Libeled Lady (1936) starring Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy, William Powell, Jean Harlow
Synopsis of Libeled Lady
In Libeled Lady, Bill Chandler (William Powell ) is one of America’s great anglers, a sports fisherman without peer, doom in waders to the wiliest trout. And that isn’t the only fish story Chandler tells.
Four of Hollywood’s greatest stars – Powell, Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy – reel in this whopper of a screwball romantic comedy classic nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. It all starts when society diva Loy slaps newsman Tracy with a libel suit. Tracy enlists fiancée Harlow and down-on-his-luck Powell in a counter maneuver involving a rigged marriage, a phony seduction, a fabulously funny fishing scene, fisticuffs, broken promises and hearts, and, eventually, true love for all.
Cast of characters in Libeled Lady
- Connie Allenbury (Myrna Loy, The Thin Man). The Libeled Lady of the title. The wealthy socialite is falsely accused of breaking up a marriage. And she sues the New York Evening Star newspaper for $5,000,000 for libel.
- Warren Haggerty (Spencer Tracy, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World). The managing editor of the newspaper. In desperation, he turns to:
- Bill Chandler (William Powell, My Man Godfrey). Warren’s former reporter and suave ladies’ man. Together, they plot a blackmail scheme. Maneuver Connie into being alone with him when his wife shows up. Blackmail, so the suit will have to be dropped.
- Gladys Benton (Jean Harlow, Bacon Grabbers). The only problem is, Bill’s not married. So Warren volunteers his long-suffering fiancée, Gladys, to marry Bill in name only. Over her loud protests.
Editorial review of Libeled Lady courtesy of Amazon.com
The couples crisscross, with frenetic and not entirely unpredictable results, but much of the pleasure here lies in seeing these iconic stars being so thoroughly themselves. The dialogue strains for champagne wit, but the movie’s most memorable moment is pure, rotgut slapstick–Powell’s bout with an unruly fly-fishing rod. –Dave Kehr