Platinum Blonde

Platinum Blonde

Director: Frank Capra Cast: Loretta Young, Robert Williams, Jean Harlow

DVD (Remastered / B&W)

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Overview

A rather bleak comedy-drama from Frank Capra, Platinum Blonde basically starts where Capra's later and much more buoyant It Happened One Night (1934) ends: the marriage between a brash newspaperman and a society dame. But where the latter comedy was enhanced by the director's patented optimism, Platinum Blonde, produced at the height of the Great Depression, expresses no faith in a common ground between the classes. Star reporter Stew Smith (Robert Williams) falls in love with the sister (Jean Harlow) of his latest victim (Donald Dillaway). They marry despite the misgivings of Ann Schuyler's blue-nosed mother (Louise Closser Hale) and Stew's cynical colleagues ("Ann Schuyler's in the blue book. You're not even in the phone book!"). Unable to stand life in a gilded cage for long, Stew upsets the Schuyler mansion by inviting his friends to a wild and woolly party. Returning home unexpected in the middle of the drunken revelry, Ann lays down the law and Stew bolts -- right into the arms of girl reporter Gallagher (Loretta Young), whom he has loved all along without realizing it. Jean Harlow is surprisingly realistic as the callous society girl but Robert Williams' wisecracking reporter comes across as rather grating. An up-and-coming comic lead, Williams died after an operation for appendicitis on November 3, 1931, less than a month after Platinum Blonde had premiered to mostly positive reviews. Ironically, Loretta Young, who received top billing, had demanded to star in this film when it was still known as "Gallagher", the name of her character. Harlow, needless to stay, stole the limelight completely and Capra changed the title much to Young's chagrin.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/04/2014
UPC: 0043396452800
Original Release: 1931
Rating: NR
Source: Sony Pictures Home
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [B&W]
Time: 1:29:00
Sales rank: 11,776

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Loretta Young Gallagher
Robert Williams Stew Smith
Jean Harlow Anne Schuyler
Louise Closser Hale Mrs. Schuyler
Donald Dilloway Michael Schuyler
Reginald Owen Dexter Grayson
Walter Catlett Bingy Baker
Edmund Breese Conroy, The Editor
Claud Allister Dawson, The Valet
Rychard Cramer Speakeasy Proprietor
Dick Pritchard Actor
Halliwell Hobbes Smythe, The Butler
Wilson Benge Butler
Tom London Reporter
Olaf Hytten Radcliffe
Charles Jordan Reporter
Hal Price Reporter
Harry Semels Waiter
Eddy Chandler Reporter
William "Wild Bill" Elliott Dinner Guest

Technical Credits
Frank Capra Director
Edward Bernds Sound Mixer
Harry Chandlee Original Story
Douglas W. Churchill Original Story
Harry Cohn Producer
C.C. Coleman Asst. Director
Stephen Goosson Art Director
Dorothy Howell Screenwriter
Gene Milford Editor
Robert Riskin Screenwriter
Jo Swerling Screenwriter
Joseph Walker Cinematographer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Platinum Blonde
1. Chapter 1 [9:30]
2. Chapter 2 [10:29]
3. Chapter 3 [9:53]
4. Chapter 4 [10:06]
5. Chapter 5 [10:18]
6. Chapter 6 [9:47]
7. Chapter 7 [10:10]
8. Chapter 8 [10:28]
9. Chapter 9 [8:01]

Customer Reviews

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Platinum Blonde 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Robert Williams makes this film worth a look. He's virtually unknown today because he died so young -- just days after this movie premiered in 1931. But if this is any indication, he could have ended up as one of the top leading men of that era. He kind of reminded me of Gable in a few ways. Harlow is always a plus, but this isn't the best Harlow vehicle I've seen. She's better in things like CHINA SEAS, RED HEADED WOMAN, LIBELED LADY, and WIFE vs SECRETARY. I liked Loretta Young more than Harlow in this film.
anselmus More than 1 year ago
Harlow, Loretta Young and some of the rest of the cast do a fair job in this dated comedy. Robert Williams, as the lead, is quite annoying and scarcely funny at all. I found this at best a curiosity. The setup and plot are mildly interesting. To really see some good work by Jean Harlow check out Libeled Lady or Dinner At Eight.