THE GOOD FAIRY
1935, Universal, 98 min, USA, Dir: William Wyler

Before he became one of the world’s greatest comedy directors, Preston Sturges scripted this gem about a well-meaning but naïve cinema usherette (Margaret Sullavan) who inadvertently spreads chaos. Adapted from Ferenc Molnar’s farce, the comedy follows Sullavan as she juggles men including Herbert Marshall and Frank Morgan, piling up comic misunderstandings along the way.


BRINGING UP BABY
1938, Warner Bros., 102 min, USA, Dir: Howard Hawks

Perhaps the greatest and most influential screwball comedy of all time, with Katharine Hepburn letting her hair down as a madcap heiress and Cary Grant putting his up as the absent-minded zoologist she’s decided she’s in love with. It just doesn’t get any funnier - or more frantic - than this. With Charlie Ruggles, Barry Fitzgerald, May Robson, Walter Catlett, Fritz Feld and screwball mascot Asta as George the dog.


THE THIN MAN
1934, Warner Bros., 93 min, USA, Dir: W.S. Van Dyke

Adapting the Dashiell Hammett novel, W.S. Van Dyke helms the first and best in what was to become one of MGM’s most successful franchises of the 1930s. William Powell and Myrna Loy are transcendentally flighty as the carefree rich couple Nick and Nora Charles - a wise-cracking, hard-drinking detective and his heiress wife, a gal who aspires to fight crime, too (along with their terrier, Asta). Their partying lifestyle is interrupted when friend Dorothy Wynant (Maureen O’Sullivan) asks them to help find her father, an inventor who has been missing for three months. Set over Yuletide in New York City, the pair piece together clues while barhopping and hitting holiday cocktail parties (which always seem to be crawling with Nick’s former shady underworld acquaintances). Watch for hungover Nick shooting ornaments off the tree on Christmas morning! Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.


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