Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Screwball !

Our BFI is running a Screwball comedy season in January, 23 titles: TWENTIETH CENTURY, MY MAN GODFREY, THEODORA GOES WILD, MR DEEDS GOES TO TOWN, NOTHING SACRED, EASY LIVING, THE AWFUL TRUTH, BRINGING UP BABY, HOLIDAY, BLUEBEARD'S EIGHT WIFE, YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, DESTRY RIDES AGAIN (screwball?), HIS GIRL FRIDAY, BACHELOR MOTHER, ROXIE HART, MIDNIGHT, THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (again, screwball?), SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS, THE LADY EVE, THE PALM BEACH STORY, TO BE OR NOT TO BE, ONCE UPON A HONEYMOON and MONKEY BUSINESS ---- Screwballs of course are those fast-paced frenetic comedies of the '30s where the likes of Lombard, Loy, Colbert, Hepburn, Arthur, Astor, Grant etc came into their own ...
all the usual suspects perhaps and a few odd choices, fans of Carole Lombard and Ginger Rogers would seem well catered for. (reviews of some of these, like THEODORA, at 1930s label).
No THIN MAN though or IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT or TROUBLE IN PARADISE. My '30s choice recently, Borzage's HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT begins like a screwball before ending like another TITANIC - 25 years after that ship sank! 
Hawks' BRINGING UP BABY remains one of the most loved '30s comedy classics [it and Billy Wilder's SOME LIKE IT HOT will always be in my top 10 as the 2 best comedies ever], its full of great moments, here are just a few .... those early scenes of screwball heiress Susan Vance (Hepburn in in one of her best roles) driving Cary nuts remain timelessly funny as well as Cary's "I've just gone gay" moment and I always crack up as she climbs onto the dinosaur .... no wonder Bogdanovich pillaged it for the almost-as-good WHAT'S UP DOC

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