Libeled Lady (1936)

3.5 rating  (3.5/5) – screwball comedy, romance

Reference: imdb icon | wikipedia icon | TCM
Reviews: IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes (80%)

Libeled Lady (1936) jean harlow, william powell, myrna loy and spencer tracy in opening credits

While deftly putting off an inevitable marriage to his fiance (played by Jean Harlow), in Libeled Lady (1936) the editor of a New York paper (Spencer Tracy) hires a reluctant former employee (William Powell) to seduce the daughter of the owner of a rival publication (Myrna Loy) to ward off a libel suit.

Libeled Lady (1936) william powell and myrna loy flirt on board ship Libeled Lady is one of 14 films starring the wonderful Powell and Loy duo. Ironically it lost the 1936 Best Picture Oscar to another of their collaborations, The Great Ziegfeld (1936). TCM‘s Robert Osborne believes Libeled Lady was the better of the two. (Having not yet seen Ziegfeld, I’ll reserve judgment).

Libeled Lady (1936) jean harlow and william powell making up While Powell and Loy are one of the most famous onscreen couples in movie history, at the time this movie was being made Powell and Harlow (19 years his junior) were engaged to be married. Sadly, Harlow died of kidney failure just two years later at the age of 26.

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The Sea of Grass (1947)

sea of grass poster 2.5rating (2.5/5) drama, western

Reference: imdb6 | wikipedia12
Reviews: IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes

In The Sea of Grass, a cultured Katharine Hepburn leaves big town St. Louis to marry a New Mexican cattle baron Spencer Tracy. When Tracy’s character, who spends more time with his cattle and prairie than his lonely wife, is unable to accept the inevitable settlement of the west, Hepburn is drawn to Tracy’s nemesis, a lawyer (later a judge) played by Melvyn Douglas, who assists homesteaders pressing their land claims against Tracy’s violent control over government-owned land.

Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn are my all-time favourite recurring on-screen couple (followed by Myrna Loy & William Powell, then Bogey & Bacall). Over 25 years they made nine films together. This, their fourth, was the seventh I’ve seen – and my least favourite.

Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn Contemplate their Future in the Sea of Grass - 1947

Their performances were generally fine, though spotty in some places. Hepburn’s is better than  Tracy’s, who seemed to be phoning-it-in in too many places. I don’t think Tracy was convincing as a cattle baron. Any number of actors of that era would have been a better choice. Gary Cooper and Clark Gable come immediately to mind. Too much of the plot is not believable. Much does not make sense.

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1941

2-rating (2/5) ‘horror’

This particular version of  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) is the first Jekyll and Hyde movie I’ve seen (there are several). I chose this one because it stars two of my favourite classic movie actors: Spencer Tracy and  Ingrid Bergman

Note: I’m a classic movie fan. This is the first of what I hope will be many classic movie reviews on The Daleisphere.

Tracy plays Dr. Jekyll, a medical researcher forced to test a potion on himself when the hospital he works for refuses to allow him to test it on his patients. Jekyll’s potion is designed to separate the soul’s evil from the good.

I dislike horror movies intensely. While billed as a horror movie, it pale’s by today’s horror movie standards and comes across as more cruel than scary. Spencer Tracy’s performance as Mr. Hyde was difficult to watch. In the dozen or two Tracy film’s I’ve seen, he’s always played the good guy.

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