- 1h 49min
Loosely based biography of 1930s star Jean Harlow as she begins her climb to stardom.Loosely based biography of 1930s star Jean Harlow as she begins her climb to stardom.Loosely based biography of 1930s star Jean Harlow as she begins her climb to stardom.
The 'real' Harlow, born Harlean Carpenter, in 1911, arrived in Hollywood at 16, with an over-ambitious mother and newlywed husband in tow. Divorcing her husband, she appeared in 'bit' parts until Howard Hughes 'discovered' her, and cast her "Hell's Angels", in 1930. She was a sensation, despite possessing a tinny, twangy speaking voice (which voice coaches would work on, throughout her career.) Eventually signing with MGM, she would become a sensation, frequently co-starring with Clark Gable, and her off-screen life would be even more sensational; her second marriage, to producer Paul Bern, would last only two months, and he would soon commit suicide, fueling rumors of his inability to 'perform' his duties as a husband; a third marriage, to cameraman Harold Rosson, soon followed, only to last eight months. She finally found happiness with actor William (The Thin Man) Powell, but before they could marry, she developed uremic poisoning and kidney failure, dying in 1937, at 26.
Lynley's "Harlow" dumped any references to Gable and Powell (Efrem Zimbalist Jr. plays the character 'based' on Powell), offered the legendary Ginger Rogers as her mother (which must have felt like deja-vu for the actress, as her mother accompanied HER to Hollywood), and offered a brittle, angry, ultimately bitter Harlow, fighting both the studio and the men who attempted to 'use' her.
Jean Harlow was an optimist, self-reliant and resilient, with a ready laugh, and an often too-generous nature. She never took her sex appeal too seriously, and preferred 'being comfortable' to creating illusions. She was adored by her co-workers, and the grief everyone felt at her death was genuine, not staged.
If "Harlow" had gotten even a part of this right, it would have been a far better film!
- Apr 2, 2004