House of the Seven Garbos

House of the Seven Garbos was a real boarding house in Hollywood that catered to aspiring starlets. Notable residents included Ruth Roman and Linda Christian. The new podcast show was inspired by the place and is set in the Garbo House during 1936.

Can a $100-a-week gal climb the ladder to stardom in MGM?

What can a group of women do to get even with a Hollywood wolf who plays dirty tricks?

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

House of the Seven Garbos is a Sass Mouth Dames production, written and directed by Megan McGurk.

Meet the cast:

CLARA HIGGINS PLAYS PAT MORRISON

Clara is an Irish artist and writer perhaps better known as her pseudonym Mot Collins. Under this moniker, she creates illustrations, zines, and tattoos. Mot is interested in subversive expressions of femininity, sexuality, occultism, and comedy. She is highly influenced by pulp and punk culture. She can be found on Twitter as @heavydutywoman and @motcollinsart on Instagram.

OLYMPIA KIRIAKOU PLAYS GLORIA DOUGLAS

Dr. Olympia Kiriakou is a film historian based in south Florida. Her research focuses on stardom, gender, and genre in classical Hollywood cinema, as well as contemporary fan cultures. She is
the author of Becoming Carole Lombard: Stardom, Comedy, and Legacy, an exploration of the star persona and career of the late star. Her work has also been published in Transformative Works and Cultures, Journal of Fandom Studies, In Media Res, and Film Matters. She has a website and is @thescrewballgrl on Twitter.

You can find Olympia’s book here: Becoming Carole Lombard

M. SHAWN PLAYS BUNNY ST JAMES AND ODETTE MCBRIDE

M. is a former television news producer, a writer, a researcher, an accidental homemaker, and a full-time Jean Harlow fan.  After a year in quarantine, her blood type is banana bread, and if people were allowed to be fictional characters in a past life, she’d be Blondie Johnson.

SAVANNAH MONROE PLAYS NAN POTTER

Savannah Monroe is a film writer and historian based in Colorado. Her focus is in the films and women of the classical Hollywood period. She has been researching and writing about Anne Bancroft, her life and legacy, since 2018. Her work can be found through her website Garbo Talks (http://garbo-talks.com).

LAURA MAWSON PLAYS FLORENCE CROZIER AND FERN 

Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, Laura is now living in the North of England with beloved husband and rescue lurcher, Roman. She has worked as a ceramics instructor, graphic designer, and in communications. Life-long Old Hollywood fan, going through a Charles Boyer and Veronica Lake phase. Currently learning to play the guitar, badly. On Twitter @Romanpbone1 and Mastodon Romanpbone@masto.ai 

RENEE SMITH PLAYS CYNTHIA LATTIMER 


Whenever Renee spent a weekend at her grandmother’s house, Nanna, who was a the best seamstress in town, would call Renee to her side to watch “the black and white movies” and point out all the great style.  Renee and her sisters loved to play in Nanna’s closet with its furs, hats, lucite pumps and bejewelled bags. So of course she was drawn to Sass Mouth Dames and became a huge fan. Her mildly sardonic spouse and cheeky kids have accepted her recent insistence on wearing classic hats, big wrap shawls and gloves when she walks their muzzled dog, as she struts through the un-classic streets of her neighbourhood in Toronto, Canada.

SHANE MCCORMACK PLAYS JACK STEWARD (AND VARIOUS MEN) 

Shane McCormack is a freelance illustrator specializing in movie and pop culture subjects.Recent licensed work includes Halloween and Ghostbusters. When not drawing he collects physical media especially 1930/40s movies and any Barbara Stanwyck film. He also enjoys photography and has a BA in Visual Art.

You can see his work at www.mrharrylime.com

MEGAN MCGURK PLAYS MADAME VIOLA 

Megan carries a torch for studio era woman’s pictures. She is the host of Sass Mouth Dames podcast and film club. She has written and directed five original radio plays set in the 1930s (Salon Devine, Mannequins, Stenographers, A Star Was Born, House of the Seven Garbos). Megan is on Twitter @MeganMcGurk and @SassMouthDames and sometimes remembers to use Instagram @sassmouthdames

ART DESIGN BY MOT COLLINS.

