63 Clark Gable Movies Ranked Best to Worst

with Box Office Grosses, Reviews and Awards


Source: Rotten Tomatoes Community Photos
Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in 1934's It Happened One Night

Clark Gable (1901-1960) appeared in 14 movies in uncredited parts from 1924-1930. In 1931 things started to turn around for Gable and his career. Four big things happened for him. (1st) He got his first screen credit in the long forgotten, The Painted Desert. (2nd) He received strong reviews in supporting roles in A Free Soul and The Secret Six. (3rd) He co-starred with Joan Crawford twice that year....they would end up starring in eight movies together and (4th) Gable ended 1931 with his first starring role in Sporting Blood.

Gable would end the 1930's having starred in three of the biggest films of the decade...It Happened One Night, Mutiny on the Bounty and of course Gone With The Wind....all three of these movies won the Oscar® for Best Picture of the year. 

Clark Gable would appear on Quigley Publishing's Annual Top Ten Money Making Stars sixteen times. Only John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise and Gary Cooper have appeared more times on that poll. During World War II, Gable  flew several combat missions over Germany. After the war ended, he would appear in 21 more movies, the last being 1961's The Misfits co-starring Marilyn Monroe. Clark Gable died two weeks after finishing the film of a massive heart attack, he was 59. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Gable the seventh greatest male actor of all time.


Clark Gable and The Three Stooges on the set of 1933's Dancing Lady which also starred Joan Crawford and Fred Astaire....what a cast!  Dancing Lady was Gable's 19th biggest box office hit.

Clark Gable's Top Ten Box Office Hits in Adjusted for Inflation Box Office Dollars

 

Rank
 Movie (Year)
North America Adjusted for
Inflation Box Office Dollars
Co-Star
1st
 Gone With The Wind (1939)
$1.68 billion
Vivien Leigh
2nd
 Boom Town (1940)
$293.40 million
Spencer Tracy
3rd
 San Francisco (1936)
$271.40 million
Spencer Tracy
4th
 Adventure (1945)
$224.10 million
Greer Garson
5th
 Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
$213.50 million
Charles Laughton
6th
 Hucksters (1947)
$211.10 million
Deborah Kerr
7th
 Homecoming (1948)
$181.70 million
Lana Turner
8th
 The Tall Men (1955)
$172.80 million
Jane Russell
9th
 Honky Tonk (1941)
$169.50 million
Lana Turner
10th
 Somewhere I'll Find You (1942)
$168.50 million
Lana Turner

 

Why use inflated vs actual grosses? The inflated gross makes it much easier to think about how an old movie would compare to todays movies. For example: San Francisco  grossed 8.32 million dollars and ranked 1st in 1936.  In 2010 a movie grossing 8.32 million would have ranked 130th for the year.  By knowing the box office gross and average ticket price(.25 cents in 1936)....we can figure out tickets sold.  San Francisco sold over 33 million tickets.   By using tickets sold, we can figure out how much a old movie would have made today by multiplying tickets sold by average ticket price in 2010/11 .  If San Francisco would have opened in 2010....it would have finished 7th for the year with 264.70 million in 2011 dollars.


Source: Rotten Tomatoes Community Photos

Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe is 1961's The Misfits...ranked as Gable's 4th best movie according to critics and audiences.


Clark Gable's Top Ten Movies based on critics and audience voting

 

Rank
 Movie (Year)
Critic/Audience Rating
Co-Star
1st
 It Happened One Night (1934)
91%
Claudette Colbert
2nd
 Gone With The Wind (1939)
90%
Vivien Leigh
3rd
 Red Dust (1932)
88%
Jean Harlow
4th
 Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
86%
Charles Laughton
5th
 San Francisco (1936)
86%
Spencer Tracy
6th
 The Misfits (1961)
84%
Marilyn Monroe
7th
 Any Number Can Play (1949)
83%
Alexis Smith
8th
 Possessed (1931)
82%
Joan Crawford
9th
 Run Silent Run Deep (1958)
81%
Burt Lancaster
10th
 The Hucksters (1947)
79%
Deborah Kerr


Source: Rotten Tomatoes Community Photos
Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in 1939's Gone With The Wind

The Best of Clark Gable:  #1 Gone With The Wind (1939).

