Getting To Know Jean Harlow

Jean Harlow was one of Hollywood's biggest sex symbols during her tragically short career. She didn't make a ton of films, but a novice might not know where to start in order to fully appreciate Harlow's talent.

These are my personal picks.
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
Red Headed Woman (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Lillian relentlessly attempts to seduce a married man. (79 mins.)
Director: Jack Conway
“ A departure from her signature peroxide look, Harlow stars as a woman on the make in this racy pre-Code movie, seducing her married boss and clawing her way up the social ladder. A good example of Harlow's raw sex appeal, before the sanitizing Production Code came into force. ” - Jimmy L.
Dinner at Eight (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Affluent Millicent and Oliver Jordan throw a dinner for a handful of wealthy and/or well-born acquaintances, each of whom has much to reveal. (111 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
“ In this all-star ensemble piece, Harlow's comedic talents shine. As the glamorous, but unrefined (and unfaithful), wife of Wallace Beery's crooked businessman, she aspires to be welcomed into higher social circles. ” - Jimmy L.
Red Dust (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The owner of a rubber plantation becomes involved with the new wife of one of his employees. (83 mins.)
“ Harlow shows up in Clark Gable's water barrel and his rubber plantation is never the same. Playing a sexy and charismatic city woman, she crashes Gable's stag party and wins him over, until a prim and proper married lady enters the picture. The chemistry between Harlow and Gable sizzles onscreen. Harlow's part would be played by Ava Gardner in the color remake "Mogambo" (1953). ” - Jimmy L.
Bombshell (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Sexpot film star Lola Burns seeks a new image and tries marrying a marquis and adopting a baby - all sorts of schemes which go awry. (96 mins.)
“ Harlow plays a fictionalized version of herself (and movie stars like Clara Bow), a Hollywood sex symbol who must deal with her mooching family members, tabloid reports, and her scheming publicity agent as she searches for true personal happiness. It's a fine satirical comedy about Hollywood, featuring some interesting peeks behind-the-scenes at MGM Studios. ” - Jimmy L.
Libeled Lady (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A newspaper man, his ignored fiance, and his former employee, a down on his luck reporter, hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news story into the truth in order to prevent a high-society woman from suing for libel. (98 mins.)
Director: Jack Conway
“ This screwy romantic comedy boasts four stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, and Jean Harlow. While the main romance occurs between Powell and Loy, Harlow is used as a sort of decoy, with layers of marriages and divorces meant to deceive Loy, all so that Tracy's newspaper can prove its claims that she's a homewrecker. Harlow gets to chew the scenery as the flustered dame who's along for the ride. ” - Jimmy L.
China Seas (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
When earthy Dolly Portland is rejected by Captain Gaskell in favor of a socialite, she aids Jamesy McCardle, in league with Malay pirates, in his plot to seize his ship. (87 mins.)
Director: Tay Garnett
“ Harlow re-teams with Clark Gable, vying with Rosalind Russell for his affections on a perilous sea voyage. Harlow is in her element as the tough-talking jealous dame, in contrast to Russell's prim English widow. ” - Jimmy L.
Wife vs. Secretary (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The wife of a publishing executive mistakenly believes that her husband's relationship with his attractive secretary is more than professional. (88 mins.)
Director: Clarence Brown
“ Harlow gets to play a little against type in this light drama made towards the end of her career. Her hair a more natural-looking honey color at this point, she was really looking her best in these latter movies. She plays Gable's girl Friday: his trusty secretary, with whom he can confide anything. She's not a floozy or a man-eater. She's not a dumb blonde or even a glamour girl. She's a smart woman and a good-hearted human being, who keeps her relationship with Gable strictly platonic. It's a rare opportunity to see Harlow play a straight dramatic role. ” - Jimmy L.