Falling in Love with Screwball Comedy in Wilmette


Mike at the Movies: Falling in Love with Screwball Comedy

On Sunday, February 9, at 2:00 pm I will be giving a special Valentine’s Day-themed talk at the Wilmette Public Library about the history of the screwball comedy. The students in most of my current classes are eligible to earn up to twenty points extra credit towards their final grades if they attend this event. Please see the extra credit page of your course website for more information. Below is a synopsis of the presentation I wrote for the library’s website:

The “screwball comedy” is a beloved offshoot of the romantic comedy genre that was first popularized in America in the 1930s and early 1940s. This is when glamorous stars like Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck were pitted against one another in films characterized by rapid-fire dialogue and “battle-of-the-sexes” love stories. This special Valentine’s Day presentation will highlight clips from classic movies of the era as well as more contemporary Hollywood films that show the screwball influence.

Non-students interested in attending can find more information in the Wilmette Public Library’s “Off the Shelf” newsletter:

Click to access offtheshelf_january14.pdf

Hope to see you there!


About michaelgloversmith

Filmmaker, author and Film Studies instructor. View all posts by michaelgloversmith

3 responses to “Falling in Love with Screwball Comedy in Wilmette

  • John Charet

    Sounds great. I wish I could go, but I am usually busy on Sundays. Nevertheless, I will ask you how the talk went. I bet like all your great lectures, you will enlighten everybody with your vast knowledge of the genre (let alone cinema itself) 🙂 One question remains however: will you be talking about Ernst Lubitsch? Aside from Hawks, Cukor, La Cava, McCarey and maybe even Capra, I know you will definitely be talking about Preston Sturges since you posted an image of The Lady Eve in this post? 🙂 I bet If Susan Doll was still living here, she would be one of the people attending:) Keep up the great work as always:)

    P.S. considering our recent talk about Tarantino’s credibility as a film historian If not director (though that can be debated as well), what do you think of my who’s better comparison that I learned from your tweets considering your film preferences. I know these two directors are sort of different, but I just could not resist. Here is what I did, I gave the name of two directors (Alex Cox and Quentin Tarantino) and I did the arrow comparison.


    Obviously, Cox is the better director in my opinion:)

    • michaelgloversmith

      I still haven’t finalized the list of movies I’ll be showing clips from and talking about but right now I believe it will include THE AWFUL TRUTH, BRINGING UP BABY, THE LADY EVE, THE PALM BEACH STORY, THE MORE THE MERRIER and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK. I don’t think I’ve seen enough Alex Cox films to fruitfully compare him to Tarantino; but the three I’ve seen, REPO MAN, SID AND NANCY and HIGHWAY PATROLMAN, I like very much.

  • Mitchell

    Hope to make this. So glad you are showing PALM BEACH STORY – It is pretty much perfection in my book. It is so chaotic but at the same time so wise in what it has to say about the role of sex in love. I love that you have linked SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK to the Screwball tradition as well. As soon as I say that, I said ‘Of Course!”

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