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Libeled Lady


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#1 TopBilled

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 12:03 AM

Myrna Loy (who was friends with Harlow, and thus also devastated by her death) said she could not watch Double Wedding; it reminded her of losing Harlow, fundamentally, but also she knew she and Powell were not at their best because of it.  If I'm recalling the timing correctly, they originally came back to work right after the funeral, but Powell especially realized he needed some time.  So production shut down for a few weeks (although the film still came in nearly on time).

 

I agree it's amazing it works as well as it does under the circumstances, and I don't think the pall cast by Harlow's death is the only problem; the script itself sort of falls apart.  The slapstick isn't really my thing, but it's a cute film with some great moments.

DOUBLE WEDDING is buoyed by Florence Rice as Loy's sister. I don't think Rice gets nearly enough credit. MGM used her often in these kinds of films.

 

Thanks for relating about Harlow's death and what was going on behind the scenes. It's interesting to know that this film and SARATOGA were in production at exactly the same time.


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#2 mrroberts

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 09:25 PM

I have heard (or read) a number of comments made by actors about what they think about when watching one of their own films. A number of actors have even stated they have never watched some of their own films. Anyway, when we the public watch a movie we see just what the movie shows us and judge it as such. But when the performer who made the movie watches they think about that time in their lives and all of the events that were taking place, concerning the film itself and any outside experiences. So it is easy to understand how William Powell and Myrna Loy had such feelings about that movie, not so much the movie itself but the other memories that are intertwined with it.

#3 Bastet

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:15 PM

Myrna Loy (who was friends with Harlow, and thus also devastated by her death) said she could not watch Double Wedding; it reminded her of losing Harlow, fundamentally, but also she knew she and Powell were not at their best because of it.  If I'm recalling the timing correctly, they originally came back to work right after the funeral, but Powell especially realized he needed some time.  So production shut down for a few weeks (although the film still came in nearly on time).

 

I agree it's amazing it works as well as it does under the circumstances, and I don't think the pall cast by Harlow's death is the only problem; the script itself sort of falls apart.  The slapstick isn't really my thing, but it's a cute film with some great moments.



#4 speedracer5

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 06:43 PM

Considering the terrible circumstances of Jean Harlow's death while William Powell and Myrna Loy were filming DOUBLE WEDDING, I think its rather commendable that the film ended up as well as it did. They did take time off when Jean died but eventually returned to work and finished the film. I have to believe that once Powell started working again it was a welcome distraction for him.

 

I agree.  By all accounts, it sounds like William Powell and Jean Harlow were in love.  Harlow wanted to marry Powell, but Powell didn't want to remarry right away as he had just gone through a divorce with Carole Lombard.  I believe they were engaged; but Harlow became ill and died before they wed.  I believe one of William Powell's regrets in life was not marrying Jean Harlow. 

 

Prior to watching "Double Wedding" I read that Harlow's death came in the middle of filiming and that Powell (and Loy too? Perhaps everyone in Hollywood) took a hiatus from the film to make arrangements for Harlow and to work through his grief.  I don't know if I'm imagining things because I knew of all this and somehow perceived the film differently because of it; but this film seems to have a different "vibe" than other Powell/Loy vehicles.  Did anyone else feel this? Or am I just crazy?


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#5 mrroberts

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 05:15 PM

Considering the terrible circumstances of Jean Harlow's death while William Powell and Myrna Loy were filming DOUBLE WEDDING, I think its rather commendable that the film ended up as well as it did. They did take time off when Jean died but eventually returned to work and finished the film. I have to believe that once Powell started working again it was a welcome distraction for him.

#6 Bastet

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 04:22 PM

I've found all the films in the collection enjoyable so far; but I think my favorite so far is "Love Crazy."

 

I adore that one!  It's right behind Libeled Lady as my favorite of their non-Thin Man comedies.



#7 speedracer5

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 12:49 AM

Is "Double Wedding" the one where William Powell plays an artist that lives in a trailer outside of a bar?  I own the TCM William Powell/Myrna Loy collection and this film is part of the collection.  I've watched all the films in the collection except "Evelyn Prentice," which I haven't gotten to yet.  With the exception of "Manhattan Melodrama," I had never heard of the other films in the collection. 

 

I've found all the films in the collection enjoyable so far; but I think my favorite so far is "Love Crazy."  William Powell, however, should never shave his moustache off ever again, nor should he ever be in drag.  That was a little off-putting but hilarious at the same time.

 

With William Powell in a rather slapstick role in "Libeled Lady," the off beat artist in, I believe, "Double Wedding" and his drag sequence in "Love Crazy" it's interesting to see him being so campy (if that makes sense).  It provides quite a contrast to his typical sophisticated, witty, urbane roles.  Even in a screwball comedy like "My Man Godfrey," Powell is the straightman to Carole Lombard.  Even when she's being crazy, he is still suave and composed.  In my opinion, both William Powell and Myrna Loy were underrated as actors. 


