LIBELED LADY (1936)

Dir. Jack Conway

If MGM production head Irving G. Thalberg knew anything, it was how to showcase the studio's many stars. He did so masterfully in this screwball comedy that combines the rough-and-tumble newspaper world with high society. Spencer Tracy stars as a tough-talking editor threatened with a lawsuit when his newspaper accuses heiress Myrna Loy of breaking up a marriage. To prove her a home wrecker, he has his own girlfriend (Jean Harlow) marry suave reporter William Powell in secret, then sends Powell off to win over Loy, leading to a string of snappy one-liners and broken hearts. Powell and Loy were already an established team in the Thin Man films when Thalberg put them back together for a romance that was equal parts witty banter and pratfalls. Tracy was in only his second year at the studio but was already an ace at needling co-stars (he teased Loy throughout that her recent marriage had broken his heart) and stealing scenes. But it was Harlow who scored the biggest hit in a role capturing the brassy charm that made her a fan favorite.

LIBELED LADY
TM and ©2012 TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES A TIME WARNER COMPANY ALL RIGHTS RESERVED