The Golden Age of Hollywood

I thought I'd like to start out by saying welcome, and that Miss Harlow deserves this group. I feel it's overdue. SO...my question to you and yours is (everybody), "when did you first discover Jean's films, and what made them stand out & make them special to you?" She had a very short life & didn't make a billion films like so many others on this site, yet she stands out & made an impact!

So folks when & how did you first become interested in Jean Harlow Pictures? Thanks.

 

 

 

 

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When I was about six years old I was in the living room with the TV on to a Canadian TV channel & a commercial came on advertising "Three Famous Blondes" and it gave the names of Mae West, Marilyn Monroe & Jean Harlow and as soon as I heard the name "Jean Harlow" I perked up and went to the local library to look her up. Sadly, in 1958-9, there was nothing but a photo book of film stars with Jean Harlow in it, so that was my first exposure. The photo was accompanied by LB Mayer's ghost writer who stated something to the effect of "It will be strange not to see the actress smiling at my office door. I have personally lost a warm, close friend...the world has lost a ray of sunshine." I also first saw "The Public Enemy" in 8 mm that was silent as a young boy again from the library. When I was older I finally saw "Riff Raff" on TV, so that was my first actual glimpse of her. I was simply intrigued for some reason by her from a young age and I have always enjoyed her films, characters & anything about her, and have a small collection of her photos. For me, she is just the best, but especially learning that she was so contrary to her screen persona, has been what I had always imagined her to be--warm, down-to-earth, a sincere human being who just happened to be a major film star.

You know, the contrariness to her characters she played seemed for me as well what made her beguiling. She was supposed to be so bad & wicked, but you could see through it all, and she was really very nice---the opposite. Bad acting---no. It made the audience like her & her roles sympathetic. It was what helped her star power, what made folks come back again & again to see her. You know, the cult of personality. If the audience liked you, it didn't matter. you could do no wrong. Look at the example of Gary Cooper.

Thanks for your insights. I agree with you instincts on her appeal. Lets hear from our other new members, too!

I first became intrigued by her when I was about 6 years old--in about 1958. I heard a commercial on a Canadian station we had on a Sunday morning on TV and the announcer mentioned her name & I immediately looked at the TV and decided I HAD to find out about this woman. I went to our local library and found a book of photographs & in it was one photo of her. I was immediately impressed by her brilliant smile & the extreme happiness & kindness that radiated from her eyes. I watched for her films, but never saw one until I was older (about 21) when I called in sick to work to see her in "Riff Raff" on TV. She is so dynamic in her films, so cute & funny in light-hearted moments even in more dramatic films & is just wonderful to watch! That's why even her less popular films are still fun for me to watch because she adds so much to them, she is the best part of many of them when the story is just average. She's just outstanding to me.

Well said. Seems you just had to find out about the Platinum Blonde! She would be very pleased today that she has touched so many lives in a positive way. And she has been remembered as a fine actress and a good person.  There was a lot in the past printed that she couldn't act and she was a harlot, like her roles. But it is utter nonsense, like so much that was written "publicity wise" so long ago. Thanks for sharing.

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