Is it even too hot to READ? As the dog days of summer arrive, look for effortless, lighthearted entertainment in the screwball comedies of the 1930s and 1940s. These films characteristically feature nutty plot lines, witty repartee, a rapid-fire delivery style, a skillful blend of sophistication and slapstick, elegant settings, and battling but romantically-inclined main characters. The films first appeared in the early 1930s, with mega-hits It Happened One Night and My Man Godfrey. They came at a time when the nation was dealing with the fallout of the Great Depression, and they were movies that made people laugh and were guaranteed to have happy endings. They showcased many of the greatest stars of Hollywood from that golden era. These screwball comedy classics are all available from Manhattan Public Library.
It Happened One Night (1934), Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable
Twentieth Century (1934), John Barrymore and Carole Lombard
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur
My Man Godfrey (1936), William Powell and Carole Lombard
Topper (1937), Cary Grant and Constance Bennet
The Awful Truth (1937), Irene Dunne and Cary Grant
You Can’t Take It with You (1938), Jean Arthur and Jimmy Stewart
Holiday (1938), Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn
His Girl Friday (1940), Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant
My Favorite Wife (1940), Irene Dunne and Cary Grant
The Philadelphia Story (1940), Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant
The Lady Eve (1941), Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda
The Palm Beach Story (1942), Claudette Colbert and Joel McCrea
Woman of the Year (1942), Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), Cary Grant, et al.