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Jean Harlow


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16 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

I've never been able to warm up to Harlow. I recorded one of her movies last month, looking forward to knowing more about her. Certainly a tragedy dying at 26.

 

Me neither.  She was a pretty terrible actress--certainly a formidable screen presence, but seriously, a bad actress--and personally I've never found that bleached blonde style attractive.  I liked her in "Red-Headed Woman" precisely because she didn't have that hair.

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3 hours ago, Vidor said:

 

Me neither.  She was a pretty terrible actress--certainly a formidable screen presence, but seriously, a bad actress--and personally I've never found that bleached blonde style attractive.  I liked her in "Red-Headed Woman" precisely because she didn't have that hair.

I have never been much of a fan of Harlow.    I really wonder if she had not died at such a young age what her legacy would be today;  e.g. would she have grown as an actress and did some really fine work or would she have mostly disappeared in the 40s like so many other actors did who lacked the chops.

I do enjoy 4 - 6 films Harlow is in but my favorite are films like Libeled Lady,  where Harlow is clearly the least competent actor of the 4 stars  (Powell,  Loy,  Tracy being the others).

I also place Harlow in the middle of the pack in the looks department;  e.g.  Loy was beautiful,,,, Harlow,,,,   not so much,  but she did have a cheap looking sexuality,  which did pair well with Gable.

 

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She probably would have married William Powell and retired from movies in her prime, like his wife Diana Lewis did. Diana Lewis was an MGM starlet who traded in a career for domestic bliss.

Maybe she would have done some guest-starring roles on television but Powell never did television. So my guess is they would have retreated from the public eye. Her legacy as a 30s bombshell would have remained intact because the public would not have really seen her age and there would not have been much later work to compare against the stuff from her heyday. 

Kay Francis and Norma Shearer also retreated from the public eye. 

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