'Hold Your Man': THR's 1933 Review
On June 30, 1933, Clark Gable and Jean Harlow hit the big screen together again in Hold Your Man as it made its New York City premiere. The Hollywood Reporter's original review is below:
It won't matter a bit what the critics think of Hold Your Man for the picture is packed with the stuff for which audiences everywhere spend their hard-earned cash. Jean Harlow and Clark Gable are teamed again, perhaps not as successfully as in Red Dust, but nevertheless the constant presence up on the screen of one or the other or both makes their current venture one that should surely make money for you.
The story itself is familiar formula — but the treatment, dialogue and direction, and a cast that is perfect right down to the smallest bit, render Hold Your Man a first-rate piece of entertainment, appealing enough to make the shopgirls weep, and handled so intelligently as to restrain any snickers from the higher-brows that might otherwise be forthcoming.
The picture starts in a light vein, devoting its first quarter to Harlow-Gable banter and sex. But when their romance reaches the "honest" point, the yarn goes dramatic with a bang, winding up with their marriage in a reform school where Jean is serving a term for living as "she hadn't ought" with Clark. He is dodging a rap for a murder, innocently committed, but they get him too. Picture fades with the two of them starting out on the straight and narrow — (when their terms are over) — and they are leading their little child.
The picture seems quite long toward the center — but the able direction of Sam Wood is in no way responsible for this. There simply is too much detail, yet all of it has been put upon the screen by him in a way which leaves "nary a dull moment."
Someone should really pin a posey upon Anita Loos and Howard Emmett Rogers for their screen play and dialogue, which are corking. There isn't a forced bit of slang or humor in the entire piece — and there are plenty of both elements, to say nothing of simple speech well done.
You can blast Harlow and Gable to the skies in Hold Your Man for, while the lady gets most of the footage, they are both at their breezy best. Individual mention must be given the many supporting players in the picture, for even though their appearances were brief, each scored with his or her few lines. These players include Dorothy Burgess, Barbara Barondess, Theresa Harris, Guy Kibbee, Stu Erwin, Muriel Kirkland, Elizabeth Patterson, Blanche Friderici, Sam Reed and Garry Owen. All were swell. Photography by Hall Rosson splendid. — Staff review, originally published on June 12, 1933.