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Platinum Blonde

38 customer reviews

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(Nov 04, 2003)
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(Jan 01, 1931)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In the film that fueled her legendary career, Jean Harlow (The Public Enemy) stars in this romantic comedy directed by Academy Award® winner Frank Capra (Best Director, It Happened One Night, 1934). Written to showcase Harlow’s talent, looks and charm, PLATINUM BLONDE is a glorious spoof of the newspaper business in New York City during the Depression. Ann Schuyler (Harlow), a wealthy socialite, meets reporter Stew Smith (Robert Williams, Devotion) and the two fall madly in love. The comedy begins as she tries to transform him from a ruffian newsman into a convincing gentleman. “Stew,” who is quick with wisecracks, is slow to realize the dangers of being a kept man. At first, he likes the idle life of the rich, but there’s trouble in paradise. Soon this “Cinderella Man” turns the social register upside down with his mocking repartee. To his rescue is Gallagher (Loretta Young, The Stranger), a sympathetic friend and co-worker at the newspaper. She comforts and consoles Stew and, in clas

This Frank Capra comedy from 1931 helped define the screwball-comedy genre that became so popular with films like It Happened One Night and The Awful Truth. In this witty romp, Jean Harlow plays an upper-crust socialite who bullies her reporter husband (Robert Williams) into conforming to her highfalutin ways. The husband chafes at the confinement of high society, though, and yearns for a creative outlet. He decides to write a play and collaborates with a fellow reporter (Loretta Young); the results are unexpectedly hilarious, especially when Young shows up at the mansion with a gaggle of boozehound reporters in tow. With snappy, ribald dialogue (allowable in those pre-Hays Code days), Capra keeps the gags flying fast and furious, taking special delight in having Williams's journalist pals rib him endlessly over his kept-man status. Platinum Blonde was a great success at the time of its release during the class-conscious Depression; for better or worse, its star Harlow was identified with the tag "platinum blonde" until her untimely death. --Jerry Renshaw

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Louise Closser Hale, Robert Williams, Halliwell Hobbes, Reginald Owen, Walter Catlett
  • Directors: Frank Capra
  • Producers: Harry Cohn
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Japanese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 4, 2003
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000CBL7Z
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,969 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Platinum Blonde" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Craig Connell on May 5, 2006
Format: DVD
Robert Williams doesn't even get any billing on the DVD cover or on other promotions of this film, but he IS the star of the film....and he is outstanding.

Williams could have been a major star, a very well-known actor, had he not died four days after this picture was released with a ruptured appendix. The man simply puts on an acting clinic here. I wonder if young aspiring actors are ever shown this film and told to study Williams? If is wasn't for this film, I assume nobody would ever know about this guy.

Anyway, the movie is really dated but its interesting thanks to some great dialog, mainly, once again, by Williams. Jean Harlow gets the billing but a young Loretta Young has the real beauty and charm here. Too bad her role was so minor and bland. She looked absolutely gorgeous.

The storyline is one of Hollywood's favorite themes: the average Joe beating up on the snobby rich people. Harlow's "mother" in here (Louise Closser Hale) plays that snob role perfectly.

Even though I gave it only three stars, there are lots of laughs in this film and it was a lot better than I thought it would be. Watching Williams' acting performance is worth the price of the disc, and then some.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By S. A. Alukonis on August 17, 2004
Format: DVD
Any B&W fan will appreciate this film. I LOVED Robert Williams--I thought he was refreshingly original and had great chemistry with both of his female co-stars, two stunningly beautiful and very different women. The scene with the the song about the garters is priceless, and one of the sexiest scenes ever filmed(and there are many other breathtakingly sexy scenes as well). Although it should have been called "Cinderella Man", in captures it's time period in every way. I would have loved to see Robert Williams in other roles after this one, but he died very shortly after filming. You'll also love the scene where Stew follows Ann into the library! Don't miss this cool and sexy film.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Samantha Glasser VINE VOICE on December 14, 2006
Format: DVD
Platinum Blonde is the story of a newspaper reporter (Robert Williams), one of the best. His job is to investigate a scandal with one of the best known families, the Schuylers. He's so clever, he gets them to admit to a story against their will, but in the process is captured by the eye of beautiful daugher Anne (Jean Harlow). Although he scoops them, he also helps them out of the mess and makes his way into the family by eloping with Anne. This hurts his pal Gallagher (Loretta Young) who has loved him for years, but he's in his own world. He doesn't quite realize what he's getting himself into as a poor man wedding a rich family. Cracks from his friends ensue and day by day his wife does all that she can to change him.

Unfortunately, people have high expectations for this film, and it doesn't necessarily measure up. First of all, this is not typical Capra. There are not heartfelt messages of hope at the end. The characters do not signify what the average man strives to be or the pitfalls he faces. Secondly, Harlow does not play a seductress here; in fact, she's quite classy. Last, Williams is an unknown, and alongside an all star cast, he's the leading man. This can be startling because we have never seen him before and are therefore less likely to like him right off. The first time I saw this film, I was incredibly disappointed and what upset me even more was that this was Harlow's first DVD release. Although the title became her nickname, this is an awful way to experience typical Harlow, but it is a wonderful way for fans to see her in a new light.

If you can find a way to judge this film not based on expectations but on its own merits, you'll find it to be quite enjoyable.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Matthew G. Sherwin HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 25, 2007
Format: DVD
Platinum Blonde remains a fine example of an early screwball comedy about very different people trying to coexist with each under stressful situations with plenty of silly lines and good laughs on the side. The script is certainly not the best you'll ever find but the actors do a superlative job with what they are given. The direction by Frank Capra reflects forethought and the camera angles help dramatize scenes in the movie as the plot unfolds.

The story starts with newspaper reporter Stew Smith, played by the very talented Robert Williams, going to get a story on a rich society scandal. He gets it; but he also gets the heart of the daughter of the wealthy Schuyler family, Anne, played by the beautiful Jean Harlow. Stew and Anne become romantically involved and the problems begin right along with the romance. Stew comes from a working class background and he wants to support his wife; but Anne has very different plans for him. This constant tug of war for control of their relationship dominates the rest of the movie plot.

In addition, look for Loretta Young playing Gallagher. Gallagher and Stew are friends; but to make matters even more complicated Gallagher wants more from Stew than friendship. Anne's mother and the family attorney spice up the plot even further with their histrionics about the tragedy of Anne's "funeral" relationship with Stew. Wow!

Will Anne and Stew stay together? Will Anne's family ultimately accept and love Stew as one of their own? Will Stew become "a bird in a gilded cage? "How will Gallagher fit into this plot? No spoilers here, folks: you'll have to watch the movie to find out the answers to these questions!
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