Sass Mouth Dames Film Club Series 10 celebrates enduring screwball classics that sparkle with wit and style.
Join Megan McGurk each Thursday in May, at 7.00, in the Brooks Hotel Cinema, Drury Street, Dublin.
Only a tenner in. Popcorn included!
Tickets through Eventbrite.
Series 11 screens in September, 2019.
Hands Across the Table (1935)
Ernst Lubitsch believed Norman Krasna’s script was the hottest comedy in Hollywood. He selected Hands Across the Table to be the first project he supervised in his new role as head of production for Paramount studio, lending his famed ‘Lubitsch touch’ for the benefit of director Mitch Leisen. Carole Lombard plays a manicurist on the hunt for a rich husband. Even though her client Ralph Bellamy is wealthy and uses any excuse to summon the lithe blonde who will gently soak his mitts in a bowl of water, Carole considers him only a friend. Instead, she falls for another client, Fred MacMurray, who has a society name but no money. What happens when sass mouth meets scapegrace? Does she marry for love or money?
Theodora Goes Wild (1936)
Upstanding women of the Lynnefield Literary Society disapprove of a bestselling book, excerpts of which are printed in the local paper. In a letter of protest, one member dismisses the scandalous novel as ‘sexy trash’. What the ladies don’t know is that one of their own penned the bodice-ripper under a pen name, Caroline Adams. Quiet, unassuming Theodora Lynn, played by Irene Dunne, wrote the book that the ladies want banned. During a secret trip into the city to meet with her publisher, an illustrator (Melvyn Douglas) figures out who she really is and pressures Theodora to stop hiding from the town’s disapproval. Why not discard a proper reputation if she longs to be called ‘baby’? But what if Theodora gives him a taste of his own medicine?
Woman Chases Man (1937)
Miriam Hopkins plays an architect who charges into a wealthy developer’s office (Charles Winninger) with a pitch for a new social housing scheme. When he attempts to get rid of her, she passes out cold, woozy from two days without eating. Depression-era woman’s pictures contain numerous scenes of women who faint from hunger, but a Southern belle like Miriam has a stylish fit of vapours. After he revives her with food, they hatch a plan that will make his son (Joel McCrea) finance their project. Once she sees McCrea, business seems less important than being in his arms. If Miriam were not already a sass mouth MVP, she would certainly win the honour with her Pre-Code gangster impression.
Forget the fairy tale about a dame in a poufy dress and glass slippers. Legendary screenwriters Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder update the Cinderella story for Claudette Colbert, who plays a former chorine down on her luck. She rolls into Paris with nothing but a gold lamé gown and a ticket from the municipal pawn shop in Monte Carlo. As luck would have it, she crashes a society party where John Barrymore notices the interloper. He waggles those bushy eyebrows and offers his services as a would-be fairy godfather, outfitting her with trunks of fabulous clothes and a line of credit. All she has to do is pretend to be an aristocrat and distract a gigolo away from his wife, played by Mary Astor. In the middle of this, Don Ameche plays a taxi driver who starts a city-wide search party among his fellow cabbies to find the woman he fell for—the dame in the gold dress.
Cluny Brown (1946)
In the title role, nothing gets Jennifer Jones more excited than a clogged sink. When she looks at a sink full of water and vegetable scraps, Cluny Brown rolls up her sleeves. With a large wrench in hand, she bangs away at a pipe until the blockage drains. But her guardian uncle thinks it’s undignified and tells her to learn her place, which he decides should be working as a housemaid in the country. The only person who supports Cluny’s desire to serve the pipes is Charles Boyer, the king of the swoon merchants, a man who could charm the tail from a fox. On the surface, Ernst Lubitsch’s picture is about a gal’s dream of being a plumber; more importantly, it’s an impassioned clarion call for being true to one’s self above all. Since it’s a Lubitsch production, you know everything’s about sex, too.