SOUND EDITING AND SPECIAL EFFECTS BY THOMAS O’MAHONY

Thomas O’Mahony is a London based Irish Podcast Producer who specialises in storytelling and audio design. He hosts a tattoo history show called Beneath the Skin, and is passionate about how we can use audio to tell new and innovative stories. 
You can find Thomas on all social media @gotitatguineys or contact him for business related inquiries at thomasomahony.media

Tom’s podcast is here

Sass Mouth Dames Film Club series 22

Megan McGurk introduces four classic woman’s pictures in January 2023.

Tickets are available through Eventbrite.

Take a Letter, Darling (1942)

Screens 5 January at 7.00

Office politics are turned upside down in this whip-smart comedy from Mitchell Leisen. Rosalind Russell plays an advertising executive who lands multi-million accounts, but she needs a man on her arm to appear non-threatening to the wives and sweethearts of men in business. Fred MacMurray becomes her personal secretary and soon feels de-sexed by the subordinate role. Roz cornered the market on career gal roles during the 1940s.

Lady of Burlesque (1943)

Screens 12 January at 7.00

Barbara Stanwyck could do anything, and that includes break-dancing and singing about her G-string. William Wellman directs the ultimate crossover in woman’s pictures: Barbara Stanwyck plays Gypsy Rose Lee, America’s most celebrated burlesque queen, with a name so red-hot, the censors wouldn’t even allow it to appear on the big screen.

No Time for Love (1943)

Screens 19 January at 7.00

Due to the war effort, the man shortage was at an all-time high by 1943. You know the song about how they’re either too young or too old? Director Mitch Leisen knew what women wanted was to see burly bare-chested men roll around in the mud. The women were horny, and Claudette Colbert showed them what to do about it when she snapped photos of Fred MacMurray looking like a caveman.

Lady on a Train (1945)

Screens 26 January at 7.0

Deanna Durbin’s pictures in the 1930s were such box office hits that she singlehandedly kept the lights on at Universal studio when she was only a child. It’s a cinch she could solve a murder mystery. She gives a glorious performance as a singing detective. I feel compelled to mention Deanna’s wardrobe by Howard Greer. She wears so many mad hats you simply don’t want to miss.

A Star Was Born

Stardom. Love. Censorship.

Listen back to the new original series and meet the cast!

Part One:

In 1931, Warner Bros. star Cleo Longe tops the box office in pictures where she gets away with it: no strings sex or sending men to the morgue. One night at a party, she meets Richard Tulliver, a new contract player who is cast as the juvenile in her next production. Cleo coaches him through the part and suggests a new name for his screen billing.

Part Two:

Cleo finds a story for her next picture from an unlikely source. From the ground up, she builds the plot, takes a chance on a new screenwriter, casts the picture, and presents creative opportunities for her crew. Meanwhile, Cleo’s romance with Tully takes a serious turn.

Part Three:

Despite her success, Cleo discovers that having script approval in her contract is meaningless once the Production Code is enforced. Under the new rules, Cleo must argue over every page and justify her artistic choices to men who don’t care about the integrity of woman’s pictures. At the same time, Tully’s star rises.

A Star Was Born is a Sass Mouth Dames production written and directed by Megan McGurk.

Art design by Mot Collins.

Sound editing and special effects by Thomas O’Mahony

Meet the cast:

Clara Higgins plays box office star Cleo Longe. Clara is an Irish artist and writer perhaps better known as her pseudonym Mot Collins. Under this moniker, she creates illustrations, zines, and tattoos. Mot is interested in subversive expressions of femininity, sexuality, occultism, and comedy. She is highly influenced by pulp and punk culture. She can be found on Twitter as @heavydutywoman and @motcollinsart on Instagram.