Gone With The Wind is the all-time box office champ when using inflated grosses. It's current estimated box office total is 1.6 billion dollars in North America...yes billion not million. When looking at total worldwide gross the number falls a little under 3 billion. Gone With The Wind was re-released numerous times over the years(believe it or not...VCRs and DVD players were not around).

So not only is Gone With The Wind the number one movie of 1940 and 1941. It finished as the number 10 movie in 1947, number 4 in 1954, number 9 in 1961. It's final major re-release was in 1974 with an additional 70 million in box office. Gable received his third Oscar® nomination for Best Actor, but lost to Robert Donat. Gone With The Wind did win the Oscar® for Best Picture of the Year as well as 7 other Oscars® . I think it is safe to say...."That frankly we do care about this movie".


Source: Rotten Tomatoes Community Photos
Clark Gable played Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty.

The Best of Clark Gable:  #2 Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

One of the biggest hits of the 1930s. Mutiny on the Bounty won only one Oscar®, but it was Best Picture of the Year. Gable, Charles Laughton and Franchot Tone were all nominated for Best Actor Oscars® for this movie. This is the only time three actors have been nominated for Best Actor for the same movie. They all lost to Victor McLaglen's performance in The Informer. For Gable it was his 2nd nomination for Best Actor Oscar® nomination. One of the last times Gable was seen on screen without his famous mustache.

Clark Gable was not the first or last actor to play Fletcher Christian.  Errol Flynn, Marlon Brando and Mel Gibson have all taken away the Bounty from Captain Bligh in other films.  For my money Mutiny on the Bounty is easily the best adaptation of the story of The Bounty.  And I think the difference is the team of Gable and Charles Laughton as Captain Bligh


Source: Rotten Tomatoes Community Photos
Clark Gable in It Happened One Night, Gable won his only Best Actor Oscar® for this rol

The Best of Clark Gable:  #3 It Happened One Night (1934)

Clark Gable won his only Oscar® for this movie. Movie is one of three movies to win the Big Five major Academy Awards® (actor,actress,director, movie,and screenplay). The other two.....1975's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and 1991's Silence of the Lambs.

To promote the movie, Gable was required to introduce the movie for each showing for two days at a pre-selected theater. Can you imagine Tom Hanks hanging out at your local theater, so he could talk about his movie before each showing for an entire weekend?

At the time, a standard practice was to release movies in packages of five movies (one popular movie and four duds) at the same time.  Then to figure out how much money a single movie earned at the box office they would take the total and divide by 5.  This practice made reaching profitability clauses in contracts almost impossible to reach, and on this particular movie, the director, Frank Capra, was not paid his bonus due to that clause.  It Happened One Night was actually much more popular than the studio books led to believe.


Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy in 1936's San Francisco, Gable's 3rd biggest hit of his career.

The Best of Clark Gable:  #4 San Francisco (1936)

Centered around the 1906 San Francisco earthquakes, this movie was the biggest box office hit of the year as well as a Top 10 film of the entire 1930s. It was nominated for 6 Oscars® including nominations for Best Picture and Best Actor for Spencer Tracy.

Gable felt Tracy should have gotten a Best Supporting Actor nomination since Tracy's name was beneath the movie title in the credits. Legendary silent film director, D.W. Griffith, helped direct the famous earthquake sequence.

It is rumored that Spencer Tracy is the person that gave Clark Gable his famous nickname "The King of Hollywood".  One day he saw Gable walking on the set and said "Oh look here comes the King". 


Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy in their last movie together...1940's Boom Town....Gable's 2nd biggest box office hit.

 

 

The Best of Clark Gable:   #4 Boom Town (1940)

Boom Town is about rival oil-well drillers(Gable and Spencer Tracy) who fight over women and business interests over a twenty year span. The Gable/Tracy team made three very successful movies. The average gorss of the three Gable/Tracy movies was 241 million in adjusted for inflation dollars. The other two movies were Test Pilot and San Francisco.

