William Powell, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, Jean Harlow. Dir: Jack Conway.
I realize I harp on this every time I write about William Powell and Myrna Loy movies (movie rule indicating that you are required to see any movie they did together, you know), but there are 14 reasons why, and this is one of them. You see, they made 14 movies together, 6 of them being Thin Man movies, so obviously the studio knew what they were doing when they paired them in the first place. The main point here is that you should know to watch this movie whether I write another word or not.
The movie is about Spencer Tracy’s character who is a newspaper guy about to marry Jean Harlow’s character, but then a brouhaha happens involving Myrna Loy’s character, and he calls in William Powell’s character to handle it. Unforeseen circumstances arise, funny stuff happens, and then it’s over.
William Powell is one of my boyfriends. Maybe my #5 boyfriend, I’m not sure. I really should write these things down; once I get past #3 I lose track. So, there are interesting facts about Powell, the Academy Awards of 1936, and this movie which I will attempt to explain.
In 1936, Powell had five movies released, three of those had Loy as well. He was nominated for a Best Actor award. Two of his five movies that year were nominated for Best Picture. One of them won. There were a total of nine movies nominated for Best Picture that year. The movie for which Powell was nominated for Best Actor was not in the running for Best Picture. This is kind of starting to sound like a logic puzzle. Anyway, one of the movies which he did with Loy was the one that won. And now I will stop being so vague. The three movies which received attention from the Academy, either for Powell or for the entire picture, were: Libeled Lady (Best Picture), The Great Ziefeld (Best Picture), and My Man Godfrey (Best Actor). Ziegfeld won Best Picture, the other two didn’t win anything.
See? That was all terribly interesting, wasn’t it?
So I ought to tell you how fun this particular movie is, because that’s what I do. There are lots of locations in which people frolic, romp, and generally make fools of themselves. The parts about fishing are probably my favorite.
And I ought to tell you how great the cast is too. So, I’ll do it one at a time.
Spencer Tracy- I know this is probably different from how you’re used to seeing him, but in THIS film, he’s short-tempered and easily exasperated. If you’ve never seen him in anything, then I have to let you know that I was being sarcastic because about 95% of his roles are like that. He’s just so good at it though.
Jean Harlow- ALWAYS good. Always.
William Powell- yup
Myrna Loy- hell yes
Walter Connolly- he’s a great character actor. This is my favorite of his roles. His name might not be familiar to you, but his face probably is.
I have to point out that, in most of Powell and Loy’s movies, we don’t get to see their characters meet, and watching them meet for the first time is very nice. No matter the circumstances.
So, if you get a chance to see Libeled Lady and you don’t see it, then I’m araid I have very little use for you.