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#8 Bastet

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 11:02 PM

Yes, I've seen Double Wedding (I've seen all the Loy/Powell films, and have almost all of them on DVD to watch whenever the mood strikes).  It's not my favorite of their collaborations - Jean Harlow's illness and death during filming undoubtedly account for at least some of the slightly off feel that permeates some of the film - but I enjoy it.  The ending is too slapstick for my taste and Margit's thawing towards Charlie is a bit abrupt, but there are a lot of delightful scenes to enjoy.  The shot of the gardener watering the lawn in the pouring rain cracks me up, as does Margit saying, "How we all missed being killed in our sleep" when Keough says he was the best on the force.  And Loy and Powell are perfectly adorable in the picnic scene, which goes along way towards selling me on the relationship despite its hurried nature.  Their various scenes in the trailer are also quite enjoyable, and that gong cracks me up.  "You musn't."



#9 mrroberts

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 08:13 PM

Bastet, have you seen the Powell/Loy film "Double Wedding" ?

#10 Bastet

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 05:12 PM

This is one of my favorite films.  (And I, too, bought the Jean Harlow Collection DVD set even though this and Wife vs. Secretary are the only movies in the set I like.)

 

I'm a bit hit and miss with Spencer Tracy (and most of the times I find him a hit are when he's working with Katharine Hepburn), but I quite like him in this role.  I love Myrna Loy, especially with William Powell, and find this one of their best collaborations.  In fact, it's probably my favorite outside the Thin Man franchise.  The evolution of Connie and Bill's relationship is nicely done, especially the conversation in front of the horses showing how comfortable and natural together they have become. 



#11 speedracer5

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 12:15 AM

"Libeled Lady" is a great film.  I really love the William Powell/Myrna Loy combo.  In fact, I think I finally own all their collaborations. This film was hilarious, albeit, hard to find on DVD.  I ended up buying the TCM Greatest Legends: Jean Harlow collection, just to get this film.  I'm not even a huge fan of Jean Harlow.  I don't dislike her; but I don't actively seek her out.  Though, I think I may check out the other films in the collection as I'd like to see what the big deal is about Harlow.  She's okay; but I haven't figured out what the big deal was about her, except that she seemed somewhat scandalous and died at such a young age. 

 

I enjoyed this film much more than I did the remake, "Easy to Wed."

 

They had:

Esther Williams in the Myrna Loy role

Keenan Wynn in the Spencer Tracy role

Lucille Ball in the Jean Harlow role

Van Johnson in the WIlliam Powell role.

 

First off, Esther Williams and Van Johnson are no Myrna Loy and William Powell.  Lucille Ball was fantastic as always.  Keenan Wynn is whatever.  My only other recollection of him in a film role is playing a cop in "The Long, Long Trailer."  The overall story was there; but I didn't really care for the random songs added and of course, there had to be a swimming pool scene for Esther Williams.  I'm not a fan of Williams, I don't actively dislike her, but what I've seen her in hasn't impressed me.  Maybe I haven't seen the right Esther Williams film.


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#12 mrroberts

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 11:32 PM

*Libeled Lady* is on again in the Essentials time spot. The four stars all shine in this great screwball comedy. So sad though, Jean Harlow was gone soon after this :(

#13 clore

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:03 PM

I turned on TCM to catch LIBELED LADY today at 1230pm. Just before it was to start, there was a promo spot for this week's edition of "The Essentials" and the film to air on Saturday is....

Libeled Lady!

Whew, I was thinking that maybe I stepped into a time warp.

#14 Arturo

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 07:18 PM

*I was thinking...what if Clark Gable had been cast in the Tracy role?*

MGM did originally conceive it to star Gable. But he was doing Love On The Run with Crawford, and with Tracy new on the lot, happily cast him, helping to cement his popularity and become a top-drawer star, as well as prove he was effective in comedy.

#15 La_Dolce_Screwball

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 01:32 PM

I can watch this movie over and over again, and it never grows old! However, I was thinking...what if Clark Gable had been cast in the Tracy role? It would have been interesting to see him paired with William Powell again, and since Harlow/Powell/Gable/Loy were mixed and matched at MGM so often, it definitely would have been even more of a powerhouse film.

Edited by: La_Dolce_Screwball on May 20, 2010 2:32 PM

#16 arlenemccarthy

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 06:39 PM

I love Myrna.

#17 audreyforever

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 07:51 PM

This is one of the best...what a treat!

#18 DownGoesFrazier

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 09:04 AM

Nobody in film histiory was funnier while spewing venom than Harlow.

#19 traceyk65

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 07:57 AM

Ok, true. Maybe I should have said, "They should have gotten this group together earlier..."

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#20 DownGoesFrazier

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 03:22 PM

Well, they couldn't put together the group to include Harlow for obvious reasons.




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