Red Dust

Red Dust ★★★½

Much better and more sexually forthright than Mogambo, which I’d seen first and is a remake of this. The exotic tropics, witty dialogue and especially Jean Harlow, even when saddled with the prostitute with a heart of gold characterisation, are best parts of the film.

Clark Gable was a very limited actor, but brings a brand of (toxic) masculinity that fits the character and the narrative. A forthright, untamed he-man that isn’t afraid to challenge a woman directly, believably evoking lust out of a sophisticated woman like Mary Astor is in the film. In a way, it addresses a problem I had watching Mogambo with an aging Gable, the affair with Grace Kelly rather sterile in comparison.

Having said that, its difficult to overlook the stereotypical nature and how negatively the Asian characters are portrayed. A product of its time in that sense, but a good watch.