I treasure this film for Jean Harlow's performance, capped by a magnificent, simple line reading: "You are a fool. For which I am grateful."
She had amazing range for an actress who died at 26. Howard Hughes presented her in "Hell's Angels" (1930) as an amoral menace to civilization. (When she slips into "something comfortable" she actually puts on clothes.) It would be charitable to call her appearance in that picture acting. Yet within a couple of years she could dominate the screen by the force of genuine talent.
Her starring career blazed briefly, but with almost no wasted roles. Here she gets to behave like a normal working class woman--not a débutante, nor a tenement dweller, nor a criminal's moll, nor a voracious mantrap, nor a comic banshee, nor an adventuress working the China Seas or Malay docksides.
Clark Gable and Myrna Loy have more customary roles. A part this quiet remains a rarity for the winsome, brilliant, and doomed Harlow.
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