Cary and Irene (THE AWFUL TRUTH)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Favorite Carole Lombard Screwball Comedies

I recently made a list of my favorite Carole Lombard films for my sister blog All Good Things honoring Carole as the classic movie goddess of the month. I thought I would break that list down even further and list my favorite screwball comedies of hers. So here we go:

MR. AND MRS. SMITH (1941) This delightful battle of the sexes that was surprisingly directed by master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock. It cast Carole and Robert Montgomery as a bickering couple who learn they are not really married. So now thinking they have to do it all over again, they wonder if it's worth it. This is my favorite film of Carole that she did for no other reason than it's a simple and fun little comedy. Lombard and Montgomery mesh well too. Great directing job by Hitch.

Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery

MY MAN GODFREY (1936) Carole is perfect as the dizzy socialite Irene Bullock who hires a vagrant played by William Powell) to be her family's butler. One of the best screwball comedies ever made. Lombard showed that her and Powell still had a great chemistry, considering they had just divorced a few years earlier.

TO BE OR NOT TO BE (1942) The last film Carole made before her tragic death is one of her best. She plays actress Maria Tura, who is part of acting troupe in Poland contending with Nazis. Jack Benny plays her husband and they make for an entertaining pair.

To Be or Not to Be

HANDS ACROSS THE TABLE (1935) Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray team up for this delightful comedy about a manicurist and a no gooder who team up to find each their golden goose. Trouble is, they end up falling for each other. Another great comedy from Carole.

Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray

NOTHING SACRED (1937) As doomed Hazel Flagg, who thinks she is dying from radium poisoning, Carole is excellent. Fredric March is on hand as the reporter covering her story who begins to like her. Who knew that the subject of death would make such a great comedy. Well it does.

Fredric March and Carol Lombard

TWENTIETH CENTURY (1934) WOW! Lombard and John Barrymore go at it as a Broadway producer and a Hollywood diva who get back together for a new play. Hilarious hi jinks ensue.

John Barrymore and Carole Lombard

Also notable films include The Princess Comes Across and We're Not Dressing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery goofing around...

The two stars having fun on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

NINOTCHKA (1939) lets Greta Garbo cut loose in a great comedy

After years of melodramas and period romance films, the usually serious minded Greta Garbo gets to have some fun in this very entertaining comedy. She plays a special envoy from Russia named Ninotchka who is sent to Paris to investigate the rather unorthodox and generally inefficient way in which three Russian ambassadors (Iranoff, Buljanoff and Kopalskia) are carrying out their job. She gets sidetracked by the unwanted advances of Count Leon d'Algout (played by the irrepressible Melvyn Douglas). His constant attempts to woo her and her not giving make up the bulk of the story. This entire film hinges on whether Garbo could perform in a comedy. And she passes with flying colors. Her Russian envoy is pretty much serious and has no time for games and she nails that portion with no problem. It's when she finally gets to lighten up, is when Garbo really shines. Ninotchka is a wonderful film with plenty of humor and a nice helping of romance as well. GARBO DELIVERS!