27 February 2020 | TheLittleSongbird
Virtue makes good
Jean Harlow was always a sheer delight in her films, so full of life, charming and beautiful with some of the most sparkling comic timing of anybody at that time in film. Such a shame that she died so young with so much more to give and didn't do more films, regardless the film she was always one of the best assets. 'The Girl from Missouri' had a good cast besides Harlow, including Lionel Barrymore, who may not have been what one calls a subtle actor but was always riveting to watch.
Don't let the title of the film put one off. From the title, one expects 'The Girl from Missouri' to be pretty generic, very cute if not much more and basically with not much to it. It is a much better film actually than the title indicates, a much more spirited, wittier and more charming film than one would think and doesn't get too cute. Not perfect, but the cast are on form, it's well directed and the writing sparkles at its best.
Harlow is perfection here in 'The Girl from Missouri'. Truly enchanting and her comic timing dazzles. The other standouts are Barrymore, both hilarious and crusty, and Patsy Kelly, occasionally going a bit overboard but clearly having a great time. The whole cast are good and what makes the film work, as well as their chemistry which never labours. Franchot Tone has been better, but he does his best in bringing colour and wit to his fairly one-dimensional character. Alan Mowbray brings distinguished support as does a poignant Lewis Stone.
'The Girl from Missouri' benefits from a sharp and witty script, a spirited pace, a genuine charm and Jack Conway directs with skill and energy throughout. The story is silly as heck but is never dull.
Some of the situations are a little on the forced and convenient side.
Part of me wished that there was more nuance to Tone's character, because he can be one of those where one is not sure what people see in him.
Overall though, a lot of fun and fans of Harlow should love it. 8/10