Danny Reid plays actor Rick Tully. Danny is a librarian who lives in Western Germany with his yappy dog, adorable children, and perfectly splendid wife. He spent most of his adult life working in videostores and movie theaters, watching any movie he could get his hands on, eventually writing about old Hollywood at pre-code.com. He is also fond of potatoes. Danny is @PreCodeDotCom on Twitter and Instagram

Jeanne Sutton plays hair and makeup artist Babe Dempsey. Jeanne is a former journalist and occasional writer who has been published in Banshee, IMAGE, STELLAR and The Gloss. Her favourite movie scene is Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea sitting on that stoop in The More the Merrier. She publishes a newsletter and is @jeannedesutun on Instagram.

Olympia Kiriakou plays press agent Phyllis Blake.

Dr. Olympia Kiriakou is a film historian based in south Florida. Her research focuses on stardom, gender, and genre in classical Hollywood cinema, as well as contemporary fan cultures. She is
the author of Becoming Carole Lombard: Stardom, Comedy, and Legacy, an exploration of the star persona and career of the late star. Her work has also been published in Transformative Works and Cultures, Journal of Fandom Studies, In Media Res, and Film Matters. She has a website and is @thescrewballgrl on Twitter.

You can find Olympia’s book here: Becoming Carole Lombard

M. Shawn plays starlet Maxine Raymond. M. is a former television news producer, a writer, a researcher, an accidental homemaker, and a full-time Jean Harlow fan.  After a year in quarantine, her blood type is banana bread, and if people were allowed to be fictional characters in a past life, she’d be Blondie Johnson.

Peter Bryant plays agent/manager Hank Webber. Peter’s interest in classic Hollywood started—later in life than he would have liked—with the discovery of Preston Sturges comedies. This soon led to the Astaire-Rogers and Busby Berkeley musicals and much more. His latest avocation is writing about the career of Ida Lupino at his blog Let Yourself Go … To Old Hollywood and is @pmbryant on Twitter and @pmbryant_oldhollywood on Instagram

Matt Harris plays film director Carter Hilary. Matt is a Joan Crawford superfan and talented TV news archivist who lives in London. You can find Matt on Twitter (@Glamorous_Matt)

Megan McGurk plays wardrobe woman Edel Geary. Megan carries a torch for studio era woman’s pictures. She is the host of Sass Mouth Dames podcast and film club. In the past year, she has written and directed four original radio plays set in the 1930s (Salon Devine, Mannequins, Stenographers, and A Star Was Born). Megan is on Twitter @MeganMcGurk and @SassMouthDames and sometimes remembers to use Instagram @sassmouthdames

Thomas O’Mahony is a London based Irish Podcast Producer who specialises in storytelling and audio design. He hosts a tattoo history show called Beneath the Skin, and is passionate about how we can use audio to tell new and innovative stories. 
You can find Thomas on all social media @gotitatguineys or contact him for business related inquiries at thomasomahony.media

Tom’s podcast is here

Sass Mouth Dames Film Club series 20

Megan McGurk introduces five pre-Code woman’s pictures in another series of Dublin’s popular cinema club, Thursdays in September.

Tickets are available through Eventbrite

Please note that start times vary!

Applause (1929)

Screens: Thursday 1 September, 7.00

Burlesque star Kitty Darling, played by renowned torch singer Helen Morgan, tried to shelter her daughter April (Joan Peers) from backstage coarsening by sending her to a convent school. Once April has finished her education, Kitty plans a respectable career, but her manager and main squeeze Hitch Nelson (Fuller Mellish Jr) has other plans. Shot on location in New York, Rouben Mamoulian crafts a dazzling love letter to the city in his directorial debut.

The Divorcee (1930)

Screens: Thursday 8 September, 5.00

What do you do if your husband is unfaithful? In pre-Code pictures, a heroine like Norma Shearer doesn’t take it on the chin. She tells her husband (Chester Morris) ‘I’ve balanced our accounts’ after having a fling with Robert Montgomery. Shearer won the Academy Award for Best Actress for playing a wife who insists upon a single standard in marriage. Gowned by MGM’s Adrian, Shearer showed women in the audience how to cope with men in style.

