HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Tyger Tyger
Filmmaker's House, The
Man Standing Next, The
Rock, Paper and Scissors
Batman: The Long Halloween Part One
Salaam Bombay!
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
   
 
Newest Articles
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
   
 
  Libeled Lady Publish And Be Damned
Year: 1936
Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, Walter Connolly, Charley Grapewin, Cora Witherspoon, E.E. Clive, Bunny Beatty, Otto Yamaoka, Charles Trowbridge, Spencer Charters, George Chandler, William 'Billy' Benedict, Hal K. Dawson
Genre: Comedy, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Stop the presses! There's a big problem - the headline story on the front page is all wrong, the fifty million dollar heiress Connie Allenbury (Myrna Loy) isn't breaking up anyone's marriage at all, it's all been a misunderstanding! But it's too late for the Star, as they have distributed copies to a few outlets already, and that counts as being published, so the editor Haggerty (Spencer Tracy) is now in deep trouble should she decide to take legal action. On this, his wedding day of all days, so he must call off his union to Gladys (Jean Harlow) for now to get this kerfuffle sorted out, much to her chagrin as he seems to have been delaying the big day for far too long now. But he can live with that, what he cannot live with is being sued for five million dollars...

That would bankrupt the paper, which for Haggerty would be a disaster, though this was one of countless Hollywood movies from the nineteen-thirties to set its tale in journalism, and usually though there was a cynical good humour about those, in certain examples there was clearly no love lost between the dream factory and the media that relied on it for gossip to sell itself to the scandal hungry public. Haggerty is such a conniving character that you find yourself not caring one way or the other if he keeps his establishment together or not; it may have been a screwball comedy but was notably unforgiving in its portrayal of the lengths the papers would go to for that killer story, and if there was any cast member who could sympathise with that it was Harlow.

Recently she had lost her studio executive husband in mysterious circumstances, probably suicide, which had put the pressure on her media profile to near-intolerable degrees, but she had picked herself up and started a new relationship with William Powell, though to her frustration he was reluctant to make a good woman of her and become her third husband. Making Libeled Lady with him proved to be very helpful to their relationship, however, as all four stars had a great time on the set, which doesn't always translate to a great result for the audience, yet in this case the fun was infectious, buoying the mood over a script that in truth could have done with a lot more funny lines. That power of celebrity forgave a lot, however.

Of course, Harlow just had months to live thanks to her failing kidneys, leaving her one more Hollywood star who died too young, though this was through no fault of her own. She did make two more films before her untimely demise, but this was her true swan song, she did not look well in the efforts she shot before she left us, yet here he is a bundle of energy in possibly her best comedy performance. She always displayed a talent for humour, it was part of her appeal that she could come across as in on the jokes that were made about her - she was a controversial figure for her supposed loose morals - and seeing her match wits with three other actors of such magnitude was a real tonic, especially when they seemed to be genuinely enjoying each other's company, which indeed they were.

As for the plot, it was Loy who played the title role, effortlessly sophisticated paired with Powell for by no means the first or last time, their chemistry was one of the most enduring in the movies. Powell's hard up lawyer Bill Chandler is called upon by Haggerty for a complicated scheme that will see him marry Gladys, much to her indignant protests (see the famous scene where she gives Powell a peck at the marriage, then kisses best man Tracy passionately, confusing the Justice of the Peace), then armed with that seeks to seduce Connie so she can be caught up in a manufactured scandal and drop the lawsuit. Even if you've never seen a screwball comedy before, you'll be able to see the issues with this plan, and Haggerty is such a louse and Chandler such a gent (Powell being the suavest man in Hollywood) that both Connie and Gladys fall for him. Although it was rarely hilarious, Libeled Lady worked up a fine head of steam as far as its momentum went, and just spending time with these talents was reward enough. Howard Hawks was impressed - he lifted much of it for Man's Favorite Sport? decades later. Music (sounding like it belongs in a cartoon) by William Axt.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2083 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: