Top Ten Screwball Comedies Of The Thirties

Screwball comedies from the 1930's were delightful, romantic and always had a happy ending. Here are the top 10 from that era.

Top Ten Screwball Comedies of the Thirties

It Happened One Night - 1934

Directed by Frank Capra. Starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. This was the first film in history to win all five major Oscars. The movie is about a millionaire's daughter (Claudette Colbert) who marries against her father's orders. To escape from his wrath she travels across the country. While in hiding she meets a man who (after many trials and mishaps) she cannot resist. The man (Clark Gable) is a former newspaper reporter who has just lost his job. He is planning to sell the story he stumbled upon when he met Ellie (unbeknownst to her). Finally he realizes that he too is madly in love and they live happily ever after.

If You Could Only Cook - 1935

Directed by William A Seiter. Starring Herbert Marshall and Jean Arthur. A penniless woman (Jean Arthur) involves a millionaire (unwittingly) in getting a job as a maid at a mansion.

The Good Fairy - 1935

Directed by William Wyler. Starring Herbert Marshall and Margaret Sullivan. Written by Preston Sturges this comedy is about Luisa Ginglebusher (Margaret Sullivan) a movie usher who is pursued by an ogling rich guy. Luisa only wants Herbert Marshall who plays a struggling lawyer. Wyler, the director, and Sullivan were married two weeks before this film was in the can.

My Man Godfrey - 1936

Directed by Gregory La Cava. Starring William Powell and Carole Lombard. An eccentric family comes to grips with real life after one of the daughters brings home a bum to be their butler.

One Rainy Afternoon - 1936

Directed by Rowland V. Lee. Starring Francis Lederer and Ida Lupino. This film is an American remake of the French comedy Monsieur Sans Gene. The producer was Mary Pickford. The general premise of the film is a man (Lederer) has an impulse to kiss a woman in a movie theatre. He is accused of being a kissing bandit and the plot moves forward from there.

The Awful Truth - 1937

Directed by Leo McCarey. Starring Cary Grand and Irene Dunne. A divorcing couple discovers they need each other after all. After all and in spite of it all.

Easy Living - 1937

Directed by Mitchell Leisen. Starring Ray Milland and Jean Arthur. A man throws his wife's fur coat out of a window. It plops like a gift from heaven in Jean Arthur's lap, eventually involving her in the millionaire's family problems.

Bringing Up Baby - 1938

Directed by Howard Hawks. Starring Cary Grant and Kathryn Hepburn. A leopard, a paleontologist, and a kooky girl on the make.

You Can't Take It With You - 1938

Directed by Frank Capra. Starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur. A feel good film involving the romance between a poor girl and surprise! a rich man.

Midnight - 1939

Directed by Mitchell Leisen. Starring Don Ameche and Claudette Colbert. Set in Paris and the surrounding countryside, Colbert plays an adventuress out to catch a Duke or a Count. Ameche plays the taxicab driver who eventually changes her mind by losing his.

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