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Dec 30, 2022

For our Universal 1941 Studios Year by Year episode we looked at two films about love and sex by a couple of master filmmakers, Rene Clair's The Flame of New Orleans, a terrific Bruce Cabot vehicle (Marlene Dietrich is also in it), and Gregory La Cava's Unfinished Business, a sexually daring romantic drama (with some screwball elements) starring Irene Dunne that manages to seem like a Pre-Code despite the year in which it was made. We dig into the presentation of Theresa Harris's scheming maid in The Flame of New Orleans, whose aims are much clearer than the ostensible heroine's; and into the painful adult emotions of the brilliant and constantly surprising Unfinished Business, which get into areas that most people don't want to discuss in real life, let alone see in movies. 

Time Codes:

0h 01m 00s:      THE FLAME OF NEW ORLEANS [dir Rene Clair]

0h 33m 08s:      UNFINISHED BUSINESS [dir. Gregory LaCava]


Studio Film Capsules provided by The Universal Story by Clive Hirschhorn

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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