LIBELED LADY
1936, Warner Bros., 98 min, USA, Dir: Jack Conway

Remade a decade later as EASY TO WED, this screwball comedy gem features a veritable dream team of MGM stars at the top of their game. Heiress Myrna Loy sues the New York Evening Star when it paints her as a home-wrecker, but editor Spencer Tracy thinks he can get the suit dropped by trapping the wealthy woman between one of his ex-reporters (William Powell) and his own fiancée (Jean Harlow). Powell’s hilarious fishing sequence is but one of the many highlights.


PLATINUM BLONDE
1931, Sony Repertory, 89 min, USA, Dir: Frank Capra

The newspaper business inspired some of the best screwball comedies, this early gem from director Frank Capra among them. Workaday reporter Robert Williams catches the eye of idly rich Jean Harlow when he writes a story about her playboy brother. Can their marriage survive the difference in social class? Not if fellow journalist Loretta Young has anything to do with it! If the film’s title is forever associated with Harlow, the real revelation is Williams’ sparkling performance (which was also his last; he died days after PLATINUM BLONDE premiered).


BOMBSHELL
1933, Warner Bros., 96 min, USA, Dir: Victor Fleming

Victor Fleming’s positively breakneck-pace satire of Hollywood. Jean Harlow is at her peak as harried Lola Burns, a movie matinee idol being driven crazy by relentless press agent Lee Tracy (who also has the hots for her). The movie she’s shooting with director heartthrob Pat O’Brien is modeled after RED DUST. Naughty double entendres fly fast and furious in this razor-sharp and unabashedly shameless screwball comedy produced by M-G-M.


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