Miranda Potmesil 3 p.m., Aug. 15
Golden Age of Film: His Girl Friday (1940)
The funniest movie ever made. Before television and home theatres provided partygoers with an excuse not to talk, how did the roisterers fill the hours? How’s this for fun: one night after dinner, Howard Hawks passed out copies of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s The Front Page for guests to read aloud from while chasing their supper with booze and cigarettes. With not enough masculine attendees to round out the predominantly male cast, the role of Hildy Johnson was assigned to an unidentified female guest. Hawks claims that it was then that he cooked up the idea of turning The Front Page into a love story by simply changing the character from a man — as he is written in the play and subsequent 1931 screen version — to a woman. The laughs hit with such force, the viewer may want to consider wearing a neckbrace. Want to die laughing? Watch this on a triple-bill with Buster’s Sherlock, Jr. and the Marx Bros. in Duck Soup. Two more versions would follow: Billy Wilder’s passable 1974 adaptation featuring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, and Ted Kotcheff’s surprisingly enjoyable Switching Channels, with Kathleen Turner playing Hildy opposite Burt Reynolds’ grumpy Walter Burns.
- When: Monday, August 19, 2019, 2 p.m.