7Seven Forgotten Screwball Comedies of the 1940s

Several actresses who were the best of the best in this genre such as Deanna Durbin, Irene Dunne, Claudette Colbert, and Jean Arthur made their mark in the 1930s and continued to shine into the 1940s.

  • It Started with Eve (1941)~ Deanna eve2.jpgplays Anne Terry a singer who is trying to make it in the big city but is having no luck ends up filling in as Robert Cummings fiancé to meet his dying father played by Charles Laughton. As in all Screwball comedies there is an unfortunate switch.  Robert Cummings father makes a miraculous recovery, believing Anne to be Gloria. Now Gloria is mad that Anne is pretending to be her, Robert is mixed up trying to fix everything, and Anne is using her new connections to make it in the music industry.

 

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The More the Merrier (1943)~ In this movie Jean Arthur is living in Washington DC during a housing crisis.  When she rents the extra room to an older man, he in turn rents half of his room to a young and very attractive Joel McCrea.  Jean and Joel are attracted to each other however she is engaged, and he is about to leave the country on a secret mission for a couple of years.

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  • The Talk of the Town (1942)~ Jean Arthur is renting her country property to a Judge for the summer.  Just as the notorious Leopold (Cary Grant) a man who is on trial for arson and murder, choses that property to hide out in.  Jean discovers him the night the Judge moves in and allows him to take refuge in the attic.  She procures the job of secretary and cook allowing her to stay and help Leopold.

 

  • Something in the Wind (194something7)~ Deanna Durbin plays a radio personality who is mistaken for her aunt with the same name.  Deanna is kidnapped by the heir of an estate naming her an unknown benefactor.  The highlight of this movie is a song done by Donald O’Connor whose physical comedy is unmatched.  Deanna also sings an uncharacteristic song during a fashion show that is a lot of fun.

 

  • The Doctor Takes a Wdoctorife (1940)~ Loretta Young plays the famous author of a book calling women to be independent of marriage and men.  She rides back to the city with a respectable medical professor.  Unfortunately their car is mistakenly decorated with a  “Just Married” outside of a Justice of the Peace.  When arriving at her apartment building the media sees the sign and reports her marriage.  They are forced by her publisher to act as if they are married.

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  • Pot O’ Gold (1941)~ Jimmy Stewart is an out of work musician, seeking the help of his uncle in the big city.  His uncle hates music and is a known curmudgeon, who is trying to evict a family of musicians.  Jimmy gets caught up in the middle of the feud.

 

  • Broadway Limited (1941)~ broadway.jpgThis hysterical movie is a classic mix up Marjorie Woodworth plays an actress traveling on a train with her producer.  As a publicity stunt her assistant rents a baby from a friend, however as they go on their journey they discover a baby was kidnapped and they fear they have that baby.

 

 

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