Runaway Bride: Hollywood Romantic Comedy of the 1930s

Overview

In the 1934 classic It Happened One Night, heiress Claudette Colbert races away from the altar and a conventional marriage and throws herself into a wisecracking rough-and-tumble affair with Clark Gable. The new brand of movies following in the wake of Capra's kooky masterpiece-and the women starring in them-are the focus of Kendall's The Runaway Bride, a look at the films that mirrored the climate of the Great Depression while at the same time helping Americans get through it. Kendall details the collaborations ...
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The Runaway Bride: Hollywood Romantic Comedy of the 1930s

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Overview

In the 1934 classic It Happened One Night, heiress Claudette Colbert races away from the altar and a conventional marriage and throws herself into a wisecracking rough-and-tumble affair with Clark Gable. The new brand of movies following in the wake of Capra's kooky masterpiece-and the women starring in them-are the focus of Kendall's The Runaway Bride, a look at the films that mirrored the climate of the Great Depression while at the same time helping Americans get through it. Kendall details the collaborations between the romantic comedy directors and the female stars, showing how such films as Alice Adams (with Katherine Hepburn), Swing Time (where Ginger Rogers enjoys "A Fine Romance" with Fred Astaire), The Awful Truth (with Irene Dunne), and The Lady Eve (wherein Barbara Stanwyck's shapely leg repeatedly trips naïve millionaire Henry Fonda) came to be, and what they said about the 1930s. Written with erudition and enthusiasm, The Runaway Bride is a trip through some of Hollywood's most memorable moments, and a key to the national issues of an era as revealed in its films.
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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
[The Runaway Bride offers] intriguing analysis of some of the era's most fruitful director-actress collaborations…. [Kendall] writes with flair and intelligence about the creators and works she fancies.
Smithsonian
Studies so immediate and insightful they take on the luster of the films themselves.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Depression-era romantic film comedies starring Jean Arthur, Claudette Colbert, Irene Dunne, Katharine Hepburn, Carole Lombard, Myrna Loy, Ginger Rogers and Barbara Stanwyck are enthrallingly appraised here by social historian Kendall Where She Danced . The formula for these movies--lightly making a virtue of personality traits usually thought of as feminine, a moral subtlety, an unashamed belief in the validity of emotions--was originated not at the big Hollywood studios, but by directors on the margins of the indsutry: Frank Capra, Gregory La Cava, Leo McCarey, George Stevens and Preston Sturges. Their genuine interest in women, and in romance imagined from a woman's point of view, resulted in It Happened One Night , Mr. Deeds Goes to Town , My Man Godfrey , Stage Door , The Lady Eve and other film classics perceptively described and analyzed in this enjoyable book. Photos not seen by PW. Oct.
Library Journal
Kendall's 1990 volume examines the screwball comedies that flourished during the 1930s as a means of countering the harsh realities of the Great Depression. Many of those films featured women either married or betrothed who revolt against the men in their lives, with their stories at the core of such hits as It Happened One Night, The Awful Truth, and other Hollywood gold. The text is supported by numerous monochrome portraits of the stars and some behind-the-scenes shots. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815411994
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 713,956
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Kendall is the author of Where She Danced and American Daughter. She lives in New York City.
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