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Platinum Blonde Details


A rather bleak comedy-drama from Frank Capra, Platinum Blonde basically starts where Capra's later and much more buoyant It Happened One Night (1934) ends: the marriage between a brash newspaperman and a society dame. But where the latter comedy was enhanced by the director's patented optimism, Platinum Blonde, produced at the height of the Great Depression, expresses no faith in a common ground between the classes. Star reporter Stew Smith (Robert Williams) falls in love with the sister (Jean Harlow) of his latest victim (Donald Dillaway). They marry despite the misgivings of Ann Schuyler's blue-nosed mother (Louise Closser Hale) and Stew's cynical colleagues ("Ann Schuyler's in the blue book. You're not even in the phone book!"). Unable to stand life in a gilded cage for long, Stew upsets the Schuyler mansion by inviting his friends to a wild and woolly party. Returning home unexpected in the middle of the drunken revelry, Ann lays down the law and Stew bolts -- right into the arms of girl reporter Gallagher (Loretta Young), whom he has loved all along without realizing it. Jean Harlow is surprisingly realistic as the callous society girl but Robert Williams' wisecracking reporter comes across as rather grating. An up-and-coming comic lead, Williams died after an operation for appendicitis on November 3, 1931, less than a month after Platinum Blonde had premiered to mostly positive reviews. Ironically, Loretta Young, who received top billing, had demanded to star in this film when it was still known as "Gallagher," the name of her character. Harlow, needless to stay, stole the limelight completely and Capra changed the title much to Young's chagrin. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi


Loretta Young
as Gallagher
Jean Harlow
as Anne Schuyler
Louise Closser Hale
as Mrs. Schuyler
Reginald Owen
as Dexter Grayson
Walter Catlett
as Bingy Baker
Edmund Breese
as Conroy, The Editor
Claud Allister
as Dawson, The Valet
Tom London
as Reporter
Harry Semels
as Waiter
Hal Price
as Reporter
Eddy Chandler
as Reporter
Halliwell Hobbes
as Smythe, The Butler
Wilson Benge
as Butler
Olaf Hytten
as Radcliffe
William "Wild Bill" Elliott
as Dinner Guest
Charles Jordan
as Reporter


Frank Capra
Harry Cohn
Harry Chandlee
Screen Story
Jo Swerling
Dorothy Howell
Robert Riskin
Joseph Walker
Stephen Goosson
Art Director
Edward Bernds
Sound Mixer