Call Her Savage (1932)

Screens: Thursday 15 September, 8.30

After more than a year’s absence from the screen, Clara Bow makes up for lost time, firing on all cylinders. In the opening scene, Gilbert Roland suffers at the end of her whip. Bow’s just getting started. She collects big plotlines from the woman’s picture canon and wrings them dry: Her character is expelled from school, creates a society scandal, has broken love affairs, a syphilitic husband, and a sick baby, while living in a cold water walk-up. Clara Bow is not to be missed.

Beauty for Sale (1933)

Screens: Thursday 22 September, 7.00

Metro’s adaptation of Faith Baldwin’s bestseller presents a cautionary tale about three gals who seek their fortunes in a beauty salon. Una Merkel plays a hardboiled wiseacre who knows the shortest route to a man’s wallet. Florine McKinney is the innocent one who believes the rough lies men tell to get what they want. Madge Evans plays the pragmatic dame forced into work by the Depression. Hedda Hopper joins the cast as Madame Sonia, the salon owner, who rules over society clients and the beauty operators with ice-water in her veins.

Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)

Screens: Thursday 29 September, 7.00

Although Glenda Farrell takes fourth billing, she owns this rare wonder in two-strip Technicolor from Warner Bros. Farrell plays an ace reporter who breaks a story about an actress’s suicide. Later, she happens upon a strange racket in the new wax museum in town and investigates. Fay Wray plays the roommate who has the misfortune to resemble Marie Antoinette. The special effects haven’t lost their wow factor over the years.

Refunds are available up to noon on the day of the screening.

Sass Mouth Dames Film Club series 19

Each Thursday in May, Megan McGurk presents four classic melodramas from the 1940s.

Tickets are available through Eventbrite.

IN THIS OUR LIFE (1942)

Benjamin Franklin kept a checklist of 13 virtues that he monitored each day to reflect on his growth as an upstanding citizen. By contrast, Stanley Timberlake, played by Bette Davis, keeps a scorecard of vice. She runs off with her sister’s fiancé then drives him to commit suicide. She’s manipulative, greedy, reckless. For the coup de grâce, she pins a homicide on an innocent Black man. Olivia de Havilland, as Stanley’s unfortunate sister Roy, holds her own with a steady underplay. In one scene, Olivia takes her time putting on a hat, which is enough to tell the audience she’s no doormat. John Huston’s Southern Gothic melodrama reaches a steady boil.

MY REPUTATION (1946)

Before Douglas Sirk exposed narrow-minded views about widowhood in vivid Technicolor with All That Heaven Allows, Curtis Bernhardt painted a stark monochrome portrait of a community who expects a woman to put herself in mothballs once she loses her husband. Barbara Stanwyck’s character shares the same fate as many other women after the war. Should Jessica wear black, stay single, and avoid gossip? Or should she follow the advice of wing woman Eve Arden and see what happens with George Brent?

THE GHOST AND MRS MUIR (1947)

Gene Tierney takes her adorable daughter (Natalie Wood) and trusty housekeeper (Edna Best) to live in a cottage by the sea. Unlike past occupants, she refuses to leave when she learns it has a resident ghost, a former ship’s captain played by Rex Harrison. Instead of rattling chains or disturbing her sleep with a repertoire of sea shanties, the mariner allows the women to stay and even strikes a bargain: Gene can write his salty memoirs and make herself financially independent.

DAISY KENYON (1947)

Joan Crawford stars in a three-cornered romance, caught between a cynical married man (Dana Andrews), who has strung her along for years and a battle-scarred veteran (Henry Fonda), who rushes to commitment one minute and disappears the next. Otto Preminger fashions a postwar melodrama about hot-and-bothered men who upset the placid life of a successful career gal.