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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 »


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


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


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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


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






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 »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Herbert Jenkins, Bailiff: When you settle with him, he'll go. In the meanwhile, don't you worry. He's a gentleman, you can see. He has his orders. Treat him right and he'll treat you right. There you are... the man in possession.
Crystal Wetherby: Wait a minute. What do you mean? Man in possession? Man in possession of what? Me?
Raymond Dabney: Well, you see that the order...
Crystal Wetherby: Will you let me get a word in edge ways! Who are you anyway?
Raymond Dabney: Bailiff of the County...
Herbert Jenkins, Bailiff: Eh, Sheriff's Officer, if you please.
See more »


Featured in Harlow: The Blonde Bombshell (1993) See more »


The Wedding March
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Finding Love When You Look For Money
4 November 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Personal Property was the last completed film of Jean Harlow and the only one she was teamed with Robert Taylor. She's an American married to an Englishman who died and left nothing to her, but debts. She's got bill collectors beating down her door.

She figures an upper class accent is a guarantee of security, but tain't so Jean. She's set to marry Reginald Owen, who's family has a title, but little else. Their business has suffered some reversals and they need some quick capital themselves.

Before this double calamity takes place, along comes Robert Taylor who is a black sheep in Reginald Owen's family as his younger brother. Through an incredible comedy of errors he winds up Harlow's bill collector and later butler.

It's not a bad film, Harlow is great, she was sparkling and delightful and no trace of the illness that would claim her life while filming her last picture Saratoga.

Taylor is oddly miscast though. I'm sure this was a part that was originally intended for Franchot Tone and he would have had just the right upper class touch. Taylor handles the comedy well, but Tone or Cary Grant would have made the film a classic.

In fact Taylor's part and some of the film premise you can also find in My Man Godfrey with William Powell without the social commentary.

Film buffs should see it for a once in a lifetime pairing.

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