After the success of Boom Town, Tracy started insisting on the same top billing clause in his contract that Gable had enjoyed, effectively ending one of cinema's most famous screen teams. Gable also co-starred with Joan Crawford 8 times, Myrna Loy 7 times, Jean Harlow 6 times and Lana Turner 4 times during his career.

 


Clark Gable's 63 movies ranked by Cogerson Movie Score. Movie Score is box office results + critical reception + award recognition. * = Unknown worldwide box office.

 

Rank  
Movie (Year)
North America Adjusted for Inflation Box Office (Millions)  
Worldwide Adjusted for Inflation Box Office (millions)  
Cogerson Movie Score    
Critics Audience Rating  
Oscar® Noms / Wins  
1st
Gone with the Wind (1939)

Best Actor Oscar® Nomination

$1680.20
$2877.40
90.50
90%
13 / 08
2nd
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

Best Actor Oscar® Nomination

$213.50
$378.90
88.09
86%
08 / 01
3rd
It Happened One Night (1934)

Best Actor Oscar® Winner

$123.90
$199.70
81.63
91%
05 / 05
4th
San Francisco (1936)
$271.40
$465.40
77.09
86%
06 / 01
5th
Boom Town (1940)
$293.40
$403.40
62.62
76%
02 / 00
6th
The Hucksters (1947)
$211.10
$286.10
67.61
79%
00 / 00
7th
Saratoga (1937)
$167.90
$224.10
60.88
78%
00 / 00
8th
The Tall Men (1955)
$172.80
$284.50
60.81
75%
00 / 00
9th
Honkey Tonk (1941)
$169.50
$238.80
60.15
75%
00 / 00
10th
Homecoming (1948)
$181.70
$293.40
59.79
67%
00 / 00
Rank
Movie (Year)
North America Adjusted for Inflation Box Office (Millions)
Worldwide Adjusted for Inflation Box Office (millions)
Cogerson Movie Score
Critics Audience Rating
Oscar® Noms / Wins
11th
Test Pilot (1938)
$161.40
$259.20
59.25
69%
00 / 00
12th
Adventure (1945)
$224.10
$321.90
57.15
49%
00 / 00
13th
Somewhere I'll Find You (1942)
$168.50
$248.60
54.41
54%
00 / 00
14th
Command Decision (1948)
$134.50
$134.50*
53.50
76%
00 / 00
15th
Mogambo (1953)
$140.20
$140.20*
52.92
68%
02 / 00
16th
Soldier of Fortune (1955)
$123.90
$123.90*
51.38
76%
00 / 00
17th
China Seas (1935)
$128.00
$214.40
50.09
70%
00 / 00
18th
The Misfits (1961)
$97.00
$97.00*
48.79
84%
00 / 00
19th
Any Number Can Play (1949)
$96.20
$96.20*
48.11
83%
00 / 00
20th
Dancing Lady (1933)
$116.50
$188.20
46.75
67%
00 / 00
Rank
Movie (Year)
North America Adjusted for Inflation Box Office (Millions)
Worldwide Adjusted for Inflation Box Office (millions)
Cogerson Movie Score
Critics Audience Rating
Oscar® Noms / Wins
21st
Across the Wide Missouri (1951)
$98.60
$98.60*
46.31
76%
00 / 00
22nd
Possessed (1931)
$88.00
$130.40
46.30
82%
00 / 00
23rd
They Meet in Bombay (1941)
$99.40
$161.30
46.12
75%
00 / 00
24th
Chained (1934)
$101.10
$154.90
45.59
73%
00 / 00
25th
Teacher's Pet (1958)
$80.70
$80.70*
44.89
73%
02 / 00
26th
A Free Soul (1931)
$75.80
$121.40
44.20
75%
03 / 01
27th
Wife vs Secretary (1936)
$97.00
$148.30
44.06
71%
00 / 00
28th
Red Dust (1932)
$63.60
$99.50
43.63
88%
00 / 00
29th
Too Hot To Handle (1938)
$108.40
$159.70
43.38
