Monday, 24 January 2011

Screwball Comedies - 1930's Anyone?

The Awful Truth
Even more comforting than a cup of tea or a hot bowl of chicken soup, there’s nothing like curling up and watching an old screwball comedy from the 1930’s. If you're a fan of old movies, you'll know what I'm talking about.

No special effects, not even any color, these movies plain make you feel good. Joe and I have been stuck on them ever since he took Film 101 during his first year at university. No, even longer. I remember watching some of these films on TV when I was just a kid visiting my grandparents.  I was laughing then, and I'm laughing now!
The plots are unbelievable, the dialogue fast paced, and the expressions of the 1930’s are a lot of fun.

Last night we watched Easy Living, a 1937 film that isn't short on credentials. Directed by Mitchell Leison, the screenplay was written by Preston Sturges and stars Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold and Ray Milland, It has that wonderful old 1930’s New York feel about it. Lots of laughs and witty dialogue with some slapstick thrown in for good measure.  It's one of my favorites.

Now we have to watch (one more time)

The Awful Truth starring Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy and Asta (moonlighting from The Thin Man series). Also 1937, directed by Leo McCarey. I think this one is my favorite. Very funny performances by all. A divorce, a new suitor, and a custody battle over……who else….Asta.  

You Can't Take It With You
You Can’t Take it With You Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, this 1938 film was directed by Frank Capra and stars Jimmy Stewart, Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore and Edward Arnold. The entire family in this movie is a bit off balance and of course the title refers to money which they don’t think of at all. This one is really my favorite.

It Happened One Night Another Frank Capra movie starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert (1934). The heiress running away, the reporter who needs the story. You get the idea. It’s wonderful. They almost always show a clip of this one during the Academy Awards. This one is my very favorite.

It Happened One Night
Bringing Up Baby 1938 directed by Howard Hawks starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant and a leopard named “Baby” and Asta (the most popular dog of the era). This could be my favorite.

Maybe these movies are even more relevant now with the world the way it is.  They deal with the depression and social problems, ups and downs,  but manage to let us know that everything will turn out fine in the end.

Saaay……don’t be a sap. Give them the once over – savvy?

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