→ from Easter Parade (1948)
on the avenue, fifth avenue
the photographers will snap us
and you’ll find that you’re
in the rotogravure
7th Heaven (1927)
Go ahead and stare, I’m not ashamed. Go on, laugh, get your money’s worth. Nobody’s going to hurt you. I know you want me to tear my clothes off so you can look your fifty cents’ worth. Fifty cents for the privilege of staring at a girl the way your wives won’t let you. What do you suppose we think of you up here, with your silly smirks your mothers would be ashamed of? We know it’s the thing of the moment for the dress suits to come and laugh at us too. We’d laugh right back at the lot of you only we’re paid to let you sit there and roll your eyes and make your screamingly clever remarks. What’s it for? So you can go home when the show’s over and strut before your wives and sweethearts and play at being the stronger sex for a minute? I’m sure they see through you just like we do.
Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)
"You see, dogs like us, we ain’t such dogs as we think we are."
“THE BROADWAY MELODY BALLET”
→ from Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
a million lights, they flicker there
a million hearts beat quicker there
no skies of grey on that great white way
that’s the broadway melody
“YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME”
→ from Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
you’re like a plaintive melody
that never lets me free
but i’m content the angels must have sent you
and they meant you just for me
“THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT”
→ from Swing Time (1936)
someday when i’m awfully low
and the world is cold
i will feel a glow just thinking of you
and the way you look tonight
“ISN’T THIS A LOVELY DAY (TO BE CAUGHT IN THE RAIN)”
→ from Top Hat (1935)
the weather is frightening
the thunder and lightning
seem to be having their way
but as far as i’m concerned
it’s a lovely day
hildy, don’t be hasty → a tribute to screwball comedy
It Happened One Night (1934, dir. Frank Capra)"Good morning. Remember me? I’m the fellow you slept on last night."
Widely regarded as the first true screwball comedy, It Happened One Night was also the first movie to win all five major Academy Awards, a feat that has been matched only twice since (first by One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975 and then by The Silence of the Lambs in 1991). It seems almost fitting, then, that such an iconic picture began its life with all the odds stacked against it — two unenthusiastic stars, an incredibly short shooting schedule, a chronic lack of faith permeating a project that would go on to shape and define a genre.
Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme: runaway heiress Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) meets quintessential roguish newspaperman Peter Warne (Clark Gable) on a night bus. She falls into his lap, he quirks an eyebrow, he’s got a pipe. ”Next time you drop in,” he says, all smirks and suspenders, “bring your folks.” The whole thing smoulders from the get-go, fraught with intensity long before we find the pair spending the night together in a conveniently tiny room with an even more convenient dearth of privacy. Then the Walls of Jericho come into play and every love scene in the history of cinema is put to shame. (I exaggerate, but only slightly. “Perhaps you’re interested in how a man undresses…”)
No one could possibly have anticipated the lasting success of It Happened One Night. Colbert, who’s said to have described the movie to a friend as “the worst picture in the world,” didn’t even attend the Academy Awards ceremony and had to be retrieved from a train station when her Best Actress win was announced. That such a film could provide the framework for countless other screwball comedies, many of them masterpieces in their own right, and create a legacy that’s still present — glaringly, tangibly so — in so many romantic comedies even eighty years later is an undeniably incredible accomplishment.
Ellie Andrews, Peter Warne, the Walls of Jericho, the power of a limb, the right way to dunk a donut, the nights when you and the water and the moon all become one — a man and a woman reclining in the hay, faces shadowed, a hair’s breadth apart —
"Do you love her?"
"Yes! But don’t hold that against me, I’m a little screwy myself."