Libeled Lady - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Libeled Lady Reviews

Page 1 of 7
April 7, 2018
Amazingly funny! Jean Harlow's performance is excellent. Spencer Tracy portrayal of a caddish journalist feels like it's written with him in mind. As always, William Powell and Myrna Loy are perfect together and have such an amazing chemistry. She's rich, he's not. It's like Nick and Nora Charles. Thankfully, it also has Walter Connelly who in my opinion is a King of Comedy. His soothing voice combined with his peppered attitude is always something I want to see. Watch him in Fifth Avenue Girl and you'll see what I mean. In fact if you like this then Fifth is one you must see. I have two favorite lines in this film. Listen for Harlow's line in the final scene when she says the word "back!" and then Tracy's line about "his wife". Really though, there are so many clever lines and they seem effortless. Though it's a screwball, many of the jokes are less obvious than otgers. Like the line of what Gladys doesn't do for Warren, by Warren. This is truly a great film and I enjoyed it so much that I just ordered the DVD for eternal love.
½ March 26, 2017
Loved this classic comedy from 1936 starring William Powell, Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy and Jean Harlow. Just a joy to watch and Powell has become one of my favourite classic stars. Anyone that likes classic films should seek this out. Highly recommended!
Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
February 1, 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.
½ October 25, 2015
When a newspaper makes a bad claim and slanders the daughter of a rich man, they are faced with giant lawsuit that will destroy the paper. Wily editor Haggerty hatches a crazy plan: re-hire someone he fired a while back, marry him to his fiance, and then lure the playgirl daughter to fall so the libel suit is tossed out. What follows is a zany plot, but its the four main leads who sell this movie, going all out in their respective roles. Its a lot of fun when everyone is giving 100%, for a solid screwball comedy from the 30's.
February 14, 2015
Hard to go wrong with all star cast such as this, I loved the Newspaper plot since I worked for newspapers not too many years after the film was released. The comedy almost had a slapstick genre to it. A fun movie to watch in this day & age. alot of lines to remember and a little fast for the the time window, I'd have like too seen it slowed down just a bit, but still well worth the 5 star rating I gave it.
½ December 23, 2014
I don't know if this is officially a screwball comedy (or a comedy of remarriage, as many of them were) but it is pretty damn close. Myrna Loy and William Powell are delicious as usual (as the libeled young lady in question and the man hired to get her to drop her lawsuit, respectively) but throw in Spencer Tracy (brash newspaperman, of course) and Jean Harlow (his gal, who marries Powell who aims to seduce Loy so Harlow can sue for alienation of affection thus throwing the libel suit against Tracy's newspaper into doubt) and you've got the goods. The plot/plan in that last parenthetical naturally does not go off without a hitch - but things work out anyway (or do they?). The four stars are at the top of their game and the script rolls merrily along, inexorably to a complicated comedic conclusion. Great fun!
December 15, 2014
Great interplay between all four leads made this one I was happy to finally cross off my list of shame. Myrna Loy and William Powell have never let me down.

November 29, 2014
Man oh Man. Harlow, Tracy, Powell and Loy in one film. There truly were more stars at MGM than in the heavens... Old-time madcap screwball comedy in the best sense--Two strong ladies for the price of one at the Top of their game... Socialite vs. Tabloids!!
½ October 8, 2014
There is one genre of film that you cannot call subpar, dime-a-dozen, or tired. That genre is the screwball comedy. The reason a screwball comedy can never be mediocre is, in order to be a screwball comedy, you must have fantastic actors, lightning quick dialogue, and a plot that sometimes can't seem to catch up to with the trailblazing actors. You can't call yourself a screwball comedy: you must be called one. That narrows it down, doesn't it?
"Libeled Lady" is neither the best nor the worst screwball comedy (there isn't necessarily a worst, but the best is a tie between "His Girl Friday" and "My Man Godfrey"), but it's a mega-delight. Seeing William Powell and Myrna Loy coupling up for the umpteenth time is always a pleasure, but in "Libeled Lady", they're teamed with Jean Harlow and Spencer Tracy, and the results couldn't be any more fun.
The film opens with a shocking newspaper headline: socialite Connie Allenbury (Loy) is a husband stealer! One can hardly believe that Myrna Loy would do something so utterly distasteful, and we're right. It's a case of mistaken identity, but Connie is filthy rich and won't ignore a simple case of error. She decides the best thing to do is to sue the newspaper for $5 million on libel charges.
Editor-in-chief Warren Haggerty (Tracy) already has a bitter fiancé, Gladys (Harlow), tugging on his sleeve, waiting to get married, and the libel suit only makes for a tipping point. Desperate, he comes up with a diabolical yet genius idea. He hires Bill Chandler (Powell), a former employee in serious need of a job, to marry Gladys and court Connie. That way, Connie would actually be a husband stealer. But of course, as they get to know each other, Bill and Connie fall in love; and Gladys, who is so desperate to be a wife, begins to get jealous of Connie, naturally.
