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Ring in the new year with classic comedies

December 27, 2012|By Susan King
  • Cary Grant and Myrna Loy star in "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer," screening Thursday at the Aero.
Cary Grant and Myrna Loy star in "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer,"… (File photo )

The American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre has the perfect antidote for holiday blues -- a series of classic comedies from the golden age of Hollywood.

"Screwball Comedy Classics for the 2013 New Year" serves up 1947's "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" Thursday evening. Cary Grant stars as the bachelor and Shirley Temple is the bobby-soxer who has a crush on him. Myrna Loy plays her older sister who also thinks Grant is quite dishy. Sidney Sheldon won an Oscar for his screenplay.

Rounding out the double bill is an even funnier romantic comedy, 1943's "The More the Merrier," directed by George Stevens and starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea and supporting actor Oscar winner for the film, Charles Coburn.

W.C. Fields' fans often single out 1934's riotous "It's a Gift," which screens Friday, as the comedian's best film. The scenes between Fields and the blind Mr. Muckle are priceless.

Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert star in the landmark 1934 romantic comedy "It Happened One Night," screening Saturday evening. The farce won Oscars for best film, director Frank Capra, screenwriter Robert Riskin, best actor for Gable and actress for Colbert.

The second bill is the charming 1938 George Cukor-directed comedy "Holiday," starring Grant, Katharine Hepburn and Lew Ayres.

Nicola Lubitsch, the only child of influential director Ernst Lubitsch, will be on hand Sunday to introduce the screenings of her dad's 1932 pre-code comedy "Trouble in Paradise" with Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins, and his final film, 1946's delightful "Cluny Brown," with Jennifer Jones and Charles Boyer.

The Aero rings in the new year on Tuesday with a Marx Brothers double feature: 1933's wonderfully subversive "Duck Soup," directed by Leo McCarey, and 1931's "Monkey Business," directed by Norman Z. McLeod. Groucho's grandson Andy Marx will introduce the double bill.

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The Alex Film Society is ending 2012 with its third annual "Greatest Cartoons ... Ever!" event Saturday afternoon and evening at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. Animation historian Jerry Beck and the event's producer Frank Gladstone will host the presentation of vintage cartoons including "Rabbit Seasoning," "Billion Dollar Limited," starring Superman, Koko's Earth Conflict" and "Ventriloquist Cat."

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The Cinematheque's Egyptian presents two romantic MGM musical comedies Thursday evening directed by Vincente Minnelli that won the best picture Oscars: 1951's "An American in Paris," starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron and the music of George and Ira Gershwin, and 1958's "Gigi," with Caron, Louis Jourdan and Maurice Chevalier and featuring an original score with lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe.

On Sunday the Egyptian presents the first three Indiana Jones adventures starring Harrison Ford: 1981's "Raiders of the Lost Arc," 1984's "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" and 1989's "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," the last of which also stars Sean Connery as Jones' dad.

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Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre is in a much more somber state of mind Wednesday with a screening of the newly restored director's cut of Volker Schlöndorff's 1979 epic "The Tin Drum," based on Günter Grass' novel.  The film won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the foreign-language film Academy Award. David Bennent stars.

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