AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
Harlow
Director: Alex Segal (Dir)
Release Date:   1965
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 14 May 1965
Duration (in mins):   108
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Cast:   Carol Lynley (Jean Harlow)  
    Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (William Mansfield)  
    Ginger Rogers (Mama Jean)  
    Barry Sullivan (Marino Bello)  
    Hurd Hatfield (Paul Bern)  
    Lloyd Bochner (Marc Peters)  
    Hermione Baddeley (Marie Dressler)  
    Audrey Totter (Marilyn)  
    John Williams (Jonathan Martin)  
    Audrey Christie (Thelma)  
    Michael Dante (Ed)  
    Jack Kruschen (Louis B. Mayer)  
    Celia Lovsky (Maria Ouspenskaya)  
    Robert Strauss (Hank)  
    Sonny Liston (1st fighter)  
    James Dobson (Counterman)  
    Cliff Norton (Billy)  
    Paulle Clark (Waitress)  
    Mark Herron (James Langley)  
    Jim Plunkett (Stan Laurel)  
    John Fox (Oliver Hardy)  
    Joel Marston (Press agent)  
    Christopher West (Bern's secretary)  
    Fred Conte (Photographer)  
    Catherine Ross (Wardrobe woman)  
    Buddy Lewis (Al Jolson)  
    Danny Francis (Casino manager)  
    Frank Scannell (Doctor)  
    Maureen Gaffney (Miss Larsen)  
    Nick Dimitri (2d fighter)  
    Ron Kennedy (Assistant director)  
    Harry Holcombe (Minister)  
    Lola Fisher (Nurse)  
    Fred Klein (Himself)  

Summary: Jean Harlow, a bit player in a Laurel and Hardy film, is spotted by actor Marc Peters, who arranges a screen test for her with director Jonathan Martin. Her first picture for Martin makes her a star, despite criticism of her acting ability from popular actor William Mansfield. Harlow's mother and stepfather take advantage of their daughter's sudden fame and wealth to improve their own standard of living. Wearied by demands from her parents and the studio, Harlow seeks comfort in a marriage to producer Paul Bern, but Bern proves to be sexually impotent and Harlow's well-publicized affairs drive him to suicide. Another marriage fails to assuage Harlow's guilt over Bern's death, and, on the advice of her friend Marie Dressler, she goes East to study acting. News of her mother's illness brings her back to Hollywood, where she is welcomed by producer Louis B. Mayer, who promises to revitalize her career, and Mansfield, who is now in love with her. As her new romance blossoms, Harlow contracts a serious illness and finally dies in Mansfield's arms. 

Production Company: Electronovision Productions  
  Magna Pictures  
Production Text: A Bill Sargent Production
Distribution Company: Magna Pictures Distribution Corp.  
Director: Alex Segal (Dir)
  Greg Peters (Asst dir)
  John G. Wilson (Asst dir)
  Richard C. Bennett (Asst dir)
Producer: Marshall Naify (Pres)
  Lee Savin (Prod)
  Brandon Chase (Exec prod)
  Frank Ray (Assoc prod)
Writer: Karl Tunberg (Scr)
Photography: Jim Kilgore (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Duncan Kramer (Art dir)
Set Decoration: Harry Gordon (Set dec)
Costumes: Nolan Miller (Cost des)
  Paul McArdle (Ward)
Music: Nelson Riddle (Mus cond & arr)
  Nelson Riddle (Mus comp)
  Al Ham (Mus comp)
Sound: David Forrest (Sd)
Make Up: Michael Westmore (Makeup)
  Mary Westmoreland (Hairstyles)
Production Misc: Edward K. Dodds (Prod mgr)
  Nanette Eiland (Prod asst)
  Marvin Paige (Casting)
  Jim Ford (Casting)
  Ken Westcott (Prop)
Country: United States

Songs: Songs by Marilyn Ham and Al Ham.
Composer: Al Ham
  Marilyn Ham

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd:
  Widescreen/ratio: Electronovision

 
Genre: Biography
 
Subjects (Major): Actors and actresses
  Paul Bern
  Marie Dressler
  Family relationships
  Oliver Hardy
  Jean Harlow
  Hollywood (CA)
  Impotence
  Infidelity
  Stan Laurel
  Marriage
  Louis B. Mayer
  Motion picture directors
  Motion picture producers
  Motion pictures
  Suicide

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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