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
William Powell must have loved the year 1936. It was the year he made "The Great Ziegfeld" (which won the best picture Oscar), "My Man Godfrey"(for which he was nominated for best actor), and one of the best screwball romantic comedies ever made. That picture would be "Libeled Lady". Although this film is widely viewed,with good reason, as one of Jean Harlow's best films, I think that Powell steals the picture and runs away with the best performance.
Not that the rest of the cast is too shabby, either. Myrna Loy as the titled character, and Spencer Tracy as a newspaper editor from Hell, add to the madness and mayhem. And Harlow is at her best in her role as a woman who is engaged to Tracy, and married to Powell. That's as far as I'll go as far as the plot is concerned. Just see the movie.
One of the best points about this film is the fact that it was made before the production code was put in place. Movies like this could be much freer with sexual situations and dialogue, while still leaving much to the imagination.
The film is directed at breakneck speed by Jack Conway, who smartly, gets out of the way and lets his wonderful actors take over.
If you haven't seen "Libeled Lady" yet, you must make a point of watching for it the next time it's on Turner Classic Movies. Then tape it. You'll be glad you did. You'll want to watch it over and over again.
9 out of 10
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