Saturday, December 17, 2011
Hold Your Man - 1933 ****
A great film. Jean Harlow can never be in a bad film and I think she knew this by the time she starred in 'Hold Your Man.' By this time her social life was constantly in the tabloids and she was one of the most talked about stars of the early 1930s. So basically we know for sure that if Harlow is in something then it's going to be great.
In this snappy picture she plays Ruby, a wisecracking and smarmy girl who bumps into con Clark Gable whilst he is running away from his latest scheme (well to be precise he runs in on her in the bath!) and she hides him when the police come looking. Gable is also smooth talking and the pair hit it off immediately, bouncing off jokes and insults at each other as fast as Grant and Russell in 'His Girl Friday'. However after a plan of his goes wrong, Ruby gets blamed and taken down and placed in a penitentiary for 'fallen women.'
Harlow looks absolutely stunning in every scene, and her presence lights up the whole shot. She has this amazing quality whilst acting that means you can't take your eyes off her. A bit like Monroe. She also has some lovely costumes. Harlow was a national treasure.
This is one of a number of films that Gable and Harlow did together and I can't wait to see the first one they did (Red Headed Woman).
PS What I love about films like this is how much they incapsulate the time period they were filmed in. You really get to see what the city and the restaurants/bars, vehicles etc looked like and so from that aspect it's good to have as a keepsake of how the world has changed.