Screwball Comedy

Richard Wallace – Wedding Present (1936)

Synopsis:
Charlie Mason and Rusty Fleming are great reporters on a Chicgo tabloid and romantically involved as well. Despite their skills in obtaining great scoops, they are often irresponsible and immature causing their city editor to resign over their shenanigans. The publisher promotes Charlie to the job based on the premise that only a slacker would be able crack down on other underachievers. His pomposity soon alienates most of his co-workers and causes Rusty to move to New York. Charlie resigns and along with gangster friend Smiles Benson tries to win Rusty back before she marries a stuffy society author. Read More »

George Marshall – A Millionaire for Christy (1951)

This hilarious screwball comedy gave Fred MacMurray a chance to show his brilliant comedic chops as Peter, a radio personality who is told he’s just inherited two million dollars by a gold-digging secretary (Eleanor Parker as Christy) who is determined to snag him for herself. Though he never quite believes she’s telling the truth about his inheritance, circumstances continue to bring Peter together with Christy, infuriating both his fiancée, June (Kay Buckley), and his pal, Dr. Cook (Richard Carlson), who secretly loves June himself. It’s not long before Christy and Dr. Cook join forces and cook up some shenanigans to help them win the lovers they want. Read More »

H.C. Potter – You Gotta Stay Happy (1948)

In this romantic comedy, a wealthy heiress marries hastily and realizes her mistake on her honeymoon in New York. Though it is her wedding night, she decides not to consummate the union and so ends up hiding in the room of a fellow whose airplane cargo company is facing financial ruin. He assumes that the frightened girl is poor and homeless and so takes her in. She then overdoses on sleeping pills and cannot wake up. The fellow is forced to take her back to California. The flight back is tumultuous as she, a fugitive criminal, two enamored newlyweds, a cigar smoking chimp, a corpse, and a shipment of lobsters are aboard the plane. Mayhem really ensues when the plane crashes in a farmer’s field. By this time, the woman and the fellow have fallen in love. Read More »

Harry d’Abbadie d’Arrast – Topaze (1933)

Synopsis:
An honest and naive schoolteacher gets a lesson in how the world works outside the classroom, when a rich Baron and his mistress use the teacher’s name and outstanding reputation in a crooked business scheme. Read More »

John Ford – The Whole Town’s Talking (1935)

Synopsis:
Ordinary man-in-the-street Arthur Ferguson Jones leads a very straightforward life. He’s never late for work and nothing interesting ever happens to him. One day everything changes: he oversleeps and is fired as an example, he’s then mistaken for evil criminal killer Mannion and is arrested. The resemblance is so striking that the police give him a special pass to avoid a similar mistake. The real Mannion sees the opportunity to steal the pass and move around freely and chaos results. Read More »

Mitchell Leisen – Remember the Night (1940)

Synopsis:
Just before Christmas, Lee Leander is caught shoplifting. It is her third offense. She is prosecuted by John Sargent. He postpones the trial because it is hard to get a conviction at Christmas time. But he feels sorry for her and arranges for her bail, and ends up taking her home to his mother for Christmas. Surrounded by a loving family (in stark contrast to Lee’s own family background) they fall in love. This creates a new problem: how do they handle the upcoming trial? Read More »

Howard Hawks – I Was a Male War Bride (1949)

Synopsis:
Captain Henri Rochard is a French officer assigned to work with Lieut. Catherine Gates. Through a wacky series of misadventures, they fall in love and marry. When the war ends, Capt. Rochard tries to return to America with the other female war brides. Zany gender-confusing antics follow Read More »