Blind Spot Series: Platinum Blonde

jean harlow in platinum blonde

Platinum Blonde

Directed By: Frank Capra

I’ve been wanting to watch a Jean Harlow movie for a while now and considering tragically she didn’t make that many I thought Platinum Blonde was a perfect pick for my May Blind Spot film.

I’ve been familiar with the actress through biographies and at that mainly of Howard Hughes. So it was nice to finally check out some of her work.

Platinum Blonde

Platinum Blonde also has the benefit of Loretta Young and both women are great. In the beginning of the film I actually was really enjoying it. Robert Williams plays a reporter who winds up married to the beautiful heiress he was covering (Harlow.) Young plays his friend Gallagher who’s also in love with him.

I thought the film treated Harlow’s character well- she’s never stupid. The relationship is not a good one pretty much from the beginning. But I don’t think we were supposed to believe in it. He likes her looks and she’s like I’m going to change everything that sucks about him.

You aren’t honey.

jean harlow in platinum blonde

And that’s essentially my problem with the film. It tries but its still a product of its time. (Can’t help that I suppose.) The reporter is an idiot, I think he’s basically a drunk, I didn’t care the least bit about him. He’s spoiled and selfish and generally just wants to be taken care of while trying to write a play.

But then Anne descends into jealousy which he finds quiet rich as he never noticed Gallagher was in love with him. Naturally he also never noticed she was a girl. It tends to be my problem with a lot of these movies but especially here where the female leads were so damned good.

loretta young in platinum blonde
Loretta Young is good but wasted in a thankless role.

We’re supposed to be on his side but all I wind up thinking is what an asshole, jump off a bridge loser because these two can and should do better. And one of them super doesn’t. But despite my problems with it how much can you fault a film for being a product of its time? I mean it was 1931 I enjoyed it more than a lot of the later films I’ve seen recently.

I’d give it a watch for the excellent Jean Harlow, some cool shots, snappy dialogue and it does try a little harder to be something more.

Recommend: Yes.