Released in 1956, "The King and Four Queens" provided another role, tailor-made for the "King of MGM", Clark Gable. As the title suggests, Mr. Gable had four leading ladies in this western ( Eleanor Parker, Jean Willes, Barbara Nichols and Sara Shane ),and plenty of opportunity to turn on that famous Gable charm.
Four young women had all married outlaws--three of these men, all brothers, are dead, but a fourth may still live. Somewhere on their property, $ 100,000 in gold lies buried, and they know that the husband who may still be alive will likely return to dig it up. Guarding the four women with a very itchy trigger finger is the mother of the outlaw brothers--Jo Van Fleet, giving us the best acting performance in the film. "Ma" also knows where the gold is buried.
With the smell of gold drawing him like a moth to a flame, Mr. Gable's rascally character enters the women's property, only to be greeted by a bullet from Ms. Van Fleet's rifle ! Of course, over her objections, the four, lonely young women are only too pleased to nurse him back to health, where he is soon "charming" them all in turn.
I like Clark Gable as much as any classic film buff, and Eleanor Parker is one of my favourite leading ladies. However, although the film is handsomely mounted, and directed by Raoul Walsh, I have to say I was disappointed. "That's it ?" I said to myself when it was over. The plot is pretty sparse--apart from the four women competing for our hero's attention under the disapproving eye of Ms. Van Fleet, it is pretty slow going. "Frankly My Dears"--nothing much happens !
The DVD has beautiful, widescreen colour--the sound what you would expect--there are no extras.
I'm sure there are other viewers out there who will disagree with my negative comments, but this surely has to be one of Clark Gable's lesser films. My three star rating is largely based on the Gable charisma, Ms. Parker's attractiveness and Ms. Van Fleet's acting--otherwise, considering the talent involved, this one is quite routine.