Jean Harlow, Evolution of an Actress – Part 1

5 thoughts on “Jean Harlow, Evolution of an Actress – Part 1”

  1. She was so young and inexperienced when she made her earliest films it’s hard to believe Harlow was expected to be anything more than a girl (a beautiful one) onscreen. I didn’t think she did a bad job in Platinum Blonde, she was evolving and it showed, but she was getting better. Looking forward to your next installment on Harlow’s evolution.

    1. I agree, Eve. Particularly with Public Enemy, the poor thing is this acting novice working alongside three Vaudeville and Broadway veterans (Cagney, Clark and Blondell)! It’s really a testament to her as a professional that she blossomed so completely as an actress!

  2. I do have to agree with Mae Clarke’s assessment of Harlow in The Public Enemy–she really does make me cringe there. I think my first taste of Harlow as how I think of Harlow comes in The Beast of the City, especially when she’s teasing Wallace Ford with her dance. And then, yes Red Headed Woman, just wow!

  3. I haven’t seen The Beast of the City but fortunately it’s coming up on TCM later this month and I’ll have a chance to take a look. It was apparently the first movie that brought Harlow consistently good reviews. I’ve read that Red-Headed Woman had a so-so preview and that Thalberg had scenes added &/or edited to further emphasize the comedy.

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