In this story, Harlow starts in the movies as set dressing, the pretty girl who is used for the glamour shots. Refusing to descend to the casting couch for work, she finds that she is soon blacklisted from the industry. But an agent named Arthur sees something in Jean and begins representing her. For a long time, the jobs are scarce and consist mostly of receiving the pie in the face in low budget comedies. But Arthur's belief in Jean never wavers and when she finally graduates to featured roles, the critics say that she cannot act, but she is unforgettable. Polishing the image as the girl next door, but with some fire, she begins her climb to the top and becomes the girl every woman wants to look like and every man wants to have. But her own life is a disaster - unlike her screen life. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
This film appeared the year after Carroll Baker had played "Rina Marlowe", a Harlow-type Hollywood sex siren, in "The Carpetbaggers", which was also produced by Joseph E. Levine. Critics laughingly suggested that, in a few years' time, Levine might well produce a biopic called "Baker"; in fact, it was only another year before he produced "The Oscar", in which Jean Hale, made up to look like Carroll Baker, played a Hollywood actress called "Cheryl Barker". See more »
Jean complains about having to report to the studio at 5 a.m. each morning but the shadows as she leaves home are clearly midday. See more »
[after dismissing Harlow while on the phone wuth the casting director]
Next time gimme a girl who isn't ashamed of her body.
See more »
Harlow is an interesting film following the "Blonde Bombshell's" rise and fall in Hollywood. Weighed down by a despicable yet charming family, Harlow hits it big in Tinseltown.
Despite playing fast and loose with the facts, this film brings the glamour of Harlow to audiences. Carroll Baker delivers well as Harlow. This may be heresy, but in my opinion, Baker is even more beautiful than Harlow herself.
The film doesn't do so well in ignoring important facts. First, Jean Harlow wasn't the innocent girl next door. In fact, she had wed at age 16. Second, Leslie Nielson's character, which was actually supposed to portray Howard Hughes was damn near libelous. Third, the interpretations on Harlow's marriage to Paul Bern paint him as a homosexual. His own biography tends to point to impotence.
Despite these diversions from "truth" if there is any in Hollywood, do not take away from the power of this film. If you don't know anything about Jean Harlow, the end may shock you.
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