Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tonight's Movie: The Girl From Missouri (1934)

THE GIRL FROM MISSOURI is breezy, fast-paced fun about a poor girl attempting to land a rich husband.

Jean Harlow plays Eadie, who initially sets her sights on wealthy but much older T.R. Paige (Lionel Barrymore) and follows him to Palm Beach. Sparks fly when Eadie meets T.R.'s son Tom (Franchot Tone). They fall for each other, but before wedding bells can chime, Eadie has to prove to Tom that she's a virtuous girl who's marriage material, despite her blonde bombshell looks and origins on the wrong side of the tracks. Tom's dubious father doesn't make Tom and Eadie's romance any easier.

The movie was released at the dawn of enforcement of the Production Code in mid-1934. Some of the plotline is still very "pre-Code" -- such as a married man wooing Eadie with promises of a house and lavish wardrobe, but no wedding ring -- but Eadie is determined to hold out for marriage. The British release actually used the title 100 PERCENT PURE, which was too obvious for use in the United States.

Harlow is quite touching at times as the girl who believes she deserves more from life than most men are willing to offer her. She has nice chemistry with Tone, who is quite charming. He is an underrated actor I've come to appreciate as I've become more familiar with his work.

The supporting cast includes Patsy Kelly as Eadie's best friend, Kitty. The cast also includes Lewis Stone, Alan Mowbray, Clara Blandick, and Nat Pendleton.

THE GIRL FROM MISSOURI was directed by Jack Conway and an uncredited Sam Wood. It runs a quick 74 minutes.

Cinematographer Hal Rosson was married to Harlow during production of the film, but when the marriage ended he was replaced with the uncredited Ray June.

Harlow's gowns were by MGM's great designer Adrian. One of his challenges was designing dresses which could be bought by a poor girl without much of a budget or even less fashion sense.

This film has had a release on VHS.

It can also be seen on Turner Classic Movies.

Update: A remastered print of this film has been released on DVD by the Warner Archive.


Blogger Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

I so much wanted to see this one when TCM showed it last (I love Jean and Patsy's the kind of gal I used to hang out with in my "yute")...but I think I was laid up in hospital at the time.

Oh, well -- like a bad check, it shall return.

7:36 AM  
Blogger KC said...

I have this poster on my wall. It was so funny to see it teeny tiny on a website. Made me do a double take! I haven't seen it for while. You've inspired me to give it another look.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I hope you get the chance to see it soon, Ivan! Perhaps at some point I'll be able to upgrade to a DVD-R recorder and be able to share! I hope so.

What fun you have that poster, KC. It's nice '30s movie art to go with a fun movie.

Best wishes,

5:48 PM  

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