China Seas (1935)
By the way, out this week from Warner Home Video and TCM's new series of four-title DVD packages is TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Jean Harlow, featuring Dinner at Eight (1933), Libeled Lady (1936), China Seas (1935) and Wife Vs Secretary (1936). TCM also wants Angelenos to know that on Sunday, Darrell Rooney and Mark A Vieira, authors of Harlow in Hollywood: The Blonde Bombshell in the Glamour Capital,
McDaniel took what might have been a clichéd role embodying the ugliest of racial stereotypes and transformed it into a portrait of human being of considerable complexity, endowing her character with a rich blend of humor, empathy, and intelligence. While the story did not acknowledge her character’s life when white people weren’t around, a viewer would have to be quite obtuse not to recognize her vital sense of her own power and her intuitive understanding of others. This is particularly true of Scarlett (Vivien Leigh), whose ploys she readily sees through, but there is also a particularly sympathetic affinity passing between Mammy and the realistic and dashing Rhett Butler, who was played by Clark Gable, an actor who had enjoyed working with her previously in China Seas (1935-Tay Garnett) and Saratoga (1937-Jack Conway). (If you have a chance, see Saratoga
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