Monday, June 27, 2011

Myrna Sues Jean?

As we wait for a few more Crawford or Lombard movie to appear on our favorite channel, we visit with a pair of truly lovely, talented ladies - Myrna Loy and Jean Harlow - in the hilarious Libeled Lady(1936).  Loy is Connie Allenbury, a wealthy young lady with lawsuit on her mind after a newspaper, run by Spencer Tracy's Warren Haggerty inadvertently libels her.  To circumvent the suit, Haggerty comes up with a plan - marry his fiance Gladys (Jean Harlow) to writer Bill Chandler (William Powell), then have Bill seduce Connie, so Gladys can sue Connie for alienation of affection!  Only problem is, both Gladys and Connie actually fall in love with Bill, who is head over heels for Connie. 

This is a very funny movie. If you have a decent script (which this does), it is rather hard to miss with this cast.  Spencer Tracy as the reluctant groom is a riot; and you are rather pleased when he gets a bit of his comeuppance.  Harlow as the doubly spurned woman is lovely.  Thankfully, she gets her man in the end (this is a comedy!). 
And can you miss with that wonderful team of Powell and Loy! They had already made the first Thin Man  together, as well as Evelyn Prentice and Manhattan Melodrama. You cannot see the credit list and not assume that they will end up together.  They are perfectly matched, and Powell does his utmost to turn Bill from cad to dream.

A screwball comedy in the best sense, this one is well worth a look. We highly recommend it.  Here's a trailer to give you a taste:

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