Lady in the Dark (1944); Take a Letter, Darling (1942)

Lady in the Dark (1944)
December 9, 2012 - 7:00 pm

Lady in the Dark (1944)

Directed by Mitchell Leisen

A former costume designer, Leisen was a natural to adapt the hit 1941 musical, with songs by Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin, about a troubled woman fashion editor who undergoes psychoanalysis. At the time, Lady in the Dark’s story was a revolutionary idea and it remains a fascinating Technicolor artifact of Freud’s grip on Hollywood and the culture’s panic over women entering the workforce.

Paramount. Producer: Richard Bluementhal. Screenwriter: Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett. Based on the musical play with book by Moss Hart, and music and lyrics by Kurt Weill, Ira Gershwin. Cinematographer: Ray Rennahan. Cast: Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Warner Baxter, Jon Hall.

35mm, Technicolor, 100 min.

Take a Letter, Darling (1942)

Directed by Mitchell Leisen

Traditional gender roles are reinforced and ridiculed in this provocative comedy from the Rosie the Riveter era. Rosalind Russell is at her scathing best as “Mac” MacGregor, a hard-driven female exec who hires struggling painter Fred MacMurray as her new secretary. With no access to the old boys’ club herself, she makes MacMurray into her beard, bringing him to social events where his mission is to seduce her clients’ wives.

Paramount Pictures, Inc. Producer: B.G. DeSylva. Screenwriter: Claude Binyon. Cinematographer: John Mescall. Editor: Doane Harrison. Cast: Rosalind Russell, Fred MacMurray, Constance Moore, MacDonald Carey, Robert Benchley.

35mm, b/w, 88 min.