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In this story, Harlow starts in the movies as set dressing, the pretty girl who is used for the glamour shots. Refusing to descend to the casting couch for work, she finds that she is soon blacklisted from the industry. But an agent named Arthur sees something in Jean and begins representing her. For a long time, the jobs are scarce and consist mostly of receiving the pie in the face in low budget comedies. But Arthur's belief in Jean never wavers and when she finally graduates to featured roles, the critics say that she cannot act, but she is unforgettable. Polishing the image as the girl next door, but with some fire, she begins her climb to the top and becomes the girl every woman wants to look like and every man wants to have. But her own life is a disaster - unlike her screen life.Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
The film neglects to mention any of Jean Harlow's actual films, or even that she was under contract to MGM (she worked at fictitious Majestic studios, in this production). None of her real-life co-stars are named or depicted, nor are her 1st and 3rd marriages mentioned. She's said to have died from pneumonia, but in actuality, it was uremic poisoning which killed her. The only characters given their real names are Harlow herself, her husband Paul Bern, her agent (as well as the source of this film), Arthur Landau, and her mother and stepfather. The film's claim Paul Bern committed suicide due to impotency has been widely questioned - some, such as his close friend, director, Henry Hathaway have suggested he was murdered by gangsters, and the studio covered this up to avoid bad publicity. See more »
While on personal appearance tour, Harlow performs 1960s-style twist dance steps in scene supposedly set in the 1930s. See more »
[after Paul's death]
Don't say things about the dead
There's nobody deader than I am right now. Oh, I guarantee all of you I won't be by tomorrow.
See more »
Harlow is an interesting film following the "Blonde Bombshell's" rise and fall in Hollywood. Weighed down by a despicable yet charming family, Harlow hits it big in Tinseltown.
Despite playing fast and loose with the facts, this film brings the glamour of Harlow to audiences. Carroll Baker delivers well as Harlow. This may be heresy, but in my opinion, Baker is even more beautiful than Harlow herself.
The film doesn't do so well in ignoring important facts. First, Jean Harlow wasn't the innocent girl next door. In fact, she had wed at age 16. Second, Leslie Nielson's character, which was actually supposed to portray Howard Hughes was damn near libelous. Third, the interpretations on Harlow's marriage to Paul Bern paint him as a homosexual. His own biography tends to point to impotence.
Despite these diversions from "truth" if there is any in Hollywood, do not take away from the power of this film. If you don't know anything about Jean Harlow, the end may shock you.
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