Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Independent Stardom on Screen: Freelance Women in Hollywood Opens Saturday at UCLA

UCLA keeps presenting one interesting series after another! Following the recently concluded Out of the Ether: Radio Mysteries and Thrillers on Screen, UCLA has a very different but equally interesting lineup of films starting this weekend: Independent Stardom on Screen: Freelance Women in Hollywood.

The series ties in with a recently published book, INDEPENDENT STARDOM: FREELANCE WOMEN IN THE HOLLYWOOD STUDIO SYSTEM, authored by Emily Carman. Carman will be on hand to introduce some of the films in the series, as well as sign her book.

Independent Stardom on Screen begins this Saturday, April 16th, with a double bill consisting of Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper in BALL OF FIRE (1941) followed by Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray in TRUE CONFESSION (1937).

Sunday the 17th the titles are the screwball comedy THEODORA GOES WILD (1936), starring Irene Dunne and Melvyn Douglas, and TOPPER (1937), the ghostly comedy with Constance Bennett, Cary Grant, and Roland Young.

A great pair of pre-Codes are on hand on April 22nd, when UCLA screens Barbara Stanwyck in BABY FACE (1933) and Ruth Chatterton in FEMALE (1933). The latter is one of my very favorite pre-Code titles.

On April 29th Ida Lupino and Joan Leslie star in THE HARD WAY (1943), followed by Constance Bennett in WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD? (1932).

On May 8th Ann Harding stars in GALLANT LADY (1933), followed by Irene Dunne as ANN VICKERS (1933).

There's even more pre-Code goodness on May 14th, when Miriam Hopkins stars in THE STORY OF TEMPLE DRAKE (1933) and Clara Bow stars in CALL HER SAVAGE (1933).

On May 15th Anna May Wong stars in DAUGHTER OF SHANGHAI (1937), paired with Dolores Del Rio in MADAME DU BARRY (1934).

The series comes to an end on May 26th with two of Carole Lombard's best films, the sublime comedy TO BE OR NOT TO BE (1942), costarring Jack Benny, and the glossy melodrama IN NAME ONLY (1939), also starring Cary Grant and Kay Francis. (Update: Here are my reviews of TO BE OR NOT TO BE and IN NAME ONLY.)

This very interesting series will overlap the Noir City Film Festival, the TCM Classic Film Festival, and the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival. Classic film fans in Southern California are fortunate to have so many wonderful screenings to choose from!

Update: Here's more on the series from Kenneth Turan at the Los Angeles Times.


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