Red Dust

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"She fought for her mate with a tigress' fury…"
  • Passed
  • 1932
  • 1 hr 23 min
  • 7.2  (4,819)
  • 66

Red Dust is a 1932 pre-code romantic drama film directed by Victor Fleming and starring Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, and Gene Raymond. The movie is set in French Indochina, present-day Vietnam, in a rubber plantation where Dennis Carson (Clark Gable) is the demanding and rugged plantation owner. A stranger, Gary Willis (Gene Raymond), arrives at the plantation in search of a job, and soon enough, he becomes the new manager. Dennis starts to fall for Gary's wife, Barbara (Mary Astor), who accompanies him to the plantation. However, Barbara holds back her feelings as she is still mourning her dead husband. While they all try to keep their emotions in check, a stormy encounter with an ex-prostitute, Vantine (Jean Harlow), who seeks refuge from a nearby boat, ignites uncontrollable passions that put everyone's love and integrity to the test.

The plot centers around the conflicts between Dennis's and Gary's contrasting personalities, with the added tension of Barbara's elusive love interest. Dennis is a no-nonsense, tough, and rugged outdoorsman, who is uncompromising in his work ethic and personal relationships. Gary, in contrast, is more suave, polite, and educated, with a hidden past that he keeps from Dennis. The tension between these two men escalates when Gary and Barbara's past relationship comes to light, causing Dennis to become jealous and angry. Barbara, trapped between the two men, tries to hold on to her moral values while navigating her own emotions.

The story unfolds as a steamy romantic drama, with the four main characters trying to find love, happiness, and redemption. As their emotions ebb and flow, the atmosphere of the plantation shifts from a calm oasis to a haven of unbridled passion. The film explores themes of love and lust, loyalty and betrayal, and the conflict between tradition and modernity.

Red Dust is notable for its excellent casting, which includes some of the most eminent stars of the time. Clark Gable, a Hollywood legend, steals the show with his commanding performance as Dennis, and Jean Harlow, known for her sultry and brazen roles, is equally captivating as Vantine, the western-tinged prostitute. Gene Raymond, in his role as Gary, presents a soft, sensitive side that provides a sharp contrast to the roughness of Dennis. Mary Astor, as Barbara, provides a perfect foil to the three men with her elegant grace and timeless beauty.

The film's visual appeal is also worth noting, with its cinematography capturing the lush tropical landscapes and exotic settings of French Indochina in vibrant detail. The stark beauty of the plantation is accentuated by the naturalism of the filming, immersing the audience in the sultry atmosphere that pervades the movie. The music, composed by Herbert Stothart, adds to the overall mood of the film with its haunting melodies and sensual undertones.

Red Dust is a movie that defies norms and conventions, breaking taboos on relationships, sex, and morality that were prevalent at the time of its release. As a pre-code movie, it presents a bold, unapologetic view of life free from the constraints of censorship. The film's frank depiction of passion and desire remains as relevant today as it was then, making Red Dust a true classic of the silver screen.

In conclusion, Red Dust is a romantic drama that showcases the power of love and the human heart's complexity. The film's incredible cast, stunning visuals, and bold themes make it a must-watch for any classic movie enthusiast. The story of Dennis, Gary, Barbara, and Vantine is one that will resonate with viewers, challenging them to consider their own values and beliefs.

Red Dust is a 1932 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 23 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 66.

Red Dust
Where to Watch Red Dust
Red Dust is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Red Dust for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 23 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (4,819)
  • Metascore