22 user 7 critic

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 »


W.S. Van Dyke (as W.S. Van Dyke II)


H.M. Harwood (play), Hugh Mills (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Jean Harlow ... Crystal Wetherby
Robert Taylor ... Raymond Dabney aka Ferguson
Reginald Owen ... Claude Dabney
Una O'Connor ... Clara, Crystal's Maid
Henrietta Crosman ... Mrs. Cosgrove Dabney
E.E. Clive ... Cosgrove Dabney
Cora Witherspoon ... Mrs. Burns
Marla Shelton ... Catherine Burns
Forrester Harvey ... Herbert Jenkins, Bailiff
Lionel Braham ... Lord Carstairs
Barnett Parker ... Arthur 'Trevy' Trevelyan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Melville Cooper ... (scenes deleted)


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


See Bob as a butler! See Jean as the adventuress who hires him! Thrill to 'em both-as rowdy "snuggle-pups," who can't give each other anything but love! (Print Ad- Walton Advertiser, ((Walton, Ky.)) 3 June 1937)


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Remake of The Man in Possession (1931) which also starred another actor named Robert, i.e. Robert Montgomery, in the same role. See more »


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 »


Crystal Wetherby: That's fine! Every inch a butler!
See more »


Referenced in Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937) See more »


Written by Giuseppe Verdi
Excerpts played and sung at the opera
See more »

User Reviews

An okay film but see Jean in her better films
24 April 2008 | by mgmstar128See all my reviews

I have been seeing many of Jean Harlow's films thanks to the glorious T.C.M. In the past few months, I have caught The Girl From Missouri, Reckless, Dinner at Eight, Wife Versus Secretary, and Red Headed Woman. My opinion of her as a comedienne has definitely improved after seeing her growth and maturation as an actor. Actually, all the titles I mentioned are better than Personal Property.

As for this movie, Jean is charming as ever, but she does not exhibit the same sparkle as she had in previous films. She looks beautiful as always, but she does show a bit of the extra weight also exhibited in Saratoga. Of course, this was due to her kidneys failing, as her health was in serious and fatal decline.

The movie itself is a bit on the slow side, and I think Robert Taylor, though handsome, wasn't up to her level. I think part of the film fell flat due to his performance.

One thing that totally puzzles me is that in the movie Robert Taylor's family all have British accents except for him. He sounds totally American. What's the deal with that?

A piece of trivia: I noticed that in the film she wore William Powell's star sapphire ring, a sort of engagement ring.

If you are a Jean Harlow fan, this movie should be seen, but she's so much better in Red Headed Woman, The Girl From Missouri, and Bombshell, just to name a few.

It's sad to see that Jean Harlow is largely forgotten by so many in our society today. Read David Stenn's book Bombshell: The Life and Death of Jean Harlow for superb information on her.

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Release Date:

19 March 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Man in Possession See more »


Box Office


$299,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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