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Platinum Blonde (Sous-titres français)

Jean Harlow , Loretta Young , Frank Capra    DVD
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 16.89 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description


This Frank Capra comedy from 1931 helped define the screwball-comedy genre that became so popular with films like It Happened One Night and The Awful Truth. In this witty romp, Jean Harlow plays an upper-crust socialite who bullies her reporter husband (Robert Williams) into conforming to her highfalutin ways. The husband chafes at the confinement of high society, though, and yearns for a creative outlet. He decides to write a play and collaborates with a fellow reporter (Loretta Young); the results are unexpectedly hilarious, especially when Young shows up at the mansion with a gaggle of boozehound reporters in tow. With snappy, ribald dialogue (allowable in those pre-Hays Code days), Capra keeps the gags flying fast and furious, taking special delight in having Williams's journalist pals rib him endlessly over his kept-man status. Platinum Blonde was a great success at the time of its release during the class-conscious Depression; for better or worse, its star Harlow was identified with the tag "platinum blonde" until her untimely death. --Jerry Renshaw

Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
2.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ODE TO ROBERT WILLIAMS Nov. 19 2001
Format:VHS Tape
PLATINUM BLONDE, an early Capra comedy, through heavy-handed, showed glints of the director's knack for outrageous situations and cast Harlow in the improbable role of a hoi-polloi socialite. This film plowed newer ground, even while it reinforced (with Loretta Young's performance) the career-girl myth. Rather than simply break a man's heart and betray him with another, Harlow's emasculation of her ace-reporter husband challenged not his sexuality, but his role as an independent provider. Socialite Harlow views his livlihood and his playwrighting aspirations both as an inconvenience and a blight on leisure-class dilettantism. Indefatigable and insensitive shrew that she is, she strips him of all that has been essential to he self-definition; insisting on setting up house in her parent's mansion, she insults his friends and belittles his work. The forgotten Robert Williams is easily the best thing about this film; his performance still shines with a natural virility uncommon in early talkies. Tragically, he died soon after this film was made.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Harlow Miscast in Significantly Dated Script Dec 21 2001
Format:VHS Tape
PLATINUM BLONDE is an early Frank Capra-directed effort concerning common-man reporter Robert Williams who ignores an obvious love match with co-worker Loretta Young in favor of marriage with high-society socialite Jean Harlow. Although often cited as an early example of the screwball comedy genre Capra helped create with such films as IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, the script is very dated, and from a modern standpoint it creaks in almost every scene.
Although not often noted for her acting skills, Loretta Young gives a very fine performance here in the role of Gallagher, an attractive but working class reporter who can hold her own with the boys while maintaining her femininity. The often praised but little known Robert Williams gives an equally pleasant, enjoyable performance, albeit one less successful than Young's in the face of passing time. But Jean Harlow is seriously miscast in the role of manipulative socialite Anne Schuyler, who is first attracted to Williams by his working-class attitudes and who then seeks to erradicate them after their marriage.
The film is perhaps most interesting to Harlow fans, for it shows Harlow before Hollywood discovered how to best display both her talents and her beauty. Harlow's talent did extend to light drama, but she would be most at home in wise-cracking, sassy comedy, and she is clearly out of her element in this particular role; her physical appearance is also quite unlike the Harlow iconography expertly developed by MGM, and she looks rather like a white-blonde version of Kay Francis--but unfortunately without any of that actress' sparkle. It is a very wooden performance that seriously undercuts the success of the film, and one wishes that Young and Harlow had been cast in each other's roles.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Real Star Is ...? July 9 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Robert Williams plays a reporter with a comeback for everything that marries wealthy Jean Harlow, and unfortunately, her family as well. Left behind is the simple girl who really loves him, fellow reporter Loretta Young. Since Williams doesn't fit into Harlow's world, and Harlow doesn't fit into his world, many complications arise as the upper class meet the common folk. Young, despite top billing, has little to do in the film except look good, which she does with her usual style. Harlow is a bit stiff, but has some good moments. Halliwell Hobbes, as the family butler, has some great moments and provides some good laughs. But surprisingly, the real star is Robert Williams, an actor I've never heard of until this film. He has a smart screen presence, and plays his part with a lot of charm and ease. He has some excellent scenes with Harlow. The film has some funny moments mixed in with romance and drama, and it plays out the class distinctions well. Catch this Jean Harlow/Loretta Young film for its real star, Robert Williams.
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By JudyH
Format:VHS Tape
Despite the title this film is not really about Jean Harlow but about a newspaper reporter played by Robert Williams, an actor who made only a handful of films (4 in 1931) before he died at age 35. This guy is a winning, natural actor with the charm and intelligence of the early Gable but without the vanity. He would have been a huge star through the 30s and 40s had he lived. Harlow is not bad and Loretta Young is beautiful and likable, but I couldn't take my eyes off Williams. Kevin Kline should remake this one and play the Williams role.
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2.0 out of 5 stars dull dull dull June 4 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Generally I love old movies, but this one was completely flat. The plot (working guy meets society girl, gets dazzled and ignores his real love) is nothing new (and was nothing new at the time) but since I have seen this plot done at least a dozen different INTERESTING ways, that alone wouldn't bother me. It's the fact that it's a totally unfunny comedy. Nothing funny happens. Just the same old plot without any of the sparkle that makes good comedies (His Girl Friday, Libeled Lady) a joy to watch.
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