2 October 2007 | hollywwood
"Harlow": Rare and enjoyable!
This version of "Harlow" used to be a staple on local television until the mid-1970's. Then it suddenly vanished. It was nice to finally catch up with this film again. It has generally been acknowledged as a slipshod filmization of the life of Hollywood's Blonde Bombshell, Jean Harlow. Apart from the film mixing fact with fiction, it's really not a bad movie. It was shot in just eight days, and it looks like a live TV show. But that's fine! The inexpensive process used for filming the movie ultimately creates an appropriate atmosphere for the film. Carol Lynley is good as Jean Harlow. Had she been given more than three weeks rehearsal, she might have given a stronger performance. Ginger Rogers (who had only a couple of days rehearsal after being chosen as a fast replacement when Judy Garland quit the production) simultaneously gives a bravado performance and shows her unmistakable star quality as Mama Jean. Hurd Hatfield, ever a fine actor, is very moody as producer Paul Bern. Lloyd Bochner has an ongoing role throughout the film as a Hollywood big shot. Undeniably low-budget, this production of "Harlow" is much more enjoyable than the alternate version made the same year. I'd seek this one out. It works better as entertainment on all levels.