Charm Comes First – Leslie Howard, 1937

This article was published on the August 1937 issue of the popular magazine “Screen Play”. Leslie Howard, inspired by Basil Underwood , the matinee idol  he played in It’s Love I’m After, reveals some of his views about fans and women in general, and notably about American and English women. Though he tries to remain artfully aloof and highbrow, some notes of sincerity leak out here and there, I believe quite in spite of himself. After all, he was  very knowledgeable on the subject.
Leslie Howard does not fail to present once more his public cliché here, the image of a reserved man who snubs popularity and hates exhibitionism, an actor by chance who would like to get to the other side of the camera.


Here is what the British star thinks of American women…

Women know what they think of Leslie Howard. But do they know what he thinks of them?

This being the doubtful case, it’s high time they did. And surely there could not be a better time. For, naturally enough, the throbbing question comes up as you find the warmly admired English actor even more than ordinarily sensitive to feminine charms in his latest picture, It’s Love I’m After, in which he plays an amorous actor.
Here he is, then making frantic love first to one girl then another, not in his own words but by quoting from parts he has played.
“It’s a burlesque of the matinee idol,” the disarming Mr. Howard smiling assures you. “In the second place, it’s a bit of fun at the expense of the worshipful girl who works herself into a soulful state and gets dizzy looking up at her idol without ever suspecting he is quite capable of letting her down with a hard bump. It’s really a lesson to her.” […]

Leslie Howard, Charm Comes First

Read the article