The Crimson Moviegoer
"Libeled Lady" Shows Powell, Harlow, Tracey, and Loy, Doing What They Like to Do
"Libeled Lady' smacks strongly of having been written specifically for the four positive personalities in it. To exploit to the full the talents of William Powell, Jean Harlow, Spencer Tracy, and Myrna Loy, and make those four stars revolve in concentric orbits, some kind of story had to be concocted including, in the above order, a combination of masculinity and dapper suavity, an untamed creature inducing and abounding in excessive primitive passion, a dim-witted but competent piece of virility, and a chilly aristocrat who's a warm little girl after all.
If you don't require realism, intertwining is done with remarkable skill. A journalistic slip so incenses Walter Connolly that in behalf of his daughter, Miss Loy, he sues the paper for $5,000,000 to be annexed to his other $50,000,000. Mr. Powell is called upon by Mr. Tracy to mend things, and his strategy involves a nominal marriage with Spencer's longsuffering but not over-patient girl, Miss Harlow. The latter, utterly baffled by William's willingness to let the marriage stay nominal, obeys the cinematic law of things, and decides that she doesn't want it to stay nominal. But William loves Myrnaz, and Myrna loves Bill.