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Movie Info

When a major newspaper accuses wealthy socialite Connie Allenbury (Myrna Loy) of being a home-wrecker, and she files a multi-million-dollar libel lawsuit, the publication's frazzled head editor, Warren Haggerty (Spencer Tracy), must find a way to turn the tables on her. Soon Haggerty's harried fiancée, Gladys Benton (Jean Harlow), and his dashing friend Bill Chandler (William Powell) are in on a scheme that aims to discredit Connie, with amusing and unexpected results.

Cast & Crew

Jean Harlow
Gladys Benton
Spencer Tracy
Warren Haggerty
Myrna Loy
Connie Allenbury
William Powell
Bill Chandler
Walter Connolly
James B. Allenbury
Charley Grapewin
Hollis Bane, Owner NY Evening Star
Cora Witherspoon
Mrs. Burns-Norvell
E.E. Clive
Evans the Fishing Instructor
Otto Yamaoka
Ching, Haggerty's Valet
William Axt
Original Music
Norbert Brodine
Cinematographer
Cedric Gibbons
Art Direction
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Critic Reviews for Libeled Lady

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Libeled Lady

  • Feb 01, 2017
    This movie features Hollywood royalty in 1936: Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy, William Powell, and Spencer Tracy - that's quite a cast. And it's an interesting premise: Loy is the daughter of a rich businessman who is suing Spencer Tracy's newspaper for libel. Tracy is about to get married to Harlow, but puts off the wedding in order to deal with that, and turns to Powell to 'make it go away'. Their plan is to have Powell get on a ship crossing the ocean that he knows Loy and her father will be on, seduce her into getting into a compromising position, and then have someone burst in on them so that they can threaten her with a suit of their own. To make that work, Powell first gets married to Harlow, so that Loy would be subject to an "alienation of affection" lawsuit (a law that has since been abolished in most but not all states). Harlow isn't happy, but goes along with that because of Tracy's predicament, and because she knows she can later get a divorce. Not surprisingly, things don't go as planned. I loved the banter between Loy and Powell, as she dislikes him at the outset, and suspects he's scheming at something, she's just not sure what. The fishing trip she and her father take him on has some priceless slapstick comedy from Powell, and it's fun to see Loy out there fishing. Things get complicated as Harlow begins falling for Powell, and the movie finishes strong, with a nice twist in what is a great final scene. The movie was worthy of its nomination for Best Picture, but it was in a year when another Powell/Loy vehicle would win it ("The Great Ziegfeld"). It's a bit odd to me that it's considered a "screwball comedy"; I don't think that's the right designation at all, but it's fun, will make you smile, and is definitely worth watching.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 25, 2013
    A great madcap comedy with its characters in a whirlwind to prevent a libel suit. Jean Harlow, Spencer Tracy and Bill Powell up the ante on the screwball by playing off of each other marvelously.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 07, 2011
    Altho billed with Harlow as the star don't t be fooled. Powell and Loy had already struck box office gold 2 years previously with The Thin Man and so this is really their movie, the studio cashing in on their undenible chemistry together. Harlow and Tracy are only second bananas in this poor second cousin to a screwball comedy. Harlow is in fact wasted as a shrew while Tracy fares only a little better as a foil to Powell. Ultimately a disappointment though.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 07, 2011
    right up there with the classic screwball comedies. no idea why it isn't more well known. scenes between powell and tracy are pure gold
    Stella D Super Reviewer

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