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on 18 October 2010
Connie Allenbury (Myrna Loy) is suing a newspaper for $5 million. The editor Haggerty (Spencer Tracy) realizes that he has to hire back Bill Chandler (William Powell), a man he previously sacked, as Bill is the "best in the business". Bill comes up with the scheme to catch Connie in a compromising situation with himself and use this as a bribe to stop her from filing her lawsuit. First, he must marry Gladys (Jean Harlow) for maximum impact on scandal factor. However, Gladys is engaged to Haggerty and can't stand Bill! This makes for a humorous beginning. The rest of the film follows Bill's attempts to entrap Connie. Gladys and some photographers are to storm in and catch Bill and Connie together, and thus save the newspaper. Things don't go as planned...

The film has an excellent cast. I think William Powell steals the acting honours but that is just opinion. Jean Harlow has some fantastic outfits - check out those fluffy sleeves! - and the sets are great. The film is funny with an enjoyable cast that breeze through this easy-going film.

Sometimes the dialogue can be delivered in that slightly too rapid fashion but it is never irritating. The ending is all rather convenient but so what. I also think it would have been funnier and created more tension between Bill and Heggarty if Bill had suggested that he marry Gladys instead of Heggarty. Poor Gladys has continually had her wedding day scuppered by Heggarty's dedication to his newspaper. Bill could have really added insult to injury by suggesting the idea of himself marrying Gladys. I never quite knew how the film would end with both Gladys and Connie falling for Bill and I found this added an extra dimension of interest to the story. As the story progresses, we see Gladys and Bill getting more and more friendly.

The film transports you into another time - black and white film world - and it's great being there.
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on 17 January 2013
This was not Jean Harlow's last movie, but it is her best. There are definite signs that her studios are waking up to the fact that she is a much more rounded character (no pun intended) than a ditzy fast-talking blonde. She, William Powell and Myrna Loy are excellent, and even Spencer Tracy is OK (although I can't help feeling Jean would have been happier with the Powell character!) This may be one of the best-ever 'screwball' comedies - William Powell's fishing escapade takes some beating, and the dialogue is sparkling throughout. The most memorable scene for this reviewer is when Harlow realizes Powell has slept all night on the couch to protect her and the camera gradually closes up on her as her face changes from a disapproving frown to a grateful smile.
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on 24 October 2017
brilliant film good fun
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on 9 July 2015
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on 1 February 2016
Whatever film they're in, Myrna Lot and William Powell are wonderful to watch. The big surprise for me was how engaging Jean Harlow also was.
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on 10 April 2015
Enjoyed this movie, shaky storyline, but good cast
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on 27 February 2016
Wonderful film well packaged.
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on 12 August 2010
This was a real nice suprise. Powell vs Loy classic. Lots of quick wit, a top performance.
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on 7 March 2016
Fully up to expectations
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 July 2013
Libeled Lady, (1936). This Oscar-nominated classic screwball comedy/romance is a brisk 98 minute, black and white film directed by Jack Conway. It stars Spencer Tracy as Warren Haggerty, chief editor of "The New York Evening Star," who's prone to postponing his nuptials to Gladys Benton (Jean Harlow); she doesn't take it well. But he faces an even greater problem when his paper is sued by wealthy high-society beauty Connie Allenbury, (Myrna Loy), who has filed a $5 million claim that she's been libeled by his publication which has painted her as a marriage-breaker. So Haggerty hatches an intricate plot to neutralize her. He uses his ever-loving fiancée Gladys, and a noted man about town, Bill Chandler, played by William Powell, to entrap the complaining socialite. Haggerty organizes an (unconsummated) marriage between the two, in hopes of actually trapping the society beauty alone with a married man.

The clever and witty script, still racy and full of innuendo despite being made in 1936, after the repressive, blue-nosed Hays code was in place, was written by Maurine Dallas Watkins and Howard Emmett Rogers. This picture, like GRAND HOTEL, was one of the few to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture without receiving any other nominations.

Goes without saying, it was, and is, very unusual for a film to have four big stars, each of which had been proven to carry a picture, on the payroll in one, but the film was a huge box office success. Powell, (My Man Godfrey ,The Thin Man Collection ), and Loy, (Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House,Love Me Tonight ), were here making their fifth of fourteen movies together. (The pair co-starred as well that year in The Great Ziegfeld , which was also nominated for a Best Film Oscar.) LIBELED LADY gave Tracy, (Inherit the Wind,Judgement At Nuremberg ,Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? ), a chance to prove he could trade wisecracks with the best of them. Sturdy supporting comic supporting player Walter Connolly, (Fifth Avenue Girl) plays Mr. Allenbury, Connie's father.

According to Internet Movie Database, the stunningly beautiful and greatly talented light comic actress Harlow, and Powell were an off-screen item when the film was made. And Harlow desperately wanted the part of Connie Allenbury (Myrna Loy's role) so that hers' and Powell's character would end up together. The director and MGM execs would not consider it, however. They always intended the film's being another Powell/Loy vehicle; knew that audiences wanted Powell and Loy to end up together.

Harlow, (Jean Harlow: 100th Anniversary Collection), was very disappointed but had already signed on to the film and had no choice but to play the role of Gladys Benton. In the end, she liked the film and agreed that she was more suited to the role of Gladys. The actress's fans may notice that there are few close-ups of her as her face was already puffy. She was showing symptoms of the uremic poisoning that was to kill her shortly, shockingly young, at the age of 26. She was to make one more film, SARATOGA, with Clark Gable, but was already very visibly ill by then: LIBELED LADY is her last great performance. When she was entombed in Glendale's Forest Lawn Cemetery in 1937, she was dressed in a gown she wore in this film.

The movie flies on the always dependable repartee between classy Myrna Lowe and suave William Powell, with Spencer Tracy snappily responding in quick time. The young trouper Harlow is hysterically funny in her best scenes: the chemistry between the cast is delightful, with the banter so fast you might miss some of it. The height of witty screwball comedy. Gotta catch it.
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