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Aug 12, 2022

In this week's Acteurist Oeuvre-view episode, we look at 3 Jean Arthur movies: The Defense Rests (1934), an excellent corrupt lawyer drama that we were previously unable to find; and from 1935, two very different romantic comedies featuring real or pretend marriages of convenience, The Public Menace and If You Could Only Cook. The simultaneously idealistic and pragmatic young lawyer, screwball liar, and Depression comedy heroine she plays in each of these films respectively give us several aspects of Arthur's emerging screen persona to discuss in this last moment before she finds true fame. 


Time Codes:

0h 1m 00s:      THE DEFENSE RESTS (1934) [dir. Lambert Hillyer]

0h 35m 56s:    THE PUBLIC MENACE (1935) [dir. Erle C. Kenton]

0h 46m 09s:    IF YOU COULD ONLY COOK (1935) [dir. William A. Seiter]


* 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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