Greer Garson meets Clark Gable
"Gable's back and Garson's got him!" in this scene from a wonderful 1945 movie called "Adventure."
Tags: thomas mitchell
Added: 4 years ago
[scene opens in a public library, where Harry Patterson walks up to the front desk and speaks with the female librarian, who takes off her glasses when she sees him approach]
HARRY: Can't find it.
HARRY: The tree.
[she gives him a confused look]
HARRY: The tree of knowledge! Come in, it says, and get under the tree! Where do you keep it?
[she raises an eyebrow]
EMILY: The next bar's about a block and a half down the street. You can't miss it!
[she puts her glasses back on and walks away, but Harry follows]
HARRY: I know where all the barrooms are, I thought I'd stop a moment in yours. Waddaya say, you gonna set 'em up? We'll heist one under the tree and get drunk with a little knowledge, huh?
EMILY: Look mister, are you gonna keep this up? Because if so, I'll have to call a guard.
HARRY: Oh no! No no, miss! I take it all back, I didn't say a word! I'm not looking for trouble, I'm bringing it in. I got a sick sailor with me.
HARRY: Yeah. Yeah, that guy over there. He's sick and he's looking for help.
[camera pans around to show an older man slowly walking to the front desk]
MUDGIN: Please excuse Harry, Miss. He's doing this for me.
HARRY: Yeah, that's right, Mudg! Tell the lady what's eatin' ya! I wouldn't be surprised if she could help ya. She looks pretty smart to me!
MUDGIN: Did Harry tell ya what we was looking for?
EMILY: He said you were sick.
MUDGIN: Well, not really sick, Miss. Y'see, I--
EMILY: What's the matter?
MUDGIN: I lost my soul ...
HARRY: Popped outta his chest and land up Powell Street in the fog!
MUDGIN: It did! We was wonderin' if you could refer us to a book dealin' with a similar experience ...
EMILY: You're a sailor?
MUDGIN: Yes, Miss.
EMILY: Merchant marine?
MUDGIN: Yes, Miss.
[she motions towards Harry]
EMILY: Is he?
MUDGIN: Oh, yes Miss! He's the boatswain. And if you was ever torpedoed, Miss, you wouldn't swap Harry for no boatswain goin'!
EMILY: Were you torpedoed?
MUDGIN: The last trip.
[she turns to Harry]
EMILY: And you saved him?
[he gives her a smirk]
HARRY: He's nuts! Y'see, a tree grew on the ship, and we all sat around and read!
MUDGIN: Aw, Harry!
HARRY: Didn't say a word.
EMILY: Suppose you tell me what you're looking for, because I'm really rather busy here.
MUDGIN: Yes. It was like this, Miss. We were out there on the raft, and on the sixth day, I made the Lord four promises what I'd do if He saved us. But I broke my promises, and I lost my soul.
HARRY: Uh, waddaya say? You got a book around here that a soul might walk back on?
EMILY: We've got some books for you.
MUDGIN: Ya hear that, Harry?
HARRY: Sure, tells ya all about that soul racket?
EMILY: Right. Come with me, please.
[she leads them towards one of the bookshelves]
MUDGIN: Come on, Harry.
[she pulls out two book]
EMILY: We'll start here. There are some excellent studies, one by a surgeon in the British navy. And this one by an American colonel, "Facts on Combat Fatigue."
HARRY: "Combat fatigue?" Sounds good.
EMILY: Yes, the strain of war, you know, sometimes causes psychoneurosis.
HARRY: Psychoneurosis? That sounds pretty good, too!
[the nearby patrons shush him]
EMILY: You see, Mister Mudgin, you've had a subjective experience. You made promises you didn't keep, and that made you feel guilty, so that you imagined you lost your soul.
MUDGIN: Oh no, Miss, I didn't imagine. I really lost it, in the fog.
HARRY: On Powell Street!
[the patrons shush him again]
EMILY: You're disturbing the readers.
HARRY: You mean they're disturbing us!
[he turns around and loudly addresses the people in the library]
HARRY: Hey, pipe down, you clucks!
[they all look back down at their books]
EMILY: Y'know, I'm not out with you. When you go, I stay. So whisper, will you please?
MUDGIN: [whispering] Harry, this nice lady is trying to help me!
HARRY: [whispering] Okay, okay! I never whispered before in my life! How do I sound?
[she ignores him and flips through one of the books]
EMILY: Look, Mister Mudgin, take this and read it. This, this page here, it may help explain your problem. I have to get back to work.
[she starts to leave, but then turns towards Harry]
EMILY: You see this shelf, here?
EMILY: They're funny pictures.
[she leaves, as Harry turns to Mudgin]
HARRY: Funny girl ...
[he ignores him, staring intently at one of the books]
MUDGIN: Say Harry, I ain't never--
HARRY: Waddaya got?
