Platinum Blonde (1931)

dir. Frank Capra. Stewart Smith (Robert Williams) is a reporter for a major newspaper, on assignment to get the scoop on some high society gossip. He ends up falling in love with the wealthy heiress (Jean Harlow), but their different social status and expectations takes its toll on their relationship. Tragically two of the lead actors died very young, Williams dies days after the release of this film, and Harlow died six years later of kidney failure, she was only 26. The film is apparently a romantic comedy, but Stewart is so boorish, unpleasant, and violent that it ruins any sympathy one might have for his relationships. He’s also very brutish and rude to his colleague and “pal” Gallagher (played by the wonderful Loretta Young), blowing smoke in her face, playfully threatening to punch her in the face, and generally being a selfish prat. A good romantic comedy needs believable romantic chemistry between the performers, and this is very lacking in Platinum Blonde.

By Nicholas Hudson-Ellis

Co-Founder & Film Programs Manager of Bangkok Screening Room.

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