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Libeled Lady (1936)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | 9 October 1936 (USA)
A newspaper man, his jilted fiancée, and his lawyer hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news-story into the truth, before a high-society woman can sue for libel.



(screen play) (as Maurine Watkins), (screen play) | 2 more credits »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Chandler
Mr. Allenbury
Mr. Bane
Cora Witherspoon ...
Mrs. Burns-Norvell
Fishing Instructor
Bunny Beatty ...
Babs (as Lauri Beatty)
Otto Yamaoka ...
Spencer Charters ...
Bell Hop
Johnny (as William Benedict)
Hal K. Dawson ...
Harvey Allen


Warren Haggerty is the chief editor of the New York Evening Star. He keeps on delaying his marriage with Gladys because of problems his newspapers must face. When it is filed a 5 million dollars claim by Connie Allenbury for having printed she is a marriage-breaker, he organizes the unconsummated marriage of Gladys and the don Juan Bill Chandler. The goal is to catch Connie alone with a married man... Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 October 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los enredos de una dama  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During production, Jean Harlow officially became Jean Harlow as opposed to her birth name, Harlean Carpenter McGrew Bern Rosson. See more »


Spencer Tracy refers to William Benedict's character as "Joe", although the opening credits identify him as "Johnny". See more »


Warren Haggerty: She may be his wife, but she's engaged to me!
See more »


Featured in Café Society (2016) See more »


Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played during the opening credits and often in the score
Whistled by William Powell
See more »

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User Reviews

Unsung, starry gem of a comedy
15 January 2004 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

A film with four stars of this magnitude was an event in 1936 and, indeed, it still is in 2004. Though the subject matter is slight and the acting is not too terribly taxing on the affable quartet, it was well-thought-of-enough to rate a Best Picture Oscar nomination. Tracy plays a newspaperman whose own wedding plans are interrupted by the fact that his paper has mistakingly run a libelous story about the daughter of one of his competitors. Loy, as the daughter, slaps a $5 million libel suit against Tracy's newspaper which, if won, will sink it. Since he knows he will lose, he rehires former employee Powell, who he feels will be able to charm Loy into an indelicate situation, thus rendering her reputation spoiled enough to cost her her libel suit. Part of the scheme, however, to make it seem legitimate is to marry off Powell to his own fiance (Harlow.) It is here that the film gets a lot of its laughs as desperate-to-wed Harlow finds herself getting married......but to the wrong man! Powell and Loy get most of the sparkling dialogue and sophisticated repartee, but contemporary audiences are likelier to get a kick out of mouthy, hilarious Harlow. Her comedic gifts (and her ample physical assets) are on prime display, notably when the judge says it's safe to kiss the bride and in a later scene where Powell is learning to fly-fish. All of the stars do very well and each gets a chance to rub up against the others. Powell and Loy are a legendary pairing with 14 films to show them off. Tracy does a slick job and shows his versatility. They are aided by a stable of amusing character actors, the type of people Hollywood was famous for and can no longer provide with regularity. (Today, almost any character actor that scores a hit is thrust into his/her own TV show, TV talk show or lead role in a film!) The film offers both wit and slapstick, wrapped up in some gorgeous sets and costumes. (The MGM gloss is fully in place.) Sadly, the light that was Harlow would be dimmed in just a year after this, but audiences are still able to enjoy her fine work in films like this.

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