[he shows him the cover]
HARRY: Go ahead and read it ...
[he hesitates, so Harry reads the title on the cover out loud]
HARRY: "The Soul, Symposium of Modern Thought" ... Go to it!
MUDGIN: You read it to me, Harry. I ain't never had no knack at readin' ...
HARRY: Okay ...
[he takes the book and starts quietly reading]
HARRY: [whispering] "The soul or psyche, also referred to as the spirit, the self-substance, the elan vital, the eternal and indestructible essence!"
[some of the patrons try shushing him, then cut to Emily as she watches them from her desk]
HARRY: [from off camera] "See Footnote One-A."
MUDGIN: [from off camera] Here's One-A, Harry.
[cut back to the two sailors, as Harry begins to speak louder as he continues reading]
HARRY: "It must be remembered that a large body of contemporaneous thought denies the existence of a soul, and scoffs at man's importance or significance as an individual."
[the patrons shush him again, so Harry drops the book and turns towards them]
HARRY: Shut up! A guy can't hear himself think in here!
[Emily runs into the scene, trying to keep him quiet]
EMILY: Shh! Do you wanna be thrown out?
MUDGIN: Uh, I'm sorry Miss, but this book says a man ain't got no soul.
[he bends down to pick up the book, but she takes it from him]
EMILY: Well, one man's opinion. And Mister Mudgin, I'm hardly the last word on whatever is troubling you. But I do know that a lot of strange things happen. Phenomena like extra-sensory perceptions. Thought transference, such as religious mystics report.
EMILY: What religious denomination are you?
MUDGIN: Me? None, none at all. I haven't even been baptized.
EMILY: Perhaps it would help if I sent you to Father Cassidy, or the Reverend Mister Thompson, or maybe a psychiatrist.
EMILY: And what's wrong with psychiatry?
HARRY: Mudg ain't a diagram or chart, cut into him and he'll bleed!
EMILY: How tender. How profound.
MUDGIN: Please Miss, I didn't come in here to start a fight. Nor will I forget what I'm owing you, for your good intentions, Miss. You didn't laught at me. Like most would've done. Maybe that's the only help a man in my condition can expect. Just not to be laughed at. Now, I-I'll be getting along out of here. And I'm hoping, for your sake, Harry will do the same. Thank you kindly, and if I wasn't in the doghouse with the Lord Almighty, I'd be asking Him to give you His blessing.
[he walks out of the library, as Emily goes to reshelve the book]
HARRY: Great work ... So long.
EMILY: Well, the fun's over in my tavern. I hope you enjoyed it.
HARRY: Had a wonderful time! Some tree!
EMILY: Don't run into it on your way out. So long ...
[she walks away, but Harry follows]
HARRY: Yeah yeah, I'll be careful. And y'know that tree of knowledge that's rooted in the ages? Treat that careful! Them ages getcha so much! Psychoneurosis, guilt neurosis, cirrhosis of the liver! You couldn't live without 'em!
EMILY: It would be tough!
[she walks off to shelve more books, but he again follows her]
HARRY: I'll bet it would! And don't worry, there they are! And as pretty parrots come and go, you're a good one! I know what those guys were after better than you do, pal! There's nothing out there, and there's nothing in here! The only difference between you and me is I know it and you don't! You're kiddin' yourself, and gettin' away with it! Ain't that wonderful?
EMILY: Are you having a good time?
EMILY: This is no fun?
HARRY: No, it isn't. Kiddin' you gets me nuthin', sister!
EMILY: Waddaya want?
HARRY: Yeah ... wadda I want? That's it.
EMILY: What's it?
HARRY: Just it.
EMILY: Can I go now?
HARRY: Sure, you can go.
EMILY: Thanks ...
[she walks away]
ADVENTURE (1945). Clark Gable is a seagoing roustabout who takes a fellow sailor into the library to find a book. He has little regard for libraries in general and pokes fun of the mottos, such as "Wisdom is Peace," that are carved on the building's facade. He gives the gorgeous librarian (Greer Garson) a rough time, and she returns the favor.
A middle-aged Clark Gable returned from active duty in World War II to star in this MGM release that was heavily advertised as his big comeback. Gable is Harry Patterson, the bosun mate on a merchant marine vessel, a tough sailor and fighter with the proverbial girl in every port. But while in a San Francisco library, looking up a book on the human soul for his sidekick Mudgin (Thomas Mitchell), who thinks his soul has departed his body, Harry meets librarian Emily Sears (Greer Garson), whom he woos, marries, and leaves to sail off on another freighter. When he returns, Emily has retreated to an old farm to await the birth of their child. Harry continues to resent staying in one place, but he ultimately changes his tune when his baby's life hangs in the balance. Garson and Joan Blondell, playing her outspoken best friend, are both terrific, and Gable gives a less heroic performance that's a thoughtful change for him, although critics at the time were less than charitable.