Cruise went on to do some nimble comic work as a rich kid out of his depth in the bawdy comedy Risky Business, and had a dignified flirtation with the brat pack in Francis Coppola's The Outsiders, but it was Top Gun in 1986 that both ratified him as a star, and eclipsed his potential as an actor. And while the age difference, and disparity in acting styles, between the two performers means that they can't often have been rivals for the same parts, it's true that Cruise had his shot at Inception-style material with Vanilla Sky (a remake of the Spanish thriller Open Your Eyes) and Minority Report (a philosophical thriller far superior to Inception).

Gone With The Wind (1939)- At the outbreak of the Civil War, feisty, narcissistic Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) meets her match in roguish charmer Rhett Butler (Gable), who woos her despite her love for another man, Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard). I have a memory of Harlow vociferously complaining about Clark's penchant for "a classy English dame" or something of that kind (played by Mary Astor I think). . When Peter discovers her true identity, he knows he's got hold of the story of the century, but by this time, he's also started to have feelings for Ellie.

Then there a few titles that remain unavailable on DVD, like the classic Red Dust (1932), a lusty romantic adventure set in Africa that first teamed Clark with the sultry Jean Harlow.

Gable is superb as the tough-minded general who must defend his top-secret, suicidal Operation Stitch to reluctant pilots and officers alike, while co-stars Pidgeon and Brian Donlevy shine as the supposedly more sensible generals. Part of HuffPost Entertainment. I hope people give him a break. Cruise, on the other hand, hasn't got a moment to lose. Leigh plays the self-absorbed Scarlett to perfection, while Gable's Rhett is devilishly suave and fiercely masculine. Also look for a future comic in the crew-the inimitable Don Rickles!

Shortly after his outburst at Shields, he got into a verbal tussle about Scientology with US television host Matt Lauer on The Today Show. (She was well over a decade Clark's senior.

The first was on BBC2's Top Gear last week. When I first saw a photo of Harlow, I can recall being most impressed by her amazing platinum hair; and then Lombard too: I just thought she was so gorgeous!

Then the names and faces of two Hollywood behemoths would flash up on screen. Having worked with him, I know he's a very friendly and professional guy.

Where Cruise has been aggressive and passionate only in his promotion of his chosen religion, DiCaprio reserves his soapbox moments for selfless causes that most of us can get behind – he has campaigned on environmental matters (he co-produced and narrated the environmental documentary 11th Hour), worked with orphaned children in Mozambique, given $1m to relief efforts in Haiti. That didn't happen. And while he is scheduled to play J Edgar Hoover in a forthcoming biopic directed by Clint Eastwood and scripted by Dustin Lance Black (the Oscar-winning writer of Milk), he doesn't need to lift a finger until he's good and ready.

Reportedly, it didn't feel like the loss of just one man, but the passing of an era.

But then he lost his crown to DiCaprio.

. Knight and Day was a relative flop on its recent US release, pulling in just over $20m on its opening weekend – a fraction of its $107m budget.

Even Knight and Day seems to acknowledge that the days of the old Tom Cruise are numbered; in his first scene in the movie, he is shown at the controls of an arcade game which tells him: "You're dead.". Cruise couldn't look much worse if he were to speak out against composting, or be snapped in a clinch with Sarah Palin. His PR representatives seem to have been disappointingly slow to realise that, if you're an actor hunting for widespread approval, you don't do Scientology.

Run Silent, Run Deep (1958)- Commander Richardson (Gable) is a career Navy officer who wrangles one last command a year after his last sub was torpedoed in Japan's perilous Bungo Straits.

In any word-association game, you will invariably find that the words "Tom Cruise" are followed by "Xenu, dictator of the Galactic Confederacy."

Sex siren Marilyn Monroe was thrilled when she learned she would play opposite Gable in John Huston's production of Arthur Miller's psychological Western The Misfits (1960). When his consistent cruelty towards his crew goes beyond reasonable limits, second-in-command Fletcher Christian (Gable) faces the fateful decision of whether or not to seize control of the ship.

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Riding with the common folk on a bus, she meets reporter Peter Warne (Gable), who grudgingly befriends this unusual creature, who appears curiously oblivious to the ways and customs of real life. It felt like being the new kid in the schoolyard again and the other kids are whispering and whispering about you and suddenly you hear what they're saying, and you think, 'What?

Great movies continue to be made. Trying to appease jealous mistress China Doll (Jean Harlow), Alan must also foil a gold-piracy plot masterminded by China's crooked Irish pal Jamesy (Wallace Beery). The newspapers had the headline "Cinema Goes With the Wind".

But thanks to the decline in his image, he now lacks even the gravitas to solicit an audience's goodwill for an undemanding blockbuster such as Knight and Day. He's keeping a low profile so far and using viral marketing on the Internet to build his fan base from the ground up.

The cinema was bombed and many were killed.

Frank Capra's sublime romantic comedy swept the 1934 Oscars, and it's still easy to understand why. I didn't communicate it in the way I wanted to communicate it. But they dared to want more. The scene where Peter takes off his shirt and exposes his bare chest was a first, and reportedly, sounded a death knell for the undershirt industry. Two revealing Cruise moments, both screened on British television in the last fortnight, testify to the extent to which his image has been corroded.

Here’s what we know so far. However unconvincing some might find him as a grizzled adult in the likes of Blood Diamond and Shutter Island, there is no mistaking his relief now that he has traded in his pin-up status for a face that looks like it has been around the world a few times, even if just on a student visa. Teasingly called "King" by his pal Tracy, he laughed it off. I paid less attention to "Mogambo"; but I liked Ava G. Clark Gable: every young girl's heart throb! Still, he was focused, determined, ambitious. So, who is the King of Hollywood today?

Produced by Irving Thalberg for MGM, this salty-tongued, high-seas romance adventure features Gable, then "King of Hollywood", in one of his sauciest and naughtiest roles, playing a caustic, philandering ship captain on the South Pacific who feels outclassed and unworthy of Russell's attention. What's a desperate, smitten newsman to do?

Mounted by Lancaster's own production company, "Run" remains not only a riveting war film, but one of mega-star Gable's last shining moments. During the frigid on-location shoot for The Call Of The Wild (1934), Gable, who did like the ladies, warmed up his young co-star Loretta Young on at least one occasion.

One dream: to be the king of the multiplexes. In the wake of a newspaper poll, which had expressed scepticism about his relationship with the actor Katie Holmes, Cruise sought to demonstrate his love for his then-fiancee (now wife, and mother of his daughter Suri) by leaping up and down on the most sacred couch on US television, and generally causing untold distress to Oprah's upholstery. here is a story playing out right now in Hollywood that epitomises the perils of fame, the precariousness of success and the dangers of celebrities left unguarded.

Even those of us who feel that the potential comedy of Cruise as Grossman is undercut by the actor's transparent need to be seen to have a sense of humour would be hard pressed to argue against this strategy. Still, he knew what worked for him. Yes Mogambo is the re-make of Red Dust.

. Once upon a time, Cruise was the world's undisputed alpha movie-star. I liked him in Mogambo better than Gone With The Wind. Look at the reality of the situation.'". 8.6K likes. For nearly 2,400 of the best movies on DVD, visit www.bestmoviesbyfarr.com, To see John's videos for WNET/Channel 13, go to www.reel13.org, Follow John on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BMBFarr.

The six titles that follow show the King of Hollywood at his best, giving viewers young and old a pretty good sense of why he was crowned in the first place: (Forbes magazine notes that "Cruise's career has been rocky lately", but attributes his ongoing fortune to revenue from "a string of older hits that constantly play on TV".)

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