"This is a great movie and a 1930's classic! While the plot may be a bit complex to describe, it's easy to get into and understand once the film starts. To make a long story short, a newspaper accidentally prints a false story involving an heiress (Myrna Loy) who then slaps the paper with a five million-dollar lawsuit. The editor of the paper (Spencer Tracy) concocts an elaborate scheme involving his fiancée (Jean Harlow) and former colleague (William Powell) in hopes of having the lawsuit dropped. Everything seems to go according to plan, but romantic entanglements soon abound and everything spins hilariously out of control. This is a great film that's held neatly together with witty dialogue and fueled by the first rate performances of its lead stars Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy, William Powell and Jean Harlow. Highly recommended!"
Lackluster treatment for a great comedy classic
Brian Judge | Washington DC | 07/26/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Warner Brothers brought this great screwball comedy to DVD with much fanfare, but did absolutely nothing to clean or restore the battered print that has been used for the VHS for nearly 20 years. Frames are actually missing in some scenes, and scratches are evident throughout. The contrast in the original silver nitrate print was dazzling -- this is fuzzy at best. I'm glad to see this film on DVD, but honestly, how hard would it have been to clean it up a bit?? The technology could have really made this old beauty shine."
Charming and Funny, A Timeless Classic
Reviewer | 06/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A libel suit, filed against a newspaper that knows it won't have a leg to stand on in court, triggers a chain of events that plays havoc with a number of relationships in "Libeled Lady," a classic romantic comedy directed by Jack Conway. On his wedding day, newspaper editor Warren Haggerty (Spencer Tracy) is summoned back to work before he ever reaches the church; there's a crisis at hand, and he's responsible, albeit indirectly. In his absence, another editor allowed a libelous story to make the front page; a story alleging a dalliance between a certain Connie Allenbury (Myrna Loy), one of the richest women in the country, and a married man. When, at the last minute, the paper discovers the story is false, the edition is recalled, but it's too late; fifty copies make it into circulation, and Connie Allenbury sues the paper to the tune of five million dollars. If they can't convince her to drop the suit, the paper is ruined. That's a tall order, however, for the Allenbury's have a long-running feud with the paper (twenty years), and Haggerty knows there's only one way to deal with it: They have to catch Connie Allenbury in a compromising position. It just so happens that a former employee of the paper, Bill Chandler (William Powell), is an expert at handling such matters. According to Haggerty's plan, Chandler will court Miss Allenbury, and when the time is right, his wife (along with a photographer) will catch them in the act. But first, the single Chandler needs a wife, and it has to be a legal marriage that will hold up in court. And Haggerty has just the woman for the part: Gladys (Jean Harlow), his own bride-to-be, still smarting from being left alone at the altar. He convinces her it will be in name only for one month, after which time she will enjoy a six week vacation in Reno (allowing for the divorce proceedings), and after that, everything's jake. When she agrees, knowing how much the paper means to Haggerty, it begins a comedic interlude with a new twist arriving at every turn. The legendary Harlow is an absolute delight here, as the spunky Gladys, the girl taken for granted for too long, and who enters the fray determined to get what she really wants: A loving husband. Tracy is right at home as the fast-talking newspaperman, married to the job and too thick-headed to realize what a treasure he has in Gladys. Loy is charming as the sophisticated Connie, the guarded aristocrat with the down-to-earth sense of who she really is, and Powell is marvelous, bringing a subtle, self-deprecating sense of humor to the ever-gentlemanly Bill Chandler. This is a funny movie, with some truly memorable scenes, especially one in which Chandler first learns how to fish, then must put his newly acquired "skills" to the test during a fishing trip with Connie and her father, Mr. Allenbury (Walter Connolly), who is an expert fisherman. Watching Chandler being put through the paces is a riot. The supporting cast includes Charley Grapewin (Mr. Bane), Cora Witherspoon (Mrs. Burns-Norvell), E.E. Clive (The fishing instructor), and Billy Benedict (Johnny). With outstanding performances all around, "Libeled Lady" is a joy to watch, from beginning to end. The story is clever, the dialogue witty, and it's all charmingly put together and delivered by Conway. And there's a kind of graceful ambience to this film that keeps the humor fresh no matter how many times you see it. This is timeless entertainment, a classic depiction of human nature that rings as true today as it did all those many years ago when it was created; a priceless connection to another era, of another time."
Yes!! This is my favorite screwball comedy
H. Bala | Carson - hey, we have an IKEA store! - CA USA | 06/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the best (if not THE best) pure screwball comedies of the 1930's. Next to the original Thin Man movie, Libeled Lady is my favorite Powell/Loy effort. This time, the magic chemistry of that oft-paired duo is enhanced by the box office-drawing talents of fellow mega-stars Spencer Tracy and Jean Harlow. The first shot of the movie celebrates this happy collaboration as the four top-drawer actors merrily, confidently stride arm-in-arm toward the camera.
The plot is convoluted. The Star has erroneously printed a story about heiress Connie Allenbury (Myrna Loy), portraying her as a marriage wrecker. Connie immediately files a 5 million dollar libel suit. Star newspaper editor Warren Haggerty (Spencer Tracy) counteracts by hiring on suave fellow newspaperman Bill Chandler (William Powell) to romance Connie and place her in a compromising position, thus negating the lawsuit. Haggerty convinces his harried, long-suffering fiancee Gladys Benton (Jean Harlow) to instead marry the bachelor Chandler as part of the scheme. Things get really tricky when Gladys falls for Chandler and Chandler falls for Connie, who eventually falls for Chandler. And Haggerty? He pretty much spends the movie just seething. Yet everything ends fairly well, even if there's still lingering confusion as to who is exactly married to whom.
Libeled Lady boasts mix-ups and complications galore and couples matching, cross-matching and mismatching. Sophisticated wit blends with full blown physical comedy. Delicious acting is laid in by four stars who, throughout their film careers, never ever lost their prime. Powell proves again his mastery of the confused double-take and, along with the wry, understated Myrna Loy, dominates the refined repartees. And representing the more lowbrow couple, Tracy supplies the blue collar bluster and Harlow the affronted looks. Walter Connolly as Connie's angling-loving father is simply wonderful. The intricate storyline is easy to follow, thanks to the clear helmsmanship of Jack Conway. With this cinematic venture, Hollywood certainly offered up to the viewing audience its most glamorous and most urbane of stars. I think it's brilliant stuff."
"She may be his wife, but she's engaged to me!"
Dymon Enlow | 04/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Another great Powell/Loy collaboration this time with Loy as an heiress who's suing a newspaper for $5M after they ran a story about her being a husband stealer - she's not. Spencer Tracy runs the paper and with nowhere else to turn he hires Powell to romance Loy and prove that she is a husband stealer...problem is Powell ain't married, so he quickly marries Tracy's girlfriend (Jean Harlow).
The second problem is Loy is extremely smart and cautious, so Powell has to get his foot in the door via her father who's obsessed with trout fishing. Powell fakes being an expert trout fisherman with hilarious but successful results.
Once he gets to Loy he falls madly in love with her and on top of that Harlow falls in love with Powell!
Great fun, but unfortunately the picture on this DVD isn't the best and the lack of extras is insulting."