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Libeled Lady Blu-ray Review

“Libeled Lady” is an enjoyable screwball comedy.

Directed by Jack Conway, 1936’s “Libeled Lady” revolves around, well, a libel lawsuit. You see, a newspaper mistakenly prints slander about playgirl Connie Allenbury cheating on a married man. In turn, the Allenbury family files a libel lawsuit against the newspaper. The newspaper’s editor (Warren) concocts a scheme with his fiancee (Gladys) and former co-worker (Bill). The idea is for Gladys and Bill to be married briefly while Bill woos Connie to make the slander become a reality when she really does cheat on a married man. Of course, this is easier said than done. Moreover, matters become complicated when both Gladys and Connie develop feelings for Bill.

Nominated for Best Picture by the Academy Awards, “Libeled Lady” is a situational comedy/screwball comedy with serious star power (I’ll get to that in a bit). Sure, the premise is far fetched and Spencer Tracy gets a rather thankless underdeveloped supporting role, but somehow it all manages to work. Perhaps it’s the snappy quick delivery dialogue by Maurine Dallas Watkins, Howard Emmett Rogers and George Oppenheimer that grabs you from the get-go or the fast paced series of adventures the 4 main characters get involved in that makes the movie such a breeze. Then again, it could be the cast…

Make no mistake about it, this is a cast for the ages. It doesn’t get much better than William Powell, Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow and Spencer Tracy (even though he has the weakest role here). Powell definitely steals the movie here as he has the best slapstick comedic moments (see the fishing sequence), the liveliest scenes and the best chemistry with the castmates. Myrna Loy is also quite noteworthy here as the whip smart playgirl. Harlow also shines as Gladys who gets caught up in the chaos.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? This B&W film looks glorious.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The audio is a bit too snowy for my liking but it’s an adequate track.

Extras:
* “Libeled Lady” theatrical trailer and radio promo
* A goofy talking shoe live-action musical MGM short titled “New Shoes” and a mouse centric cartoon called “Little Cheeser”
* An old fashioned slapstick comedy WB short titled “Keystone Hotel.”

November 18, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , ,

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