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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>
The film neglects to mention any of Jean Harlow's actual films, or even that she was under contract to MGM (she worked at fictitious Majestic studios, in this production). None of her real-life co-stars are named or depicted, nor are her 1st and 3rd marriages mentioned. She's said to have died from pneumonia, but in actuality, it was uremic poisoning which killed her. The only characters given their real names are Harlow herself, her husband Paul Bern, her agent (as well as the source of this film), Arthur Landau, and her mother and stepfather. The film's claim Paul Bern committed suicide due to impotency has been widely questioned - some, such as his close friend, director, Henry Hathaway have suggested he was murdered by gangsters, and the studio covered this up to avoid bad publicity. 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 »
This is one of my favorite old movies. It may not be a realistic biography of Jean Harlow, but it's entertaining. I remember watching it on TV during a period of depression, and, oddly enough, it helped to cheer me up! I'll always like it for that reason, plus it's a bit of escapism from reality.
I thought Carrol Baker was great as Harlow, I also liked Angela Lansbury as Mama Jean. Like I said, even though it's not accurate, the movie does a good job at portraying the rise and fall of an actress. It might have done better as a fictional story about a fictional actress, rather than using the name of a real life one.
This movie has some memorable scenes for me, especially the ones where Harlow is at the top of her career, then suddenly spirals downward, because she feels she's missing something no one can give her.
Others may disagree, but for me, Harlow is a great escapist movie.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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