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Feb 4, 2022

For RKO 1938, a Ginger Rogers double feature: Having Wonderful Time (directed by Alfred Santell - and George Stevens?), based on the play by Arthur Kober (the ex-Mr. Lillian Hellman), and Vivacious Lady (definitely directed by George Stevens), one of the best Hollywood comedies of the 1930s, but not one of the best known. We discuss the consequences of the de-ethnicizing of Kober's play; Stevens' audacity as a comedic stylist; Rogers' all-around comic genius; Jimmy Stewart's particular brilliance in playing drunk scenes; how Vivacious Lady fits the "democratic" version of screwball comedy; and more. 


Time Codes:

0h 01m 00s:                       HAVING WONDERFUL TIME [dir. Alfred Santell]

0h 32m 34s:                       VIVACIOUS LADY [dir. George Stevens]                                            


Studio Film Capsules provided The RKO Story by Richard B. Jewell & Vernon Harbin

Additional studio information from: The Hollywood Story by Joel W. Finler



* 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 latest film piece on Preston Sturges, Unfaithfully Yours, and the Narrative role of comedic scapegoating.

* Check out Dave’s new 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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