The other night, I had a bunch of kids in the car and we started talking about silly stuff.
For whatever reasons, I brought up running around with a leopard on a leash. (Can that be anymore dangerous than running around with my dog on a leash when he sees a cat?)
The girls said “What?!?”
So I go into a mini lecture about how it is one of the greatest screwball comedies ever. When you look up “Screwball Comedy” there will be a picture from that movie accompanying the story. The best part is the movie stars Cary Grant when he was young and hot.
First of all, I cannot resist that accent. Then there is his usual character — a generally decent guy. That is an attraction as well. Plus, Grant was a spot-on comedian. All you have to do is watch some of his other comedies and know that when it comes to screwball comedies, he is the king.
Want a few other examples of the king? How about Arsenic and Old Lace? Or His Girl Friday with Rosalind Russell set in a news room. He is the editor and she is the top reporter. The dialogue is fast and furious and witty.
Another great movie in the screwball genre with Grant and Hepburn is The Philadelphia Story. I could go on and on. But then I would forget about the other classic screwball comedy from that era which is My Man Godfrey starring Carole Lombard and William Powell. The story is about a new butler who completely changes the life of a very rich family during the Depression.
It is silly and goofy. Plus the print did not age well. But for those wanting to build your knowledge of film, it is a must see. Carole Lombard really has incredible comedic chops and she looks great in those thin satin dresses. William Powell may be playing it dry in this movie but he would up the ante when he worked on the Thin Man series with Myrna Loy.
I know you are thinking this is a detective series but listen to the dialogue and watch the action. This is sophisticated screwball comedy at its best with two of the greatest practitioners.
Comedies should make you laugh and smile and feel great at the end. All of these do just that. In a few weeks, I will talk about some modern screwball comedies. If you send me a suggestion, I will be sure to mention it.
Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.
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