A sparkler from the days when they knew how to do screwball comedy. Tracy plays Warren Haggerty, the managing editor of a newspaper which erroneously prints a story saying that wealthy Connie Allenbury (Loy) is busy nabbing another woman's husband, a British peer. She sues the paper for $5
million. Warren is about to marry Gladys Benton (Harlow), a woman he's left at the altar several times. Now the festivities have to be postponed once again, because Warren must get to the bottom of the story and defuse the lawsuit which could cost him his job. He hires Bill Chandler (Powell), a
former co-worker who doesn't like him but needs a job. The task is to marry Gladys (in name only), thus clearing the way for Bill to woo Connie. If that works, Gladys can sue the heiress for alienation of affection, and then agree to drop that suit if Connie drops hers. What goes wrong in all this
confusion is that Connie isn't entirely crazy about being used like this and Bill and Connie really do start falling in love. (What else would you expect from William Powell and Myrna Loy?) The complications are fast and furious before the expected two-pair finale.
LIBELED LADY combines the talents of four first-rate farceurs with a crackling script and ace direction. They all have a chance to shine, but we give the slightest of edges to Harlow, who shifts into high wisecracking gear for this one. Don't try to make any sense of the plot; you'll find yourself
following its daffy logic just fine. Simply relax and enjoy the merry meanderings of a cast that seemed to be having a bang-up time making this movie. The laughs come rolling off the screen in just about every sequence, but Powell's attempt at fishing and the "bride kisses the best man" bit at one
wedding are two highlights. Jack Conway, a good director of many fine films, isn't quite a Leo McCarey or a Howard Hawks, and this film doesn't quite equal THE AWFUL TRUTH or BRINGING UP BABY. Still, LIBELED LADY stands as one of the better "screwball" comedies of the 1930s. It earned an Academy
Award nomination for Best Picture, but lost to THE GREAT ZIEGFELD.
Cast & Details See all »
- Rating: NR
- Review: A sparkler from the days when they knew how to do screwball comedy. Tracy plays Warren Haggerty, the managing editor of a newspaper which erroneously prints a story saying that wealthy Connie Allenbury (Loy) is busy nabbing another woman's husband, a Briti… (more)