Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night
Ah, the age of classic screwball comedy. When farce was classy, not crude, and couples took the long way around. Romantic glances were exchanged as frequently as fast-paced barbs, and women were hard-working dames and not damsels in distress. If you long for those good ol’ days, you’re in luck. Starting tonight, TIFF in the Park presents classic screwball comedies underneath the stars every Wednesday. Here’s a peek at our favourites from the film series.
It’s a pretty far-out concept: a scatterbrained socialite (Carole Lombard) hires a quick-tongued homeless man (William Powell) to be her butler. But, thankfully, he’s more than what he seems (translation: he doesn’t maim her and rob her blind).
In one of the more modern takes on the genre, Nicolas Cage’s bat-crazy schtick is actually affable — and almost charming — in the Coen Brothers’ 1987 film that made kidnapping sound downright respectable.
Try not to make the obvious comparison between Cary Grant and George Clooney when you watch this whip-smart comedy about a newspaper editor who’ll do anything he can to keep his ex-wife (Rosalind Russell) from remarrying. Oh yeah — she also happens to be his ace reporter.
The star wattage in this film rivals the light show that accompanies each movie in the series: Katharine Hepburn! James Stewart! Cary Grant (again)! It’s the most enviable love triangle and Ms. Hepburn is one lucky woman indeed (depending on whether you agree with her ultimate choice).
An Oscar winner for Best Picture (and Best Actor and Best Actress) fittingly closes out the series. Sparks fly between Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in this flick about a spoiled heiress who’s running away from her family and a down-on-his luck reporter who’s just looking for a story.