Platinum Blonde (1931)

May 23rd, 2024
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Frank Capra | Cast: Jean Harlow, Loretta Young, Robert Williams, Don Dillaway | US drama 89’

Don’t be fooled by the title, Jean Harlow may have the title role, and Loretta Young is technically the star, but the film belongs to the late Robert Williams.

One of the many satisfactions afforded by the study of old movies is their ability to preserve as in amber fleeting moments for the delectation of posterity, while in a very real sense bringing the dead back to life.

If you only knew Frank Capra from the films he made after the draconian Production Code rigidly enforced after June 1934 this film will come as a revelation for the briskness that Capra was then capable of bringing to the proceedings before he began taking himself very seriously.

But true value of ‘Platinum Blonde’ lies is the record that it provides of the charismatic Williams who aged only 37 succumbed to peritonitis following an appendectomy within weeks of the film’s completion and himself never saw it. @RichardChatten


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