Personal Property (1937)

Approved   |    |  Comedy, Romance

Personal Property (1937) Poster

Raymond Dabney returns to his family after trouble with the law. He convinces the sheriff to give him a job watching the house and furniture of widow Crystal Wetherby without knowing she is... See full summary »


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17 March 2016 | MartinHafer
| Robert Taylor as a Brit? Why not use Mantan Moreland or Benson Fong instead?
Back during the golden age of Hollywood, things were not always so golden when it came to casting folks in films. Since almost all the actors were contract players essentially belonging to one studio, the studios often tried to fit the actors into films instead of finding the best actor or actress for the part. So, when MGM wanted to do a film about China, they cast Walter Huston and Katharine Hepburn in it! And, the same sort of wacky casting happened somewhat regularly. While not nearly as goofy, some knucklehead at MGM thought 'Robert Taylor isn't busy with a film and he IS very let's have him star in "Personal Property"'...even though the role calls for him to be English!! He sounds about as English as Greta Garbo...and this is the same guy who starred as a brash American in "A Yank at Oxford"! Now I am not saying this is a bad film....just a badly cast film. Jean Harlow (in her last completed movie) is just fine because she plays an American fortune- hunter. And, Reginald Owen is just fine as her upper-class English fiancé...though you are expected to believe he and Taylor are brothers!

When the film begins, Raymond Dabney (Taylor) has just gotten out of jail for something...though they don't say what. His brother, Claude (Owen) is upset because the sudden appearance of Raymond might scare away the fiancée, Crystal (Harlow). By a complete act of chance, Raymond sees Crystal at the opera and INSTANTLY falls head over heels for her. In 1930s films, this is kind of cute as he constantly follows her. When seen today, he seems much more like a creepy stalker!

It turns out that Crystal AND Claude are both interested in marrying each other because they think the other one is rich! Claude is far from rich...and Crystal is so broke that practically everything she owns is being repossessed! So how's all this going to work out and how is Raymond going to figure into all this? See the film...find out for yourself.

Overall, it's a decent film....enjoyable but also slight and easy to forget. The only outstanding portion was the dinner party sequence, as I thought it was rather funny seeing the British actors exaggerating their stuffy upper-class patter. They were so incredibly dull and awful...but funny.

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