Monday, February 7, 2011

Libeled Lady(1936).

Libeled Lady(1936). Comedy. Cast: Jean Harlow, William Powell (who were romantically involved at the time), Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy. The movie was written by George Oppenheimer, Howard Emmett Rogers, Wallace Sullivan and Maurine Dallas Watkins, and directed by Jack Conway.

Libeled Lady was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. The film was remade in 1946 as Easy to Wed with Esther Williams, Van Johnson, and Lucille Ball.

Wealthy Connie Allenbury is falsely accused of breaking up a marriage and sues the New York Evening Star newspaper for libel. Warren Haggerty, the chief editor, turns to reporter and ladies man Bill Chandler for help.

Bill comes up with a plan, to be alone with Connie when his "wife" shows up, the suit will have to be dropped. Bill is not really married, so Warren has his neglected fiancee, Gladys Benton, play the part, which she is not to happy about.

Bill returns to America from England on the same ocean liner as Connie and her father J. B.. He pays some men to pose as reporters and harass Connie at the dock, so that he can "rescue" her. Connie believes that he is just a fortune hunter after her money, but Bill quickly wins her trust.

The plan falls apart when Connie and Bill actually fall in love. They get married, but Gladys interrupts their honeymoon to reclaim her husband. Bill reveals that he found out that Gladys' Mexican divorce wasn't valid, but then Gladys tops him. She got a second divorce and she and Bill are really man and wife. Will Connie and Bill manage to convince Gladys that she's really in love with Warren?

I always love to see Powell and Loy perform together, they always seem to enjoy each others company.  I think you also will love the gorgeous sets and costumes.

Fun Facts:

Lionel Barrymore was originally cast as Mr. Allenbury while Rosalind Russell was originally considered to play Connie Allenbury.

Harlow wanted to play Connie Allenbury, so that her character and Powell's would wind up together. MGM insisted, however, that the film be another William Powell-Myrna Loy movie, as they originally intended. Harlow had already signed on to do the film but had to settle for the role of Gladys Benton.  As Gladys, top-billed Harlow got to play a wedding scene with Powell. During filming, Harlow changed her legal name.

The fifth of fourteen films pairing William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Walter Connolly (April 8, 1887 – May 28, 1940), performed in almost fifty films between 1914 and 1939.

His first film performances were in two silent films: The Marked Woman (1914) and A Soldier's Oath (1915), and a talkie in 1930, Many Happy Returns, but his Hollywood film career really began in 1932, when he performed in four films.

His trademark role was that of a business tycoon or newspaperman, often as the father of the female lead character as in, It Happened One Night (1934) with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, Broadway Bill (1934), with Warner Baxter and Myrna Loy and Libeled Lady (1936) with William Powell and again with Loy.

Other notable roles include: the worthless uncle of Paul Muni's character in, The Good Earth (1937) and one of the two con men encountered by Mickey Rooney's, Huckleberry Finn in, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939). Connolly was particularly memorable as General Yen's American adviser in the film, The Bitter Tea of General Yen.

Connolly starred in the films: The League of Frightened Men (1937), 5th Ave Girl(1939), opposite Ginger Rogers and as the title character in, The Great Victor Herbert (1939) his last film.


  1. A nice piece on one of my all-time favorite movies. A few other things to note:

    * The delightful fishing scene with Powell was more or less borrowed by Howard Hawks some 28 years later for Rock Hudson in "Man's Favorite Sport?" Hudson was a fine comedic actor, but he was no Powell.
    * Connolly made four films with Carole Lombard, but only one where he played her father -- "No More Orchids" (1932). He plays a judge in "Lady By Choice" (1933), an associate of Oscar Jaffe (John Barrymore) in "Twentieth Century" (1934) and a newspaper editor (named Oliver Stone!) in "Nothing Sacred" (1937). Connolly is right up there with Frank Morgan and Eugene Pallette as my favorite character actors of the 1930s.

  2. VP81955, Thank you for sharing the very interesting trivia. I agree, Powell is a wonderful actor.


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