Suzy (1936): George Fittzmaurice’s Romantic Triangle, Starring Jean Harlow, Franchot Tone, Cary Grant

MGM’s Suzy stars Jean Harlow, then at the prime of her career, and the young and very handsome Cary Grant, just before he became a major star.


Theatrical release poster

The tale, directed by George Fittzmaurice, finds American showgirl Suzy in London, circa 1914. She loves Irish inventor Terry (Franchot Tone) who works for an engineering firm owned by a German woman. After their marriage Terry, is murdered and Suzy flees to Paris where she meets flyer Andre (Cary Grant).

Well, it turns out that Suzy’s husband, thought to be dead, is not.  Thus, various complications, none too interesting, ensue, when he shows up.

At least four writers worked on the script, which may explain why the narrative is so diffuse and the movie so shapeless.  They are: Dorothy Parker, Alan, Campbell, Horace Johnson, and Lenore Coffee.

“Suzy” is one of Harlow’s last films; she died the following year from poisoning.

The movie is also known for featuring a singing Cary Grant, here delivering some bars of the song,” Did I Remember,” music by Walter Donaldson, lyrics by Harold Adamson, which was nominated for an Oscar.

Harlow’s voice was dubbed by Virginia Verrill who also had dubbed for her in Reckless in 1935.

The witty dialogue is attributed to Dorothy Parker her.

Harlow’s cabaret song, Walter Donaldson and Harold Adamson’s “Did I Remember (To Tell You I Adored You)” was dubbed by vocalist Virginia Verrill who also had dubbed for her in Reckless (1935).

Grant, who replaced Clark Gable as third lead, also sang few bars of the song.

Other songs included: “When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose” and “Under the Bamboo Tree”, uncredited but sung by Verrill.

The aerial sequences was based on footage leased from Howard Hughes; one scene was directly lifted from Hell’s Angels (1930), which had been Harlow’s break-through film.

Aircraft were prominently seen, including Andre’s S.E.5 fighter, German Fokker D.VII and Thomas-Morse S-4 fighters as well as a rare Sikorsky S-29-A airliner filling in as German Gotha bomber.


Oscar Nominations: 1

Song: ”Did I Remember,” music by Walter Donaldson, lyrics by Harold Adamson

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The winner of the Best Song Oscar was the classic tune, “The Way You Look Tonight,” by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields, from the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers RKO musical, “Swing Time.”


Directed by George Fitzmaurice
Screenplay by Dorothy Parker, Alan Campbell, Horace Jackson, Lenore J. Coffee, based on Suzy 1934 novel by Herman Gorman
Produced by Maurice Revnes
Cinematography Ray June
Edited by George Boemler
Music by William Axt
Distributed by MGM

Release date: July 20, 1936

Running time: 93 min

Jean Harlow as Suzanne “Suzy” Trent
Franchot Tone as Capt. Terry Moore
Cary Grant as Capt. Andre Charville
Lewis Stone as Baron Edward Charville
Benita Hume as Madame Diane Eyrelle
Reginald Mason as Captain Barsanges
Inez Courtney as Maisie aka “Frostbite”
Greta Meyer as Mrs. Schmidt
David Clyde as Knobby McPherson
Christian Rub as “Pop” Gaspard, the Pianist
George Spelvin as Gaston
Una O’Connor as Mrs. Bradley, Suzy’s Landlady
Theodore von Eltz as Revue Producer
Dennis Morgan as Lieutenant Charbret (credit Stanley Morner)