Edmonton Film Society Movie Series
The Edmonton Film Society is a nonprofit group dedicated to keeping the "silver screen" / Hollywood of yesteryear in the public eye. Four series, each consisting of eight movies organized under a particular theme, are presented annually. Each movie is preceded by a short, informative talk about the film. Screenings are normally held Mondays at 8pm in the Royal Alberta Museum's Auditorium.
Make Us Laugh
February 9, 2015 – April 13, 2015Their Legacy is Laughter They’ve long since repaired to that big studio in the sky but before doing so they enriched the screen comedy with work that’s endured. We speak (with a certain fondness) of Peter Sellers, Jack Benny, Carole Lombard, Cary Grant, Danny Kaye, and Margaret Rutherford. Their humour is engaging because it’s easy-going and devoid of triteness, over-kill, mugging (well, perhaps not quite) and malice. The best moments ‒ and there are plenty of them ‒ provide a momentary but enjoyable release from contemporary ills. That these stars will Make Us Laugh is a foregone conclusion.
Peter Sellers, Elke Sommer, Herbert Lom
The second Inspector Clouseau comedy is far and away the funniest, with the great detective convinced gorgeous Sommer is innocent of murder despite all evidence to the contrary. The hilarious farce never slows down for a second, with a memorable scene in a nudist colony.
Director: Blake Edwards
Cary Grant, Ann Sheridan
A postwar comedy of errors has French Army officer Cary trying to accompany his new American bride back to the States, with very funny results. Bureaucratic logic dictates that war brides may be shipped back to the U.S. – but where does that leave our groom?
Director: Howard Hawks
Jack Benny, Carole Lombard
An acting troupe in Nazi-occupied Poland decides to help the resistance movement. They find their thespian skills put to the ultimate test when they pose as Nazi officials. A superb black comedy, controversial in its time, now considered one of Hollywood’s finest comic moments.
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Danny Kaye, Basil Rathbone, Angela Lansbury
Kaye’s best comedy shows him as a phony jester to the king, who finds himself involved in romance, court intrigue and a deadly joust. Delightfully complicated comic situations, superbly performed. And remember: the pellet with the poison’s in the vessel with the pestle.
Director: Norman Panama, Melvin Frank
Ginger Rogers, David Niven, Charles Coburn
An unmarried woman finds a baby abandoned on the streets. She hopes to take him to an orphanage, but everyone concludes she’s the infant’s true mom. Stuck with the child, and fired from her department store job, misery quickly turns into laugh-inducing opportunity.
Director: Garson Kanin
Rock Hudson, Paula Prentiss
A store’s fishing-equipment salesman who in reality has never fished is forced to enter a big tournament by pushy Prentiss. One of the ’60s best screwball comedies, loaded with slapstick and sexual innuendo, as man overcomes incompetence.
Director: Howard Hawks
Robert Young, Clifton Webb, Maureen O’Hara
Harried suburban parents with three little barbarians, desperate for a babysitter, hire Belvedere, an acerbic fellow who guarantees to civilize the kids’ behaviour. His surprising actions produce results and truly memorable comedy. This popular film spawned two sequels and a TV series.
Director: Walter Lang
Stanley Holloway, Margaret Rutherford
A genial British comedy celebrating wartime togetherness. Inhabitants of a London district discover an old document that proves their area is actually independent of Britain. They set up their own country. A fine satire on bureaucracy and all-controlling government.
Director: Henry Cornelius