62%
00 / 00
30th
Hell Divers (1931)
$106.00
$184.20
43.25
63%
00 / 00
Rank
Movie (Year)
North America Adjusted for Inflation Box Office (Millions)
Worldwide Adjusted for Inflation Box Office (millions)
Cogerson Movie Score
Critics Audience Rating
Oscar® Noms / Wins
31st
Run Silent Run Deep (1958)
$75.00
$75.00*
42.65
79%
00 / 00
32nd
Forsaking All Others (1934)
$109.20
$172.00
42.48
59%
00 / 00
33rd
Strange Cargo (1940)
$83.90
$122.20
41.98
72%
00 / 00
34th
Love on the Run (1936)
$81.50
$132.80
40.61
70%
00 / 00
35th
Manhattan Melodrama (1934)
$61.10
$61.10*
40.60
77%
01 / 01
36th
Band of Angels (1957)
$79.90
$79.90*
40.12
69%
00 / 00
37th
Susan Lenox(Her Fall and Rise) (1931)
$68.50
$132.90
40.11
76%
00 / 00
38th
The Call of the Wild (1935)
$83.10
$83.10*
38.66
63%
00 / 00
39th
Comrade X (1940)
$97.00
$132.95
38.65
55%
00 / 00
40th
Cain and Mabel (1936)
$64.40
$64.40*
36.58
66%
01 / 00
Rank
Movie (Year)
North America Adjusted for Inflation Box Office (Millions)
Worldwide Adjusted for Inflation Box Office (millions)
Cogerson Movie Score
Critics Audience Rating
Oscar® Noms / Wins
41st
Betrayed (1954)
$95.40
$95.40*
36.40
50%
00 / 00
42nd
Hold Your Man (1933)
$51.30
$83.90
36.15
74%
00 / 00
43rd
Men In White (1934)
$69.30
$113.30
35.56
62%
00 / 00
44th
Dance Fools Dance (1931)
$72.50
$108.40
35.50
60%
00 / 00
45th
Key to the City (1950)
$83.90
$83.90
35.33
53%
00 / 00
46th
Idiot's Delight (1939)
$75.00
$110.00
33.90
54%
00 / 00
47th
Polly of the Circus (1932)
$50.50
$50.50*
33.38
67%
00 / 00
48th
The White Sister (1933)
$58.70
$130.40
33.09
61%
00 / 00
49th
Lonestar (1952)
$78.20
$78.20*
32.95
50%
00 / 00
50th
It Started In Naples (1960)
$57.00
$57.00*
32.91
58%
01 / 00
Rank
Movie (Year)
North America Adjusted for Inflation Box Office (Millions)
Worldwide Adjusted for Inflation Box Office (millions)
Cogerson Movie Score
Critics Audience Rating
Oscar® Noms / Wins
51st
The King and the Four Queens (1956)
$73.40
$73.40*
32.70
52%
00 / 00
52nd
Night Flight (1933)
$44.80
$44.80*
32.24
67%
00 / 00
53rd
Night Nurse (1931)
$31.80
$31.80*
31.38
72%
00 / 00
54th
After Office Hours (1935)
$57.00
$96.10
31.17
57%
00 / 00
55th
The Secret Six (1931)
$44.00
$44.00*
30.50
62%
00 / 00
56th
No Man of Her Own (1932)
$39.10
$39.10*
30.21
64%
00 / 00
57th
Strange Interlude (1932)
$78.20
$101.00
29.45
40%
00 / 00
58th
To Please A Lady (1950)
$70.90
$70.90*
29.40
44%
00 / 00
59th
Never Let Me Go (1953)
$52.20
$52.20*
28.98
53%
00 / 00
60th
But Not For Me (1959)
$57.00
$57.00*
28.95
43%
00 / 00
Rank
Movie (Year)
North America Adjusted for Inflation Box Office (Millions)
Worldwide Adjusted for Inflation Box Office (millions)
Cogerson Movie Score
Critics Audience Rating
Oscar® Noms / Wins
61st
Laughing Sinners (1931)
$53.00
$65.20
28.80
52%
00 / 00
62nd
Parnell (1937)
$68.50
$108.40
27.88
41%
00 / 00
63rd
Sporting Blood (1931)
$32.60
$32.60*
27.87
61%
00 / 00

 

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