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Midnight (1939); Easy Living (1937)

Midnight (1939)
November 16, 2012 - 7:30 pm
David Chierichetti, author, "Mitchell Leisen: Hollywood Director."

David Chierichetti will be signing copies of his book, Mitchell Leisen: Hollywood Director, beginning at 6:30 pm. 

Filmmaker Mark Rappaport described Chierichetti's oral history with Leisen and his key collaborators as "an essential read, as well as the only book about [Leisen]."

Midnight (1939)

" of the liveliest, gayest, wittiest and naughtiest comedies..." - The New York Times 

Directed by Mitchell Leisen

In director Mitchell Leisen’s delightfully frothy comedy, Eve (Colbert) is a showgirl who’s washed up in Paris without a penny. Crashing a party, she meets Georges Flammarion (Barrymore), who hires her to lure a French playboy away from his straying wife (Astor). Eve adopts the identity of a Hungarian countess, inspired by the Hungarian cab driver (Ameche) who pines to confess his love.

Paramount Pictures. Producer: Arthur Hornblow Jr. Screenwriter: Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder. Cinematographer: Charles Lang. Editor: Doane Harrison. Cast: Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore, Francis Lederer, Mary Astor. 

35mm, b/w, 94 min. 

Easy Living (1937)

Directed by Mitchell Leisen

Leisen’s fascination with the nature of identity is clear from the first scene of Easy Living when a sable coat, dropped by a millionaire banker in a fight with his wife, lands on struggling journalist Mary Smith (Arthur). While trying to return the coat, Mary is mistaken for the banker’s mistress and suddenly everyone’s life is turned upside down. In one particularly inspired scene, the machines of an automat go haywire sparking a choreographed delirium worthy of Jacques Tati.

Paramount Pictures, Inc. Producer: Bob Crandall. Screenwriter: Preston Sturges. Cinematographer: Ted Tetzlaff. Editor: Doane Harrison. Cast: Jean Arthur, Ray Milland, Edward Arnold, Luis Alberni, Mary Nash.

35mm, b/w, 88 min.