Review

  • This is a perfect little film, absolutely well-rounded and exquisite. Beautifully scripted, intelligently directed, ebulliently acted.

    Clark Gable is the successful publisher, newly married to society lady Myrna Loy who, although very modern and not jealously disposed, begins to suspect that he is carrying on an affair with his bleach-blonde secretary, Jean Harlow. As Gable's mother states, laconically of her son, "You wouldn't blame a boy for stealing a piece of candy".

    All fluff, right? Light as air, unsubstantial? Of course it is, it takes masters of their craft to make this plot stick, to make the movie plain unforgettable. Gable was never better, he seems to relish every second he is on screen, and there is none of the masculine stiffness about him that his worst performances have. He is a joy to watch with the always delightful Loy, their scenes together bristle and self-combust, and they are a really sweet, engaging couple. Loy has to be the most sophisticated creature ever to be filmed, she is SO cool and contemporary ("I'm the best, aren't I?", she says with just the slightest sardonic hint.) Harlow isn't given as much to work with, and she has to downplay her sassy sexiness in order not to tip the scales. But she is still almost all Harlow, and they go as far as they possibly could under the Production Code. The scene with Harlow and Gable in the Havana hotel room is all about sex, as we are left in no doubt.

    So, watch it and love it. It is as perfect a piece of 30's film-making as you are likely to see.