One of the actresses Carole Lombard was attempting to emulate at the time that early '30s portrait was taken is being honored this month in Los Angeles. We're referring to none other than Jean Harlow, whose centenary this year has led to all sorts of retrospectives.
Jean is the subject of a UCLA series, "Harlow Before The Code," examining her early, formative work, as she matured from a young starlet with little feel for film into an actress with a sure sense about herself and solid comedic skills.
The Billy Wilder Theater on the Westwood campus is hosting the event, and things kick off at 7:30 p.m. this Friday with "Hell's Angels," where the 19-year-old and untrained Harlow adds sex appeal (and little else) in two-strip Technicolor:
It will be preceded by "Double Whoopee," the 1929 Laurel & Hardy short where Harlow makes a, er, rather memorable (though inadvertent) entrance.
Two features run Saturday, starting at 7:30: "Hold Your Man" (1933) and "Red-Headed Woman" (1932). Both films will be introduced by authors Mark A. Vieira (left) and Darrell Rooney, who will sign copies of their acclaimed new book, "Harlow in Hollywood: The Blonde Bombshell in the Glamour Capital, 1928-1937."
The rest of the schedule (all begin at 7:30 except where noted):
* Aug. 8 -- "Platinum Blonde" (1931).
* Aug. 14, 7 p.m. -- "Iron Man" (1931) and "Red Dust" (1932).
* Aug. 26 -- "Goldie" (1931) and "Bombshell" (1933).
* Aug. 27 -- "Three Wise Girls" (1932), a newly restored print from Columbia.
For more information and to buy tickets, visit http://www.cinema.ucla.edu/events/2011-08-05/harlow-code. It's a fine way to savor the career of this beloved classic Hollywood legend (and Lombard friend).