With a movie so glamorous, it's hard to believe that in 1936, most people lived in shacks, not mansions. "Libeled Lady" is so smoothly entertaining that we get lost in its madcap situations, and most likely, so did the audiences that lived in shacks. The film is pure escapism, and, nowadays, movies are so cynical that even a little bit of schmaltz is shot down.
"Libeled Lady" doesn't need to be sentimental to be light and entertaining - even the ending, which resolves everything with the simplicity of a Disney movie, is cleverly placed. The romances are as equally uncontrived: Warren and Gladys have that hateship loveship that old married couples carry around, and Connie and Bill's courtship is a series of witty lines and playful jabs at romance. When they dance together for the first time, Connie asks Bill what he thinks of her eyes; it's clear she expects him to compare them to the moon, the stars, anything syrupy. But he instead remarks that they look like angry marbles, and it's unexpected but perfect.
The cast has great chemistry, with Powell and Harlow as the biggest standouts. Powell is always a joy to watch as the slippery son-of-a-bitch that is too likable for his own good, and Harlow is a knockout as the loudmouthed, severely-spoiled, love hungry pawn. While it may have been labeled as a vehicle for the latter, "Libeled Lady" ends up being a glamorous and whip-smart ensemble comedy. It's an underrated screwball comedy for sure.
½ September 16, 2014
A very entertaining comedy movie from 1936.
February 14, 2014
This was a wonderful little comedy. This is what a Rom-Com should be. A clever story with wonderful characters that truly entertains. Myrna Loy and William Powell were great. Tracy had a smaller part than I expected. I wasn't overly enamoured by his and Harlow's characters but good stuff overall.
Super Reviewer
November 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.
July 7, 2013
Libeled Lady is an excellent film. It is about a newspaper man, his jilted fiancée, and his lawyer who hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news-story into the truth, before a high-society woman can sue for libel. Jean Harlow, William Powell, and Myrna Loy give amazing performances. The screenplay is well written. Jack Conway did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the humor and romance. Libeled Lady is a must see.
½ June 4, 2013
While not a true screwball comedy, this skewering of tabloid media is worth watching more than once. Some of the jokes fall flat; but then we can enjoy the reactions of the actors as they struggle through the scene (much like Bullwinkle Moose never getting his magic tricks quite right). Somehow it works without insulting our imagination or intelligence.
June 2, 2013
Even though Harlow played her usual character in her usual way, I found myself laughing out loud at times. So many old pros in this movie...and such a pleasure to see. You know the destination of the script in the first ten minutes; it doesn't matter because the trip is so much fun.
January 6, 2013
Entertaining comedy in which a newspaper editor (Spencer Tracy) writes an offensive, highly inaccurate article about a woman (Myrna Loy) who stole her husband's fortune. She sues and it screws over himself and his fiancée (Jean Harlow), to whom he delays the wedding of in order concentrate on preventing the suit. In order to do so though, he arranges for a man (William Powell) to falsely marry his fiancée and then court the wealthy woman, to initiate a new scandal to counteract the original one. Surprisingly funny comment has many nice moments and it is interesting how the stars of "The Thin Man" franchise are found within this film, though they do play the same characters. Likable performances particularly from Powell and Loy.
December 9, 2012
I understand during the making of this film the roles of Myrna Loy and Jean Harlow were originally cast opposite but the success of The Thin Man caused the producers to reverse the roles. Myrna Loy is her ever beautiful and charming self, Spencer Tracy is the weak link in my opinion but I would recommend this film
October 28, 2012
A very amusing screwball comedy with an all-star cast. It presents a ridiculously laughable farce about love, jealousy and a big libel suit that started it all. When a privileged woman (Loy) sues a newspaper for 5 million dollars, because of an article she's been slandered in, the editor of the paper (Tracy) comes up with an ingenious scheme that will make her drop the suit. He hires his old-time playboy colleague (Powell) and drags his angered wife-to-be (Harlow) into the whole intrigue. They are about to play a lawfully wedded couple that will make a big affair out of a romance between the playboy and the libeled lady. However, due to some funny circumstances love gets in the way and everything spirals out of control. Controlled by various emotions those people pair up in the most unsuspected way and are about to destroy the whole plot. While the suit is still on, the actors must take care of their own feelings and decide what's best for them.Libeled Lady is a perfectly acted screwball with lots of slapstick situations and many witty dialogues. It's an MGM star-showcase that does a good job of exhibiting its well-written storyline in the most splendid and farcical manner.
October 27, 2012
Libeled Lady is a wonderful comedy about a love triangle, back-stabbing, outrageous news stories, and more all rolled into one compelling film. This film is funny when it wants to be, but it is also a heartwarming film that makes you feel good at the same time. This film should receive more attention because it is quite wonderful.
½ August 23, 2012
Lots of snappy dialouge, but very little wit in this rom-com that takes its absurd plot too seriously.
Page 1 of 7