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February 25, 2022

Photos of Clark Gable and Jean Harlow During the Filming of ‘Red Dust’ (1932)

Red Dust is a 1932 American pre-Code romantic drama film directed by Victor Fleming, and starring Clark Gable, Jean Harlow and Mary Astor. It is based on the 1928 play of the same name by Wilson Collison, and was adapted for the screen by John Mahin.

Red Dust is the second of six movies Gable and Harlow made together. More than 20 years later, Gable starred in a remake, Mogambo (1953), with Ava Gardner starring in a variation on the role Harlow played and Grace Kelly playing a part similar to one portrayed by Astor in Red Dust.

The film, set on a rubber plantation in French Indochina (present-day Vietnam), provides a view into the French colonial rubber business. It includes scenes of rubber trees being tapped for sap, the process of coagulating the rubber with acid, native workers being rousted, gales that can blow the roof off a hut and are difficult to walk in, the spartan living quarters, the supply boat that arrives periodically, a rainy spell that lasts weeks, and tigers prowling the jungle. The film’s title is derived from the large quantities of dust stirred up by storms.

In 2006, Red Dust was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

These vintage photos captured portraits of Clark Gable and Jean Harlow together during the filming of Red Dust in 1932.


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