7 June 2009 | wes-connors
Carol Lynley as Jean Harlow in Black & White
After appearing in the Laurel and Hardy silent "Double Whoopee", curvy Carol Lynley (as Jean Harlow) is discovered by actor Lloyd Bochner (as Marc Peters), and invited to appear in a screen test for the sound re-make of Howard Hughes' unreleased "Hell's Angels". Although she is nervous about having to wear a bra, Ms. Lynley tests positive, and becomes an overnight sensation. Lynley is also nervous around smarmy star Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (as William Mansfield), who observes her screen test - but, later, they will fall in love.
With pushy "Mama" Ginger Rogers (as Jean Bello) and stepfather Barry Sullivan (as Marino Bello) soaking up her coattails, Lynley becomes one of Hollywood's biggest stars. But, Lynley is unhappy. She resents "bathtub scenes", and wants to be an Actress, like "Dinner at Eight" co-star Hermione Baddeley (as Marie Dressler). In her personal life, Lynley is devastated when she learns groom Hurd Hatfield (as Paul Bern) is impotent; she calls him a "pathetic cripple," drinks gin, and hires studly Michael Dante (as Ed) to satisfy her sexually.
This "Harlow" is the one with quick, low budget production values; the other one, released simultaneously, has Carroll Baker, Technicolor, and better production values. Both movies found greater success when resurrected for trashy television airings. As you might suspect, neither film is accurate or respectful as a biography of Jean Harlow. This film's strengths are its soundtrack (by Nelson Riddle & Al Ham), occasionally effective supporting cast, and teleplay "look" - as directed by Alex Segal in "electronovision".
***** Harlow (5/14/65) Alex Segal ~ Carol Lynley, Ginger Rogers, Efrem Zimbalist Jr.