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Aug 14, 2020

Our August Special Subject is one of Dave's favourite film books, Elizabeth Kendall's The Runaway Bride: Hollywood Romantic Comedy of the 1930s. We discuss Kendall's vision of romantic comedy from this era (it's powered by an auteur/acteur synergy between erstwhile “gag man” directors and a new type of female star) and consider how each of the films she discusses fits her thesis (or fails to). We also take extended looks at two Frank Capra comedies that receive chapters in the book: It Happened One Night (the template for “Depression romantic comedy,” as Kendall calls it) and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (in which, according to Kendall, Capra betrays the spirit of the movement in comedy that he started). Finally, we speculate about why Lubitsch is left out of the book by discussing Ninotchka. (Hint: you can't have Depression romantic comedy with a Communist heroine.)


Time Codes:

0h 01m 00s:       Introduction – Kendall’s Depression Romantic Comedy Thesis

0h 26m 03s:       It Happened One Night (1934) [dir: Frank Capra]  

0h 43m 44s:       Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) [dir. Frank Capra]

1h 09m 16s:       Discussing the remainder of the book




* Check out our Complete Upcoming Episode Schedule

* Catch up with Dave’s fledgling Précis du cinema efforts on the Anagramsci Blog or on Letterboxd

* Find Elise’s latest film piece on Depression era film romance

*And Read lots of Elise’s Writing at Bright Wall/Dark RoomCléo, and Bright Lights.*

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