With her pal Kitty, Eadie Chapman escapes from the sleazy roadhouse run by her mother and stepfather, only to become a showgirl. But her former milieu gave her a poor opinion of easy morals, and she plans to preserve her 'virtue' until marriage...preferably to a rich husband; while Kitty keeps falling for servants. Will playboy Tom Paige break down Eadie's resistance before his cynical father intervenes?
Jean Harlow ... Eadie
Lionel Barrymore ... T.R. Paige
Franchot Tone ... T.R. Paige Jr.
Lewis Stone ... Frank Cousins
Patsy Kelly ... Kitty Lennihan
Alan Mowbray ... Lord Douglas
Clara Blandick ... Miss Newberry
Hale Hamilton ... Charlie Turner
Henry Kolker ... Senator Titcombe
Nat Pendleton ... Life Guard
THE GIRL FROM MISSOURI arrives in New York City knowing exactly what she wants: to amount to something solid by marrying a millionaire - without losing her virginity. With her knockout good looks she quickly catches the eye of the playboy son of a tycoon, but by staying true to her virtue will she also discover true love?
Jean Harlow sizzles in this excellent little comedy. With her platinum hair & gorgeous accouterments, she is a dazzler. But her beauty should not obscure the fact that she was also a very good actress. She has rightfully earned her spot at the very top of the Hollywood pantheon.
An excellent cast gives Harlow fine support: Lionel Barrymore as the wily old tycoon, wise to Harlow's ways; handsome Franchot Tone as his son, smitten with love; raucous Patsy Kelly, stealing her scenes as Harlow's sidekick; debonair Alan Mowbray, as a well-mannered English Lord; elderly Clara Blandick as Barrymore's feisty secretary; hearty Hale Hamilton as a rich man with an eye for the ladies; muscular Nat Pendleton as a lifeguard who catches Kelly's flirtatious eye; and Lewis Stone, unforgettable in a small role as a bankrupted businessman.
It should be noted that this film was produced soon after Hollywood's Production Code was instituted. A comparison with RED-HEADED WOMAN, made two years earlier, would be fascinating - in which Harlow's character goes after the same ends, but uses very different means.
In this film, made JUST as the production code was being enforced, Jean Harlow is Eadie, and Patsy Kelly is the wisecracking, man-chasing sidekick "Kitty". Girl from Missouri starts out with the girls getting on a train, with Eadie making a promise to herself to earn money while looking for a millionaire husband, staying whole-some in the process. It doesn't take her long to meet up with Frank Cousins, (Lewis Stone, was the kindly Doctor in Grand Hotel, as well as Judge Hardy in the "Andy Hardy" films.), but all is not as it seems...The censors must have LOVED Harlow's line "A girl couldn't accept an expensive gift like that from a gentleman unless she was engaged." Later, someone says "You know we've never been alone together" and Eadie replies "Yeah, and we're not going to be!" Lionel Barrymore is T.R. Paige, another rich, uppercrust who comes to her rescue when trouble comes looking for Eadie. At one point, Paige declares "You oughta scratch me off your list - I'm not a ladies man".... I wonder what that line would have been just a couple years earlier before the Hayes code came rolling into town. What was he really saying? Carol Tevis seems to be the high-pitched "Baby Talker" as listed in the credits on IMDb. Looks like she was only in showbiz from 1931 - 1939, with "Munchkin" in Wizard of Oz being the last part she played. Fun, cleancut romp as the girls chase men around the country. Look for Nat Pendleton as the lifeguard, who was an Olympic Wrestler 1920 (silver medal winner) turned film star (he was in many of the Dr. Kildares, and would appear in four of Harlow's films.) Mistaken identity, plot twists, a young Franchot Tone, love stories, even Jean Harlow in a bathing suit in "Palm Beach", although the outdoor scenes of downtown appear to be a backdrop.
I'm a Jean Harlow fan, because she had star quality. I don't think her movies are good and I don't even think that she was a good actress, but she certainly was Great in comedies. Every bit of comedy in The Girl from Missouri is very good. But this movie is perhaps more like a love story. Jean Harlow is wonderful in this one and you can forget the rest of the cast - their performances bring nothing new. It always impresses me much to think that Harlow's beautiful body was that of an ill woman. Well, in this movie she does look beautiful.
Jean Harlow plays a Southern girl who goes to the big city to land a millionaire and she thinks she finds on in a lawyer (Lionel Barrymore) but soon his son (Franchot Tone) starts coming onto her. The film has a pretty weak screenplay and there's really nothing too original going on. Even Harlow seems a tad bit bored as she doesn't contain any of that spark or energy that made her a legend. We do get several shots of her body, which are nice but it's not enough to save the film. Tone makes for a good leading man but it's Barrymore who steals the show with his maniac like performance. What laughs the film does get are due to Barrymore but Lewis Stone also comes off well in his small role. Oh yeah, one of Harlow's sexual scenes includes her being thrown into a shower with her clothes on and then walking out with her nipples showing through her dress.