) the focus was on his character racing midget-cars. But, alas, once he planted that first, fateful kiss on Stanwyck's lips, this film's story fizzled right out, big-time, and turned into a totally demented romance-from-hell that bored me to tears.
The very best moments in this picture were when daredevil drivers were entertaining all of the excited thrill-seekers under the big top at the circus. But these scenes just didn't last long enough for my liking.
It's like I said earlier - The best scenes in this super-trite romance story were when Stanwyck's character was completely out of the picture.
To say that Stanwyck just about ruined this potentially promising picture would truly be an understatement. At least Gable (in all of his arrogance) was somewhat likable. a5c7b9f00b
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