MIDNIGHT
1939, Universal, 94 min, USA, Dir: Mitchell Leisen

A showgirl (Claudette Colbert) impersonating a Baroness, a lovestruck taxi driver (Don Ameche) and a cuckolded millionaire (John Barrymore) are just a few of the ingredients in this frothy concoction penned by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder and directed with breathless elan by Mitchell Leisen. Costarring Mary Astor, Francis Lederer and gossip queen Hedda Hopper, this delirious riff on the Cinderella story ranks among the greatest of all screwball comedies.


EASY LIVING
1937, Universal, 88 min, USA, Dir: Mitchell Leisen

Preston Sturges wrote this Depression-era Cinderella story, in which working girl Jean Arthur's fortunes change after she lucks into possession of a rich woman's coat. As those around her assume that what she wears is an indicator of who she is, Arthur climbs the social ladder and eventually falls in love with Ray Milland - the son of the coat's real owner. Sturges' wit is on full display here, given added elegance by Leisen's beautiful direction.


REMEMBER THE NIGHT
1940, Universal, 94 min, USA, Dir: Mitchell Leisen

In this romantic holiday classic, Barbara Stanwyck is arrested for shoplifting during the Christmas season. District attorney Fred MacMurray is assigned to prosecute her but instead falls in love. Preston Sturges wrote the witty and surprisingly nostalgic script just before he turned to directing.


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