Suzy (1936)

Passed   |    |  Drama


Suzy (1936) Poster

Believing a German spy has killed her new husband, a struggling chorus girl flees to Paris where she meets and marries a World War I pilot, whose carefree ways brings about unexpected results.


6.4/10
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  • Cary Grant in Suzy (1936)
  • Jean Harlow and Una O'Connor in Suzy (1936)
  • Jean Harlow in Suzy (1936)
  • Una O'Connor in Suzy (1936)
  • Suzy (1936)
  • Jean Harlow in Suzy (1936)

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6 September 2009 | bkoganbing
7
| A Legend Gets Protected
Watching Suzy it's hard to believe that a year later Jean Harlow would be no more. She seems so witty and so bright in her performance as this American showgirl on the other side of the pond before World War I.

In the title role of Suzy, Harlow is down and out and about to be evicted from her not so palatial digs in London. She's not quite willing to go the casting couch route for a part. But things are becoming desperate. She meets young inventor Franchot Tone and they fall in love and marry. But they also discover a nest of German spies and the femme fatale of the nest, Benita Hume, shoots Tone and casts blame on Harlow. Jean flees to Paris where she gets involved with playboy aviator Cary Grant and then they marry. Wouldn't you know it Tone turns up alive and as it were he and Grant are friends.

I know I could be describing a comedy and Suzy does have its funny moments, but instead it's a well done drama with Harlow front and center in a typical part for her, a good natured dame who's learned life's answers from bitter experience. Her two leading men are clearly in support of her.

Franchot Tone did a few films at MGM with Harlow, but this was Cary Grant's one and only pairing with Jean. He was just leaving his original studio of Paramount to freelance and this might have been his first film with MGM. Notice the billing with Grant clearly number three as it was Harlow and Tone's home studio. Twelve year later Grant and Tone would be together in Every Girl Should Be Married with poor Jean dead eleven years and Grant clearly with the star billing.

Suzy received an Oscar nomination for Best Song which was won by Jerome Kern's The Way You Look Tonight from Swing Time. Jean sings Did I Remember with her voice dubbed on screen and Cary does an obbligato which gained some immortality in That's Entertainment. I have a recording of it by Dick Powell. Highly unusual because it's not a song introduced by Powell nor is it from a Warner Brothers film. So I'm guessing Powell must have liked the song to insist Decca record him doing it. It's a nice ballad by Walter Donaldson and Harold Adamson.

I won't give away the ending, but bear in mind those words from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance about when the legend becomes fact. A legend gets protected in Suzy.

Both on screen in the story and in the cinema legend of Jean Harlow, Suzy is a great example of the actress in a role tailor made for her talents.

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Drama

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