Jul 8, 2022
In our second Jean Arthur Acteurist Oeuvre-view episode, Arthur moves into her A-picture period at Columbia with John Ford's curious comedy/crime melodrama, The Whole Town's Talking, starring Edward G. Robinson in a dual role, and Erle C. Kenton's Children's Hour-reminiscent Party Wire. While we see more of the familiar Arthur comedy persona emerge in The Whole Town's Talking, she gets to show off her quiet moral authority and perspicacity in Party Wire, playing a woman who becomes the victim of town gossip. We make the case for Party Wire as a small-town satire worthy of standing alongside Stevens' Alice Adams, Sturges' The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, and Billy Wilder's Kiss Me, Stupid, and find more evidence for the secret feminism of Harry Cohn.
0h 01m 00s: THE WHOLE TOWN’S TALKING (1935) [dir. John Ford]
0h 25m 41s: PARTY WIRE (1935) [dir. Erle C. Kenton]
0h 55m 31s: Fear and Moviegoing in Toronto - THE RED DETACHMENT OF WOMEN (1961) [dir. Xie Jin]
* Listen to our guest episode on The Criterion Project – a discussion of Late Spring
* Marvel at our meticulously ridiculous Complete Viewing Schedule for the 2020s
* Intro Song: “Sunday” by Jean Goldkette Orchestra with the Keller Sisters (courtesy of The Internet Archive)
* Read Elise’s piece on Gangs of New York – “Making America Strange Again”
* Check out Dave’s Robert Benchley blog – an attempt to annotate and reflect upon as many of the master humorist’s 2000+ pieces as he can locate – Benchley Data: A Wayward Annotation Project!
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