Just got a press release from Turner Classic Movies (who contributed four classic films and guest Robert Osborne to SIFF last week), naming the 15 most overlooked classic film directors. The list gave me plenty of titles for a much-watch list, and a reminder of a few favorites — most notably, Gregory La Cava, whose career peaked in the 1930s with the great screwball comedies “My Man Godfrey” (absolute heaven, with William Powell and Carole Lombard as a would-be butler and a ditzy heiress) and “Stage Door,” about life in a women’s theatrical boarding house in Manhattan. Katharine Hepburn plays a rich girl determined to make it as an actress; Ginger Rogers is the seen-it-all chorine she rooms with. Their initial meeting, as Hepburn and her many trunks imperiously arrive, is comedy gold. Watch and enjoy this little vignette of funny bitchery, as each just keeps on topping the other. (“There is a quite a family resemblance,” notes Rogers of a portrait Hepburn places on the bureau. “Especially around the whiskers.”) Great fun — and yes, it’s on available on DVD.
June 1, 2009 at 10:52 AM