Libeled Lady (1936)

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

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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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Evelyn Prentice (1934)

3 rating  (3/5) drama, mystery, romance

William Powell and Myrna Loy are second only to Tracy and Hepburn in the pantheon of my favourite classic movie on-screen couples. They appeared together in 14 films over 13 years, the most famous of which were the widely popular (in their time) “Thin Man” series.

evelyn prentice (1934) william powell and myrna loy chatting In Evelyn Prentice a workaholic lawyer (played by Powell) is too busy for his young wife and child. As the relationship is strained, Loy spends an increasing amount of time with a womanizing poet intent on blackmailing her.

Evelyn Prentice (1934) came out in the same year as the first Thin Man movie. What made the Thin Man and its successors so delicious for me was the terrific chemistry between the two. That couple was clearly, absolutely and deeply in love with each other. Their witty banter and repartee combined with mutual respect and equality was uncharacteristic of the era.

Their relationship in Evelyn Prentice, a very different kind of movie, is only a hint of what it is in the Thin Man series.

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