Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Star of the Month: Jean Harlow.
Wife vs Secretary(1936). Comedy film directed and co-produced by Clarence Brown. Cast: Clark Gable as a successful businessman, Jean Harlow as his secretary, and Myrna Loy as his wife, supported by May Robson as his mother and James Stewart, in one of his first memorable roles, as the secretary's boyfriend. The film was the fifth of six collaborations between Gable and Harlow and the fourth of seven between Gable and Loy.
Red Dust(1932). Romantic drama film directed by Victor Fleming. The picture is the second of six movies Clark Gable and Jean Harlow made together and was produced during the Pre-Code era of Hollywood.
Hold Your Man(1933). Romantic drama film directed by an uncredited Sam Wood. Cast: Jean Harlow and Clark Gable, the third of their six films together. The screenplay by Anita Loos and Howard Emmett Rogers was based on a story by Loos.
China Seas(1935). Adventure film starring Clark Gable as a brave sea captain, Jean Harlow as his brassy girlfriend, and Wallace Beery as an extremely suspicious-looking character. The oceangoing epic also features Lewis Stone and Rosalind Russell, while humorist Robert Benchley memorably portrays a character reeling drunk from one end of the film to the other. The lavish MGM epic was written by James Kevin McGuinness and Jules Furthman from the book by Crosbie Garstin, and directed by Tay Garnett. This is one of only four sound films with Beery in which he didn't receive top billing.
The Secret Six(1931). A fast-paced 1931 Pre-Code crime film starring Wallace Beery as "Slaughterhouse Scorpio", a character very loosely based on Al Capone, and featuring Lewis Stone, Johnny Mack Brown, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Marjorie Rambeau and Ralph Bellamy. The film was written by Frances Marion and directed by George W. Hill for MGM.
Saratoga(1937). Written by Anita Loos and directed by Jack Conway. The movie stars Clark Gable and Jean Harlow in their sixth and final film collaboration. When filming was 90% completed, Harlow collapsed on the set and died about a week later, reportedly of uremic poisoning. MGM wanted to reshoot the movie with Virginia Bruce or Jean Arthur. However, Harlow fans complained, so the remaining scenes were filmed with Mary Dees doubling for the camera and Paula Winslowe supplying Harlow's voice. The supporting cast includes Lionel Barrymore, Frank Morgan, Walter Pidgeon, Hattie McDaniel, and Margaret Hamilton. The film would be Harlow's final movie and, unsurprisingly, Harlow's fans turned out in droves, making Saratoga MGM's biggest moneymaker of 1937.
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