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Some films in this series will also play
December 21 - January 1 at the Egyptian Theatre
Our fourth annual holiday comedy festival offers up another
platter of delicious treats from the days when Hollywood could make folks laugh without
the use of dangerous animals or sharp objects. From enchanting romance to scary
monstersand isnt it sometimes hard to tell them apart?we have a full
score of mirth-making classics to perk you up after a brutal day of shopping
looking for a parking space
or getting stuck in traffic...or reading the
There are the well known (THE AWFUL TRUTH, UNFAITHFULLY YOURS, THE MORE
THE MERRIER) as well as the rarely-screened (THEODORA GOES WILD, CLUNY BROWN, THE
EGG AND I) classics here featuring a mob of phenomenally talented people,
including such legendary performers as Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Jean Arthur,
Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, W. C. Fields, Fred MacMurray, Claudette Colbert, Judy Holliday,
Jack Lemmon, Bob Hope and more!
Wednesday, December 27 - 7:30 PM
W.C. Fields Double Feature:
THE BANK DICK, 1940, Universal, 72 min.
Dir. Eddie Cline. W.C. Fields most enduringly popular feature casts
him as Egbert Sousť, a layabout who inadvertently catches a bank robber and is
"rewarded" with a job as the banks security guard. A matchless cast,
including Una Merkel, Jessie Ralph, Grady Sutton, Franklin Pangborn, Jack Norton
and the one-and-only Shemp Howard helps make this an authentic American classic.
Written by "Mahatma Kane Jeeves" (as in, "My Hat, My Cane, Jeeves").
ITS A GIFT, 1934,
Universal, 73 min. . Dir. Norman Z. McLeod. Considered by some to be The Great
Mans greatest film, this short, sweet W.C. Fields vehicle is little more than
a series of zany sketches loosely tied to his desire to move to California and grow
oranges. Includes the legendary "Mr. Muckle" and "Carl LaFong" scenes,
as well as the hanging mirror and sleeping porch routines. Jean Rouverol, who
co-wrote THE FIRST TIME (see above), plays Fields daughter. >>
Also showing at the Egyptian, December 26
Thursday, December 28 - 7:30 PM
Leo McCarey Double Feature:
Newly Restored 35mm Print!
THE AWFUL TRUTH, 1937, Sony Repertory, 92 min. Dir. Leo
McCarey. McCarey won a Best Director Oscar for this side-splitting masterpiece in
which Irene Dunne and Cary Grant decide to divorce
but darn it, it just
doesnt seem to take. With Ralph Bellamy (in his defining "other
man" role), Alex DArcy, (Miss) Cecil Cunningham and Joyce
Compton, who steals the show with her unique rendition of "Gone With The
Wind." >> Also showing at the Egyptian, December 21.
RUGGLES OF RED GAP, 1935,
Universal, 92 min. Dir. Leo McCarey. Another McCarey classic stars Charles
Laughton as a veddy proper English valet whos won in a poker game by a man from
the Wild West (Charlie Ruggles). And thus the clash of cultures commences. With Mary
Boland, ZaSu Pitts, Roland Young, Leila Hyams and many others. And remember: always
bring the pot to the kettle! NOT ON DVD. >> Also
showing at the Egyptian, December 22.
Friday, December 29 - 7:30 PM
Bums & Millionaires Double Feature:
MY MAN GODFREY, 1936, Universal, 94
min. Dir. Gregory La Cava. "You people have confused me with the U.S.
Treasury!" barks Eugene Pallette to his spoiled, filthy-rich family,
including daughter, Carole Lombard, who acquires tramp William Powell during
a scavenger hunt and makes him her butler, whereupon he teaches her a few lessons about
being human. Comeuppance for the wealthy was sure-fire material during the Depression, and
no film ever did it better than this one. With Alice Brady, Mischa Auer, Gail Patrick
and Alan Mowbray.
I'LL GIVE A MILLION, 1938,
20th Century-Fox, 75 min. Dir. Walter Lang. This undeservedly obscure jewel is
about a millionaire (Warner Baxter) who rescues a tramp (Peter Lorre!) from
drowning, musing that he'd give a cool "mill" to anyone else who would do a good
deed. Try and guess what happens next. The supporting cast is practically a who's-who of
wonderful character actors - far too many to list here - so just do yourself a good deed
and come see it. Actually a remake of a 1935 Italian film; one of the adapters was Boris
Ingster, who later directed Lorre in the creepy cult thriller STRANGER ON THE THIRD FLOOR.
NOT ON DVD!
Saturday, December 30 - 7:30 PM
Preston Sturges Double Feature:
UNFAITHFULLY YOURS, 1948, 20th
Century Fox, 105 min. Dir. Preston Sturges. Sturges last truly great comedy
has an ingenious premise: symphony conductor Rex Harrison suspects wife Linda
Darnell is cheating on him, and imagines three courses of action as he conducts three
different (and appropriate) pieces of music. As hilarious as it is audacious, this is a
must-see. With Rudy Vallee, Barbara Lawrence, Lionel Stander, and an uproarious
cameo by Edgar Kennedy, who admires the way Rex "handles Handel."
CHRISTMAS IN JULY, 1940,
Universal, 67 min. Dir. Preston Sturges. Sturges second feature as director
stars Dick Powell as a humble clerk who thinks hes won a big contest and
starts spending like its, well, you know. Big problem: he doesnt know
hes the victim of a practical joke. Typical madcap mayhem with Ellen Drew,
Raymond Walburn, William Demarest, Franklin Pangborn and the rest of the Sturges Stock
Company. And if you cant sleep at night
films showing at the Egyptian, December 25.
Monday, January 1 5:00 PM
Classic New Years Comedies:
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA, 1935,
Warner Bros, 92 min. Dir. Sam Wood. The Marx Brothers first film for
MGM, first without Zeppo, and their biggest box office hit. Heck, you know the plot, so
just enjoy the stateroom scene, the contract routine, and tons of great one-liners. And
remember: there aint no sanity clause! Numerous writers (many uncredited) include
George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, Al Boasberg and even Buster Keaton. With Kitty
Carlisle, Allan Jones, Sig Rumann, Walter Woolf King, and of course, Margaret
MONKEY BUSINESS, 1931,
Universal, 77 min. Dir. Norman Z. McLeod. The Marx Brothers first
original screenplay by S.J. Perelman and an uncredited Ben Hecht, among others
is perhaps their most bizarre (and the only one in which they have no character
names). Theyre stowaways on an ocean liner, wreaking havoc and getting mixed up with
rival gangsters as well as Thelma Todd. Includes the famous scene where all four
try to get through customs by pretending to be Maurice Chevalier. With Rockliffe
Fellows, Harry Woods, Ruth Hall and Tom Kennedy (no relation to Edgar).