irene dunne

Irene Dunne – ‘She longed to be called baby’ – Episode 19

Irene Dunne was the queen of melodrama, comedy and musicals, a leading lady adored by all and seen by female audiences as an ‘every woman’. Many critics over the years have labelled Irene as either the ‘female Cary Grant’ or the refined lady who excelled in maternal roles. We at Any Ladle’s Sweet beg to differ and offer a more nuanced view of this deeply funny lady who always longed to be called ‘baby’. We discuss 3 of her finest roles: Ann Vickers (1933, Theodora Goes Wild (1936), and Unfinished Business (1941).

Sources:
Ann Vickers (1933). Dir. John Cromwell [DVD] RKO Pictures.

Basinger, J. (2007) The Star Machine. New York: Vintage.

Bawden, J. and Miller, R. (2016) Conversations with Classic Film Stars: Interviews from Hollywood’s Golden Era. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

Bogdonovich, P. (1997) Who the Devil Made It: Conversations with Legendary Film Directors. New York: Ballantine.

Carman, E. (2016) Independent Stardom: Freelance Women in the Hollywood Studio System. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Douglas, M. (1986) See You at the Movies: The Autobiography of Melvyn Douglas. (with Tom Arthur) Lanham: University Press of America.

Gehring, W.D. (2006) Irene Dunne: First Lady of Hollywood. Lanham: Scarecrow Press.

McCourt: J. (1980) ‘Irene Dunne: The Awful Truth’ Film Comment 16.1 pp. 26-32.

Theodora Goes Wild (1936) Dir. Richard Boleslawski [YouTube] Columbia Pictures.

Unfinished Business (1941) Dir. Gregory La Cava [YouTube] Universal Studios.

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Adopt a GIF. Click on each to download. More coming soon!

All GIFs by Danielle so use them however you please.

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ernst lubitsch

‘Squirrels to the Nuts’ Women and Nonconformity in the films of Ernst Lubitsch – Episode 7

‘What would Lubitsch have done?’ Every director should have this sign hanging prominently in their office, a reminder of a unique individual and his enormous talent for showing things differently. Episode 7 is devoted to Lubitsch and his wonderful films, full of warmth, humour, style, wit and above all fearless in their depiction of sex, marriage and even war. The women in Lubitsch’s films are not captains of industry but are smart, knowing and they understand exactly what to do and why. The films we discuss: The Marriage Circle (1924), One Hour With You (1932), Trouble in Paradise (1932), Design for Living (1933), Angel (1937), Ninotchka (1939), To Be Or Not To Be (1942), and Cluny Brown (1946).

Our He’s a Keeper segment this month honours the inimitable George Sanders.

Sources:
All About Eve (1950) Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz (DVD) Twentieth Century Fox.
Angel (1937) Dir. Ernst Lubitsch (DVD) Paramount Pictures.
Cluny Brown (1946) Dir. Ernst Lubisch (DVD) Twentieth Century Fox.
Design for Living (1933) Dir. Ernst Lubitsch (YouTube) Paramount Pictures.
Eyman, S. (2000). Ernst Lubitsch: laughter in paradise. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Journey to Italy (1954) Dir. Roberto Rossellini (DVD) Titanus Distribuzione.
Ninotchka (1939) Dir. Ernst Lubitsch (DVD) Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Noble, R. (1934) ‘The Very Thought of You’ [Recorded by George Sanders] on The George Sanders Touch … Songs for the Lovely Lady (1958). Available at:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7izmInLhM8
Novak, I., Dolar M. and Krecic, J. (2014) Lubitsch Can’t Wait: a collection of ten philosophical discussions on Ernst Lubitsch’s film comedy. New York: Columbia UP.
One Hour with You (1932) Dir. Ernst Lubitsch (DVD) Paramount Pictures.
Rebecca (1940) Dir. Alfred Hitchcock (DVD) United Artists.
Sanders, G. (1960) Memoirs of a professional cad. (2015) London: Dean Street Press.
Slavitt, D.R. (2009) George Sanders, Zsa Zsa and me. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
Stagg, S. (2001) All about All About Eve St. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin.
‘Super Special Picture of the Year’ (1934) [Recorded by Yacht Club Boys and Ernst
Lubitsch] Available at: www.lubitsch.com/audio.html
The Marriage Circle (1924) Dir. Ernst Lubitsch (YouTube) Warner Bros./ UFA.
The Moon and Sixpence (’42) Dir. Albert Lewin (YouTube) United Artists.
Thompson, K. (2005) Herr Lubitsch goes to Hollywood: German and American film after World War I. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
Trouble in Paradise (1932) Dir. Ernst Lubitsch (DVD) Paramount Pictures.

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You Don’t Own Me: Women’s Sexuality in the Pre-Code Era – Episode 3

Our third episode focuses on the small window of films made in Hollywood between 1930 and 1934, known usually as ‘Pre-Code’. The censorship rules of the ‘Hays Code’ was introduced to Hollywood studios in 1930 but was not actually enforced until late 1934. During these years studios were pumping out films testing the limits of propriety, usually with strong central female characters using their wiles to break out of poverty and marital drudgery. This month’s He’s a Keeper is devoted to the charming Melvyn Douglas. Lastly, an honourable mention to the late Setsuko Hara.

You Don’t Own Me: Women’s Sexuality in the Pre-Code Era – Episode 3 by Any Ladle’s Sweet

Our third episode focuses on the small window of films made in Hollywood between 1930 and 1934, known usually as ‘Pre-Code’. The censorship rules of the ‘Hays Code’ was introduced to Hollywood studios in 1930 but was not actually enforced until late 1934.

Sources:
A Woman’s Face (1941) Dir. George Cukor. [DVD] MGM.
Baby Face (1933) Dir. Alfred E. Green. [DVD] Warner Bros.
Bed of Roses (1933) Dir. Gregory La Cava. [DVD] RKO.
Doherty, T. (1999) Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality and Insurrection in American
Cinema 1930-1934. New York: Columbia University Press.
Douglas, M. (1986) See You at the Movies: The Autobiography of Melvyn Douglas (with Tom Arthur). Boston: University Press of America.
Jacobs, L. (1991) The Wages of Sin: Censorship and the Fallen Woman 1928-1942. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
LaSalle, M. (2000) Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Loos, A. (1974) Kiss Hollywood Goodbye. London: W.H. Allen.
Loy, M. (1987) Being and Becoming (with James Kotsilibas-Davis). London: Bloomsbury.
Brooks, Louise. (1974) Lulu in Hollywood. USA: University of Minnesota Press.
Ninotchka (1939) Dir. Ernst Lubitsch. [DVD] MGM.
Penthouse (1933) Dir. W.S. Van Dyke. [DVD] MGM.
Possessed (1931) Dir. Clarence Brown. [DVD] MGM.
Red Headed Woman (1932) Dir. Jack Conway. [DVD] MGM.
Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise (1931) Dir. Robert Z. Leonard [DVD] MGM.
The Divorcee (1930) Dir. Robert Z. Leonard. [DVD] MGM.
The Easiest Way (1931) Dir. Jack Conway [DVD] MGM.
Theodora Goes Wild (1936) Dir. Richard Boleslawski. [YouTube] Columbia.
Third Finger, Left Hand (1940) Dir. Robert Z Leonard. [DVD] MGM.
THAT scene in Possessed – www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWmI88_hP0M

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