Fridays at Five Classic Film Series: Four Great Romantic Comedies
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day in the month of February the Montauk Library’s Fridays at Five Classic Film Series will feature four of Hollywood’s best loved romantic comedies: IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (Feb. 3); BRINGING UP BABY (Feb.10); NINOTCHKA (Feb. 17) and THE LADY EVE (Feb. 24). Though romantic comedies, all have won numerous distinctions and were selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
First in the series on Friday, February 3 at 5 pm:
It Happened One Night. 1932. Frank Capra, director – b/w. 1 hr. 45 min.
After pampered debutante Ellen Andrews (Claudette Colbert) eloped with a fortune-hunter, her wealthy father insists that the marriage be annulled. Running away to reunite with her new husband, Ellie boards a Greyhound bus heading to NYC. When reporter Peter Warne (Clark Gable), recognizes her, he threatens to contact her father about her whereabouts unless she lets him write an exclusive story about her. As they deal with misadventures on the road, Ellie gradually loses her disdain for Peter and vice versa.
Friday, February 10: Bringing Up Baby. 1938. Howard Hawks, director. b/w 1 hr. 42 min.
Bringing Up Baby is a screwball comedy starring Katharine Hepburn as the scatter-brained Susan Vance and Cary Grant as the eccentric paleontologist David Huxley. The romantic comedy has gained acclaim from critics and audiences for its zany antics and pratfalls, absurd situations, miscommunication, perfect comic timing and zany characters.
Friday, February 17: Ninotchka. 1939. Ernst Lubitsch, director. b/w 1 hr. 50 min.
Ninotchka is a romantic comedy starring Greta Garbo as Nina Ivanovna “Ninotchka” Yakushova, and Melvyn Douglas as Count Léon d’Algout. Best summarized by Melchior Lengyel: “Russian girl saturated with Bolshevist ideals goes to fearful, capitalistic, monopolistic Paris. She meets romance and has an uproarious good time. Capitalism not so bad, after all.”
Friday, February 24: The Lady Eve. 1941. Preston Sturges, director.b/w 1 hr. 34 min.
The Lady Eve is a screwball comedy written and directed by Preston Sturges starring Barbara Stanwyck as Jean Harrington, aka “Lady Eve Sidwich” and Henry Fonda as Charles “Hopsie” Pike. A mismatched couple meet on board an ocean liner where Jean and her father, “Colonel” Harrington (Charles Coburn) are a father-daughter tag team of professional gamblers. They set their sights on the wealthy but unworldly Charles Pike. Though Jean and “Hopsie” – as she dubs him – fall in love, on their honeymoon Charles is unforgiving when he learns the truth about Jean’s past. Heart-broken and angry, Jean finds a brilliant way to take revenge.