Delmer Daves’ blatant political melodrama of the Cold War era, “Never Let Me Go,” was Clark Gable’s next-to-last film at his home studio, MGM.
Gable plays Philip Sutherland, an American (from San Francisco) news writer stationed in Moscow since the War. While there, he falls for a Russian ballet dancer, Marya Lamarkins (Gene Tierney, trying unsuccessfuly an accent).
Philip finds out that Marya had learned English and American history, because she fell in love with him. Depite opposition from the U.S., they marry, only to realize that the Soviet Union, which collaborated with the Allies against Hitler, has since become a paranoid police state in peacetime.
As a result, Philip is forced to leave without Marva, but he’s determined to get her back, whether through proper channels, or through dangerously improper ones.
Desperately trying to retrieve his Russian-ballerina bride from behind the Iron Curtain, he is predictably, he stymied by politics and red-tape bureaucracy on both sides.
A man of action (“I was living in a carzy world, I had to do something about it”), Philip attempts to plead his case directly to Soviet bigwig Molotov, in London for a peace conference. When this effort fails, Philip aligns himself with a Brit (Richard Haydn) who is in similar predicament.
The Britisher’s bride is played by Belita, who unlike Gene Tierney did her own dancing in the ballet scenes.
Joing forces, the two men formulate a daring escape plan, which could spell instant doom for both their wives and themselves.
Last reel consists of a performance of the ballet Swan Lake, at the end of which Marva faints, with a concerned Philip in the audience.
Gable’s Philp narrates this verbose agit-prop melodrama, which wears on its sleeve the ideology and politics of the time. As such, there are speeches anout the Russian mind, the American Way of Life, and so on. Ans if this is not enough, Both Gable and Tierney read loud their letters to each others.
Clark Gable as Philip Sutherland
Gene Tierney as Marya Lamarkina
Theodore Bikel as Lieutenant
Bernard Miles as Joe Brooks
Richard Haydn as Christopher Wellington
Belita as Valentina Alexandrovna
Running time: 94 Minutes.
Directed by Delmer Daves
Screenplay: Ronald Millar, George Froeschel
Released: May 1, 1953.
Mar 23, 1994