I have a bad habit of saying I don’t like things when I haven’t even given them a try. I’m sure that habit has caused me to miss out on some great things in life, and I really should learn to break it. Well, except maybe when it comes to beets it would have been wiser to stick to the stubborn “I don’t like them even though I’ve never tried them” declaration that I made for so long. Beets really are gross!
Category: <span>Screwball Comedy</span>
Ask a classic movie fan, “What was your favorite year or the best year for movies?” and I’m guessing that more often than not you’d hear “1939” as the answer. At least that seems to be the case based on numerous discussions I’ve heard over the years. While there were definitely some great movies made that year, there is a year that stands out to me even more, 1941.
Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert Star in Frank Capra’s Screwball Comedy Classic
Regarded as the first screwball comedy, It Happened One Night almost didn’t happen. Once it did, the magic was apparent.
The format of It Happened One Night, the first screwball and romantic comedy, is still seen in romantic comedies today: boy and girl meet, fall in love, fight, break up, yet find true happiness in the end.
In an uncharacteristic comedic turn, the Master of Suspense brings us romantic fluff for our cinematic sweet tooth with Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005) became synonymous with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and their highly-publicized affair that steamed up the pages of tabloids. The film itself sounded like it was plucked from Hitchcock’s filmography, following a pair of married assassins who were unwittingly hired to kill each other, but the director’s own Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941) couldn’t be farther from this unrelated tale. Robert Montgomery and Carole Lombard are simply a bickering young couple who discover they are not really married, hardly a logical choice for a Hitchcock vehicle. Unfortunately, Hitchcock was forbidden to exercise as much freedom in this early collaboration with RKO studios. Despite these limitations, the sparkling chemistry of the stars and the shining bits of dialogue throughout the film help Mr. and Mrs. Smith transcend the predictability of the plot.
Classic Comedy Starring Cary Grant & Katharine Hepburn
A genuine classic, Howard Hawks’ Bringing Up Baby, with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, is just as funny now as it was in 1938.
Bringing Up Baby is a wonderful example of screwball comedy. Released in 1938, this 70-year-old movie is as witty, charming, and appealing as it has always been.
Robert Montgomery Stars in Landmark Comedy About Second Chances
This 1941 classic is among the most romantic films of Hollywood’s Golden Era, a fantasy perhaps hokey by today’s standards, yet charming, heartwarming, and funny as hell.
The film pretty much pioneered the guardian angel sub-genre, and outside of It’s a Wonderful Life, may be the best of the lot. As prizefighter Joe Pendleton, Oscar-nominated Robert Montgomery (real-life father of Elizabeth Montgomery, “Samantha” of TV’s Bewitched) affects a dese-dems-and-dose, blue collar voice at odds with both his usual urbane screen image and real-life reputation as a wealthy, conservative Republican.