Saturday, April 4, 2009

Poll Results: Libeled Lady (1936)

The votes are in! The majority of you voted the all-star, 1936 screwball comedy Libeled Lady as your favorite non-Thin Man William Powell-Myrna Loy comedy. There wasn’t much competition, as the results clearly show. Here is the vote tally of the twenty-seven brave souls who dared to speak out:

Libeled Lady- 16
Love Crazy- 5
Double Wedding- 4
I Love You Again- 2

Synopsis: When an heiress (Myrna Loy) sues a newspaper, its editor (Spencer Tracy) must postpone his wedding to his feisty fiancée (Jean Harlow) and get a charming roué (William Powell) to play Romeo in order to catch the heiress in a compromising position to get her to call off the suit. Much hilarity ensues…seriously.

I can understand why Libeled Lady won. It’s got all the elements for success. Besides the Powell-Loy chemistry, there’s the addition of Spencer Tracy and Jean Harlow and a winning script. Those are but two reasons why MGM was the greatest studio of them all. Metro could put together a dazzling array of stars, provide some great writing and the result is another of the Golden Age’s great laugh fests. Yet this movie probably isn’t very well known outside of classic movie circles. But who cares? We, the annointed few, know about Libeled Lady’s goodness and we can partake in the mirth and merriment of William Powell flopping about in a rough stream while learning to fish in one of the great comic sequences of his career. The film also comes in what has proven to be the finest year that any movie star ever had. In 1936, William Powell appeared in Libeled Lady, My Man Godfrey, The Great Ziegfeld, After the Thin Man, and The Ex-Mrs. Bradford. Powell was Oscar nominated for Godfrey and The Great Ziegfeld won Best Piucture. I challenge anyone to find an actor or actress from any era who had a better year than Powell did in 1936. In the meantime, Go. Watch Libeled Lady. Now.


  1. Powell in 1936 was brilliant, at the top of his game -- but couldn't you also make a good argument for James Stewart in 1939? "Destry Rides Again" with Dietrich, "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" with Arthur, "Made For Each Other" with Lombard, "It's A Wonderful World" with Colbert. All at least 3-star films, and the first two of them deserve 4-star status.

  2. I just loved Myrna and Bill in "Libeled Lady." It is one of the best romantic comedies of all time and one of the best Loy-Powell films ever made. '36 was definitely a great year for Powell and I am glad this was one of the movies he starred in that year and "My Man Godfrey" was another one.

  3. oh! I wish i'd found your blog in time to cast my vote too! libeled lady is just such a consummate piece of comedic pefection, i'm ticked pink that it won! :D

  4. Bette Davis in 1939 won a Oscar for "Jezebel" plus she was in "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex", "Juarez", "The Old Maid" and "Dark Victory" for which she won her second of 5 consecutive Oscar nominations.


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