Ruby falls in love with small-time con man Eddie. During a botched blackmail scheme, Eddie accidentally kills the man they were setting up. Eddie takes off and Ruby is sent to a reformatory for two years.
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Robert Z. Leonard
Eddie Hall and his partner Slim are a pair of nickel-and-dime con men on the hustle. Nearly caught by the police, Eddie ducks into Ruby Adams's apartment and convinces her to hide him. Ruby isn't averse to taking advantage of the gullible herself and has even tried to manipulate money out of Al, the square shooter from Cincinnati who adores her. Ruby and Eddie hit it off, but when Eddie accidentally kills a drunk who was pawing Ruby, he takes off and she ends up in a women's reformatory, where she discovers she is pregnant. Devastated at the thought that Eddie has deserted her, she doesn't realize that Eddie has undergone a great change--one that will have a powerful impact on her. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Hold Your Man finds Jean Harlow, working class girl from Brooklyn falling for con man Clark Gable and getting in all kinds of trouble. The film starts out as his film, but by the time it's over the emphasis definitely switches to her character.
The film opens with Gable pulling a street con game with partner, Garry Owen and the mark yelling for the cops. As he's being chased Gable ducks into Harlow's apartment and being he's such a charming fellow, she shields him.
Before long she's involved with him and unfortunately with his rackets. Gable, Harlow, and Owen try pulling a badger game on a drunken Paul Hurst, but then Gable won't go through with it. Of course when Hurst realizes it was a con, he's still sore and gets belligerent and Gable has to punch him out. But then he winds up dead outside Harlow's apartment and that platinum blond hair makes her easy to identify. She goes up on an accomplice to manslaughter.
The rest of the film is her's and her adjustment to prison life. Her interaction with the other female prisoners give her some very good scenes. I think some of the material was later used for the MGM classic Caged.
Harlow also gets to do the title song and it's done as torch style ballad, very popular back in those days. She talk/sings it in the manner of Sophie Tucker and quite well.
Gable is well cast as the con man who develops a conscience, a part he'd play often, most notably in my favorite Gable film, Honky Tonk.
Still it's Harlow who gets to shine in this film. I think it's one of the best she did at MGM, her fans should not miss it.
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