6.5/10
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21 user 7 critic

Personal Property (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 19 March 1937 (USA)
Raymond Dabney returns to his family after trouble with the law. He convinces the sheriff to give him a job watching the house and furniture of widow Crystal Wetherby without knowing she is... See full summary »

Director:

W.S. Van Dyke (as W.S. Van Dyke II)

Writers:

H.M. Harwood (play), Hugh Mills (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean Harlow ... Crystal Wetherby
Robert Taylor ... Raymond Dabney aka Ferguson
Reginald Owen ... Claude Dabney
Una O'Connor ... Clara, Crystal's Maid
Henrietta Crosman ... Mrs. Cosgrove Dabney
E.E. Clive ... Cosgrove Dabney
Cora Witherspoon ... Mrs. Burns
Marla Shelton ... Catherine Burns
Forrester Harvey ... Herbert Jenkins, Bailiff
Lionel Braham ... Lord Carstairs
Barnett Parker ... Arthur 'Trevy' Trevelyan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Melville Cooper ... (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Raymond Dabney returns to his family after trouble with the law. He convinces the sheriff to give him a job watching the house and furniture of widow Crystal Wetherby without knowing she is engaged to his brother. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 March 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Man in Possession See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$299,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its initial television showings in Cincinnati Thursday 7 February 1957 on WXIX (Channel 19) (Newport KY) and in Chicago Friday 8 February 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2); in Philadelphia it first aired 22 March 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Portland OR 5 April 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), in Kansas City MO 24 April 1957 on KCMO (Channel 5), in New York City 6 July 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Norfolk VA 23 July 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), in Minneapolis 1 September 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), and in Los Angeles 15 May 1958 on KTTV (Channel 11); in San Francisco it was first telecast 12 April 1960 on Channel 7 (KGO) (Channel 7). See more »

Goofs

After Ferguson serves drinks to the two at the piano, he leaves with three drinks on the tray, but then when he opens the kitchen door and sets the tray down on the table, there are only two drinks on the tray. See more »

Quotes

Crystal Wetherby: Oh, I wish we could get rid of him.
Clara, Crystal's Maid: Would you like me to poison him, madam?
Crystal Wetherby: Oh, Clara, let's not be too enthusiastic.
See more »


Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner (1850)
Played by the orchestra at the wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Harlow's last completed film for MGM
13 August 2014 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

I always watch Robert Taylor in memory of my mother; she loved him. This film is a Taylor-Harlow pairing, "Personal Property," a watered-down version of the play, and the first time it was made, it was a precode film, A Man of Possession.

Taylor is Raymond Dabney, the black sheep in a successful family, all of whom are British except for him, evidently, as he sports no accent. He's been released early from prison after selling a car he didn't own. His brother Claude (Reginald Owen) and father (E.E. Clive) aren't happy to see him, unlike his mother, so they offer Raymond 300 pounds to go anywhere he wants, preferably out of the country. Raymond chooses London.

At a cocktail lounge, Raymond meets Crystal Wetherby (Harlow), a widow. Raymond is interested and follows her to the opera Aida, and then he follows her home. At her home, he meets a bailiff who is going to sit in Crystal's house until she pays what she owes.

Crystal is throwing a dinner for her fiancé and future in-laws; Raymond kindly offers to pretend to be her butler. When the future family shows up, a few problems present themselves.

Jean Harlow was always very likable, although here, she's a little more low-key. She wears her engagement ring from William Powell throughout the film; it's sad that her life was cut so short. I thought Taylor was just fine. He had a nice sense of comedy. But I have to agree with some others that the role would have been better suited to Franchot Tone or Cary Grant. Taylor was a beautiful man, and he looked great in evening clothes, but he was a farm boy at heart and didn't have quite the sophistication necessary.

I found this film slow and not very involving, but I loved the two stars.


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