The movie received excellent reviews and restored Gable to the pre-eminent place he had enjoyed before the war. It also helped accelerate the career progression of two actresses who would be two of the brightest stars of the 1950's - Gardner and Kerr.
PlotClarke Gable plays Victor Norman, a recently discharged serviceman who returns to the advertising business and gets involved with two very different women. Deborah Kerr is the high class widow and Ava Gardner the not so high class nightclub singer.
Gable also meets an obnoxious and tyrannical client, Mr Evans, played deliciously to the hilt by Sidney Greenstreet. Keenan Wynn plays an untalented radio comedian, and gives a brilliant performance.
ProductionThe movie is based on Frederic Wakeman's bestselling 1946 novel of the same name which was a damning exposé of the radio advertising business and which spent 35 weeks in the top half of the bestseller lists. MGM paid $200,000 for the film rights to the novel before it was even published.
Cary Grant was offered the lead role but turned it down and suggested it to Clark Gable. Gable only accepted the role after major alterations were made to the original story, in particular changing Deborah Kerr's character from a married woman to a widow and toning down the novel's biting criticism of the advertising business.
'The Hucksters' was Deborah Kerr's first Hollywood film.
The beach scenes were filmed at Pismo Beach, California and the train station sequence was filmed at the Santa Fe station in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Main CastClark Gable … Victor Norman
Deborah Kerr … Kay Dorrance
Sydney Greenstreet … Evan Llewellyn Evans
Adolphe Menjou … Mr. Kimberly
Ava Gardner … Jean Ogilvie
Keenan Wynn … Buddy Hare
Edward Arnold … David Lash
Aubrey Mather … Mr. Glass
Richard Gaines … Cooke
Frank Albertson … Max Herman
Douglas Fowley … Georgie Gaver
Clinton Sundberg … Michael Michaelson
Gloria Holden … Mrs. Kimberly
Connie Gilchrist … Betty
Kathryn Card … Regina Kennedy
Lillian Bronson … Miss Hammer
Vera Marshe … Gloria
Ralph Bunker … Allison
Virginia Dale … Kimberly Receptionist
Jimmy Conlin … Blake
CreditsDirector ... Jack Conway
Producer ... Arthur Hornblow, Jr.
Screenplay ... Luther Davis, Edward Chodorov, George Wells
Based on ... The Hucksters by Frederic Wakeman, Sr.
Music ... Lennie Hayton
Cinematography ... Harold Rosson
Format ... B & W
Distributed by ... Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date ... August 27, 1947
Running time ... 115 minutes