6.5/10
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Personal Property (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 19 March 1937 (USA)
Raymond Dabney returns to his family after trouble with the law. He convinces the sheriff to give him a job watching the house and furniture of widow Crystal Wetherby without knowing she is... See full summary »

Director:

(as W.S. Van Dyke II)

Writers:

(play), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Clara, Crystal's Maid
...
Mrs. Cosgrove Dabney
...
Cora Witherspoon ...
Mrs. Burns
Marla Shelton ...
Forrester Harvey ...
Herbert Jenkins, Bailiff
Lionel Braham ...
Lord Carstairs
Barnett Parker ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
(scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Raymond Dabney returns to his family after trouble with the law. He convinces the sheriff to give him a job watching the house and furniture of widow Crystal Wetherby without knowing she is engaged to his brother. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 March 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Man in Possession  »

Box Office

Budget:

$299,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Reginald Owen played Claude Dabney both in this movie and the 1931 version, "The Man in Possession" with Irene Purcell and Robert Montgomery. See more »

Goofs

When Crystal comes down the stairs she has a black silk handkerchief in her hand. She then kneels on the side of the sofa and starts talking to someone with the black handkerchief still in her hand. After the end of the talk she tosses the black handkerchief away and it falls to the floor. Then when the camera cuts back to her it's back in her hand again. See more »

Quotes

Claude Dabney: Balderdash! Balderdash!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The King Without a Crown (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner (1850)
Played by the orchestra at the wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Harlow's last completed film for MGM
13 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I always watch Robert Taylor in memory of my mother; she loved him. This film is a Taylor-Harlow pairing, "Personal Property," a watered-down version of the play, and the first time it was made, it was a precode film, A Man of Possession.

Taylor is Raymond Dabney, the black sheep in a successful family, all of whom are British except for him, evidently, as he sports no accent. He's been released early from prison after selling a car he didn't own. His brother Claude (Reginald Owen) and father (E.E. Clive) aren't happy to see him, unlike his mother, so they offer Raymond 300 pounds to go anywhere he wants, preferably out of the country. Raymond chooses London.

At a cocktail lounge, Raymond meets Crystal Wetherby (Harlow), a widow. Raymond is interested and follows her to the opera Aida, and then he follows her home. At her home, he meets a bailiff who is going to sit in Crystal's house until she pays what she owes.

Crystal is throwing a dinner for her fiancé and future in-laws; Raymond kindly offers to pretend to be her butler. When the future family shows up, a few problems present themselves.

Jean Harlow was always very likable, although here, she's a little more low-key. She wears her engagement ring from William Powell throughout the film; it's sad that her life was cut so short. I thought Taylor was just fine. He had a nice sense of comedy. But I have to agree with some others that the role would have been better suited to Franchot Tone or Cary Grant. Taylor was a beautiful man, and he looked great in evening clothes, but he was a farm boy at heart and didn't have quite the sophistication necessary.

I found this film slow and not very involving, but I loved the two stars.


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