In the world of classic Hollywood cinema, few films have stood the test of time like Saratoga. Directed by Jack Conway in 1937, the film stars Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, and Lionel Barrymore in a romantic drama that swept audiences off their feet. The film was a commercial success upon its release, and its impact can still be felt today.
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What is the history of Saratoga?
Saratoga was produced in 1937, a time when Hollywood was at the height of its golden age. The film was directed by Jack Conway, who had previously directed such films as The Unholy Three. The film starred Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, and Lionel Barrymore, all of whom were major stars at the time. The film follows a bookie (Gable) who falls in love with a society girl (Harlow), much to the dismay of her family and friends. The film was a commercial success upon its release, grossing over $1 million at the box office.
The film’s success can be attributed to its strong performances, engaging story, and stunning cinematography. Clark Gable and Jean Harlow were two of the biggest stars of the time, and their chemistry on screen is undeniable. The film’s romantic drama is heightened by the chemistry between the two leads, making their love story all the more believable and captivating. The film’s cinematography is also noteworthy, with its use of long takes and sweeping shots capturing the grandeur of the horse races and the beauty of the Saratoga countryside.
The film’s impact can still be felt today, with its influence seen in many modern romantic dramas. The film’s use of class struggle and societal expectations is a common trope in many modern romantic films, and its influence can be seen in films such as The Notebook and Titanic. The film’s use of romantic comedy elements also paved the way for future rom-coms, such as When Harry Met Sally and The Proposal.
Do people still like horse racing movies in 2023?
In recent years, Saratoga has experienced a resurgence in popularity, particularly among fans of classic Hollywood cinema. The film’s romantic drama and stunning cinematography continue to captivate audiences, making it a favorite among fans of the genre. The film’s themes of class struggle and societal expectations also continue to resonate with audiences, making it a film that’s as relevant today as it was when it was first released.
Saratoga’s influence can also be seen in the work of modern filmmakers. Many modern romantic dramas, such as The Great Gatsby and The Wolf of Wall Street, have taken inspiration from Saratoga’s use of class struggle and societal expectations. The film’s use of romantic comedy elements has also influenced a new generation of filmmakers, who have used it in their own films.
The big takeaways of Saratoga
One of the key parts of Saratoga is its romantic drama. The film’s love story is engaging and captivating, thanks in large part to the chemistry between Clark Gable and Jean Harlow. The film’s use of class struggle and societal expectations adds a layer of depth to the love story, making it more than just a simple romance. The film’s use of comedy elements also adds to the film’s charm, making it a more light-hearted and enjoyable watch.
Another key part of the film is its cinematography. The film’s use of long takes and sweeping shots captures the grandeur of the horse races and the beauty of the Saratoga countryside. The film’s use of close-ups and medium shots also adds a level of intimacy, making the characters’ emotions more accessible to the audience.
The film’s cinematography is also notable for its use of lighting, with the use of shadows and silhouettes adding to the film’s romantic and dramatic atmosphere. The film’s score, composed by Edward Ward, also adds to the film’s romantic and dramatic elements, with its sweeping orchestral themes capturing the mood and atmosphere of the film.
Stellar 1930s acting abounds
Clark Gable and Jean Harlow deliver strong performances, bringing their characters to life in a way that makes them relatable and engaging. The chemistry between the two leads is undeniable, making their love story all the more believable and captivating. The film’s supporting cast, including Lionel Barrymore and Hattie McDaniel, also deliver memorable performances, adding depth and complexity to the film’s characters and story.
In terms of special features, the Warner Archive Blu-ray release of Saratoga includes a MGM short entitled The Romance of Celluloid. You also get the original theatrical trailer. While I would have loved a commentary track, the age of the film and time is starting to make those perks kinda impossible.
Overall, the Warner Archive Blu-ray release of Saratoga is a must-have for fans of classic Hollywood cinema. The film’s stunning cinematography, engaging story, and strong performances make it a classic that continues to hold up well today. The Blu-ray release provides a level of audio visual quality that does justice to the film’s original beauty, and the special features offer a level of depth and insight that makes the release all the more worthwhile. Whether you’re a fan of the film or just looking for a classic romantic drama to add to your collection, Saratoga is a great choice.
Some last words about Saratoga
Saratoga is a classic romantic drama that continues to captivate audiences today. While it’s not my favorite Clark Gable movie, it’s fun to see the roles he took in that period between Mutiny on the Bounty and Gone With The Wind. Maybe I’m a movie nerd, but I like seeing classic actors in those in-between periods.
I’m still not terribly familiar with director Jack Conway, but I like his style. So, I’m probably going to dive into more of his filmography post Saratoga.