Jean Harlow’s Power Pout

It is my considered opinion that no one can pout like Harlow.

"Get out and stay out!" - Hell's Angels (I think she means it...)

That power pout of hers is the reason, strange but true, that I first paid any attention to her at all. I was watching Red Headed Woman one lazy Saturday afternoon, and somewhere in the middle came a foot stomp…followed up with that delicious ‘Don’t Mess With Me’ pout…  and I just had to do a double take.

I still don’t know precisely why it wallops me, but it does. She’s both a toddler in a fit, a clawing goddess, and a vulnerable young woman. That’s not acting. That’s Harlean Carpenter in the flesh, raw and real and thoroughly electrifying.

You can try to mimick it, but you can never ever come close to it. That emotive pout– the reason my eyebrow raised that Saturday afternoon and I sat straight and took note.

My favorite Harlow Power Pout: the entire 7 minutes of this Red Headed Woman clip. The word you’re looking for, ladies and gents, is usually preceded by the word ‘holy’ and followed by something with an ‘f’…

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Film writer and social media marketing professional. 2019 Social Ambassador for the 10th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival. Previously: social media associate at Warner Archive and script writer for Turner Classic Movies. Working on a Montgomery Clift biography due late 2020.

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