|Jean Harlow smokes a stogie in Saratoga|
In her short, ultimately tragic life, Jean Harlow achieved more than most people do in a full lifetime. Initially dismissed as a glamour girl whose success was due entirely to sex appeal, she later emerged as an accomplished actress and comedienne, getting better with each picture and encouraged by her more skillful directors. Jean was the subject of two mediocre film biographies, neither of which fully captured her special quality, and the actresses who played her had little of the Harlow mystique. Harlow was featured to full advantage in such films as Reckless and Dinner at Eight, and while she could be as soft and feminine as any actress, she was always especially delightful when she was telling people off with amusing and righteous indignation. In other words there was no one quite like Harlow.
This week we look at a round up of good and bad Harlow movies, as well as a couple of books that focus on the star.