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Call of the Wild (1935)

Published: February 22, 2013

Movie Poster for 1935's film Call of the Wild

© United Artists

Jack London’s “Call of the Wild” was first serialized in the Post in 1908. Later published as a novel, it’s now an American classic that has been adapted to film no less than seven times since 1908.

The 1935 adaptation, starring Clark Gable as Jack Thornton, Loretta Young, and Frank Conroy, is widely considered the best adaptation thus far, despite its broad interpretation of London’s original story, and earns a 3.5 out of 4 stars from Turner Classic Movie’s Leonard Maltin. Gable is portrayed as the story’s protagonist, relegating Buck, the sled-dog-turned-St. Bernard, to a minor character who does little more than help Jack win a lucrative bet and serve as the catalyst for a romance between Gable and Young’s characters. Despite its popularity, the movie was never nominated for a single award.

In an ironic twist of life imitating art, Gable and Young had an affair on set, resulting in a hidden pregnancy and the birth of their much-speculated about love child, Judy Lewis, who confirmed the long-standing rumor in a 2004 memoir.

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