Carole Lombard takes on the High-Profile Illness

Spoiler Alert You have to hand it to 1930s screwball comedies. They are, in part, a response to the Production Code (c.a. 1930-67), a set of rules about What Was Allowed in the movies. Screwball comedies wink at audiences while madly skidding around these rules. In a screwball comedy, the question is: See what we did there? But 1930s… Continue reading Carole Lombard takes on the High-Profile Illness

Comedy · Holiday

The Best Holiday Film You’ve (Maybe) Never Seen

We’re feeling all smug because we just learned two Big Things.* (*You’re probably familiar with these things already, but please humour us.) Big Thing #1  Did you know The New York Times publishes a list of people in need over the holidays, and has done so for 105 years? Big Thing #2  We learned about #1 from… Continue reading The Best Holiday Film You’ve (Maybe) Never Seen


Jane Wyman’s Love Letter to Aviation

A person can get a little jaded about air travel. You know – cramped legroom, unscheduled delays, highly contagious people. There was a time when commercial airline travel was portrayed as exciting, even romantic. One example is the 1951 comedy, Three Guys Named Mike (1951). Jane Wyman plays a delightful, almost-too-helpful woman who becomes a flight attendant… Continue reading Jane Wyman’s Love Letter to Aviation

Comedy · War

Peter Sellers presents: The Cold War

In the early 1960s, filmmaker Stanley Kubrick was wrestling with a screenplay about an accidental nuclear strike. He was resisting the urge to turn it into a comedy. His screenplay was an adaptation of the 1958 novel Red Alert by Peter George, a grim story about a mentally-unstable general who orders a nuclear strike on Russia. “I… Continue reading Peter Sellers presents: The Cold War


The Charming World of Monsieur Hulot

Did you travel to the French seaside for your vacation this year? No? Sadly, neither did we. However, there is a way to experience a holiday on the French coast without cramped flights and awkwardly-managed security lines. Voilà! Here is Mr Hulot’s Holiday (Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot), a 1953 French comedy about a bumbling man who goes to… Continue reading The Charming World of Monsieur Hulot

Comedy · Horror

The Old Dark House Sucker Punch

It’s always fun and games until someone loses an eye. That’s the lesson of The Old Dark House (1932), a comedy-horror flick about – you guessed it – a group of people stranded in an old dark house. The film opens on a Dark And Stormy Night as an English couple drives through a severe rainstorm and series… Continue reading The Old Dark House Sucker Punch

Comedy · Musical

The Doris Day Guide to Making Movies

Have you ever wanted to be in the movies? Once upon a time, we (as in, yours truly) wondered if we could be an actress. Sadly, our acting career went no further than the role of Concerned Citizen in a public service announcement. But in the comedy It’s a Great Feeling (1949), Doris Day plays… Continue reading The Doris Day Guide to Making Movies


Francis the Smart-Alec Mule

Here are some Facts About Mules: Mules have greater endurance than horses. Their acute sense of self-preservation is often mistaken for stubbornness. They’re very smart. Why are we learning about mules today? Because we just screened the legendary comedy Francis the Talking Mule (1950). We’re not sure why this film is legendary, because Francis the… Continue reading Francis the Smart-Alec Mule

Comedy · Musical

Guilty Pleasure: Elvis in Spinout

One of our newest guilty pleasures is the 1966 Elvis Presley comedy, Spinout. Now, as is usually the case with guilty pleasures, there are several reasons why you should not watch this film, namely: A non-progressive view of women A flimsy plot Presley’s, uh, “minimalist” acting style In Spinout, Presley plays a race-car-driving musician who is… Continue reading Guilty Pleasure: Elvis in Spinout


Dorothy Lamour: Closet Smart Alec

It must have been tricky business to be the leading lady in a Bob Hope movie. We can assume there were Rules: You must be glamorous. Bob gets the funny lines. Keep eye-rolling to a minimum. Hope starred with some beautiful and talented actresses, such as Virginia Mayo, Paulette Goddard, and Hedy Lamarr. But his most frequent co-star was Dorothy… Continue reading Dorothy Lamour: Closet Smart Alec