VIRTUE
1932, Sony Repertory, 68 min, USA, Dir: Edward Buzzell

“Yesterday a lady with a past – today the wife of the man she loved!” In her debut for Columbia, Carole Lombard stars as Mae, a New York streetwalker hoping to turn a corner in her life when she meets cab driver Jimmy (Pat O'Brien). After a rocky start, the two marry, but Mae’s former associates get her wrapped up in a murder charge. Robert Riskin’s screenplay lends this pre-Code drama both snappy dialogue and well-drawn characters.


TRUE CONFESSION
1937, Universal, 85 min, USA, Dir: Wesley Ruggles

Director Wesley Ruggles helmed this rarely screened screwball comedy. Pathological liar Carole Lombard tries to boost the career of her scrupulously honest (and thus unsuccessful) lawyer husband (Fred MacMurray) by confessing to a murder so he can defend her. John Barrymore is an egotistical opportunist who tries to blackmail her, with hilarious results. “Lombard is in full command of her daffy talent, dominating a number of long, virtuoso takes. One scene with slow-burning cop Edgar Kennedy is like a master class in comic timing.” – Dan Callahan, Slant Magazine


MR. & MRS. SMITH (1941)
1941, Warner Bros., 91 min, USA, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Yes, there is a screwball comedy among the Hitchcock oeuvre, and a highly amusing one at that. When Robert Montgomery tells wife Carole Lombard that he wouldn’t marry her again, he soon regrets the joke - it turns out that, due to a technicality, their marriage was never valid, and that friend Gene Raymond has a thing for the suddenly available Lombard.


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