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American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre Presents...
Movies on the Big Screen Since 1940!
1328 Montana Avenue at 14th Street in Santa Monica

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Click to print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of a Dec. 2007 Calendar!
Compiled by: Gwen Deglise and Grant Moninger. Program notes by

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Special Thanks to: Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL; Suzanne Leroy, Shirley Couch, Grover Crisp & Helena Brissenden/SONY REPERTPRY; Amy Lewin/MGM REPERTORY.


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SOLD OUT SCREENINGS: There will be a waiting line for Sold Out screenings. Tickets often become available at the door the night of an event.

Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.

All guests are subject to availability. The Cinematheque will offer a refund due to guest cancellations only IF the refund transaction is complete PRIOR to the start of the show.



Tickets are $10 general admission unless noted otherwise.
(Aero by series)
(Aero by date)
(Egyptian by series)
(Egyptian by date)
24-Hour Information: 323.466.FILM
Contact Us
The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the newly re-opened and renovated Aero Theatre at 1328 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica and at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Barry Gerber. Aero Theatre (c) 2004.

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<< December 27, 2007 - January 1, 2008 >>>

Screwball Comedies


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This series is an Aero Theatre Exclusive!


Snappy dialogue, slapstick, and total madness. Beautiful iconic leading men and women rubbing elbows with near crazy character actors. The Screwball era was one of Hollywood's most hilarious, creative and romantic periods. Forget the last minute shopping and the worries of the holiday season. Come relax and laugh till you can't see straight. Enjoy the perfect mixture of stage and screen rising from Shakespeare, Moliere and Oscar Wilde that gave birth to everything from the Coen Brothers to Woody Allen to "Three's Company" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Come listen to some of Hollywood's most talented screenwriters, Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, Preston Sturges, George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart. See Hollywood icons Gary Cooper, John and Lionel Barrymore, Jimmy Stewart, Claudette Colbert, Barbara Stanwyck, Carole Lombard, Veronica Lake and the one and only Charles Lane. Glory in some of the finest work of directors Frank Capra, Mitchel Leisen, Howard Hawks, Preston Sturges, and Billy Wilder. Is there a better way to end the year and begin the next?



Thursday, December 27 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

MIDNIGHT, 1939, Universal, 94 min. One of director Mitchell Leisen's most charming and graceful confections, this Parisian farce boasts a script by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett and a cast that includes some of the era's finest performers. Ex-showgirl Claudette Colbert impersonates a Hungarian countess in order to infiltrate the European jet set. She's after money, not love, but her plans get complicated when a working class cabbie (Don Ameche) falls for her and chases her down in high society. John Barrymore and Mary Astor co-star in this hilarious romp.

EASY LIVING, 1937, Universal, 88 min. Dir. Mitchell Leisen. Preston Sturges wrote this Depression-era Cinderella story, in which working girl Jean Arthur's fortunes change after she lucks into possession of a rich woman's coat. As those around her assume that what she wears is an indicator of who she is, Arthur climbs the social ladder and eventually falls in love with Ray Milland -- the son of the coat's real owner. Sturges' wit is on full display here, and is given added elegance by Leisen's beautiful direction.



Friday, December 28 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU, 1938, Columbia, 126 min. Director Frank Capra won an Oscar for Best Director (the film also won Best Picture) for this adaptation of the play by George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart about an eccentric, strangely happy family living in a rambling house amidst urban re-development. The amazing cast includes Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, Edward Arnold, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson and Ann Miller.

MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN, 1936, Columbia, 115 min. Dir. Frank Capra. When rural poet Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper at his most engaging) inherits a fortune, he moves to the big city and uses his newfound wealth to benefit his fellow man -- much to the chagrin of various corporate and political interests. Jean Arthur is the jaded, cynical reporter whose idealism (and sense of romance) is re-awakened by Deeds. Capra combines an awareness of man’s capacity for corruption with an optimistic belief in the possibility of positive change, making this a political comedy that’s angry and inspiring in equal measures.




Saturday, December 29 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

BALL OF FIRE, 1941, MGM Repertory, 111 min. A raucous variation on SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARVES, with Barbara Stanwyck as a sassy showgirl hiding out from her gangster boyfriend (Dana Andrews) who moves in with a group of stuffy professors who are working on a dictionary of slang. A sharp script by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder gives Stanwyck and her "dwarves" (led by Gary Cooper) plenty of witty dialogue, and director Howard Hawks applies his typically accelerated pace and energy to the material.

TWENTIETH CENTURY, 1934, Columbia, 91 min. Dir. Howard Hawks. The granddaddy of all screwballs, as egomaniacal Broadway producer John Barrymore makes a star of shopgirl Carole Lombard (as this picture did in real life), then goes berserk trying to win her back after she leaves him. Totally uncompromising in every respect, this is a flat-out masterpiece. Hecht and MacArthur’s blistering script is marvelously made flesh by the two stars, as well as Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns, Charles Lane, Edgar Kennedy and Etienne Girardot.




Sunday, December 30 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS, 1941, Universal, 90 min. Director Preston Sturges' most acclaimed comedy is something like a social realist movie with a wicked sense of humor. Successful Hollywood director Joel McCrea grows weary of making "entertainment pictures," and decides to hit the road disguised as a hobo to research his first "serious" film. A roller-coaster of mishaps and coincidences lands him on a chain gang, as well as in the arms of lovely Veronica Lake, before he learns what audiences crave the most.

HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO, 1944, Universal, 100 min. When Eddie Bracken is discharged from the military for chronic hay fever, his pals decide to send him home with a reputation as a great war hero. What ensues is a flurry of patriotic fervor, some genuine and some ridiculous, but all of it hilarious in writer-director Preston Sturges' hands. Sturges' incisive view of what defines true heroism during wartime is as prescient today as it was in 1944, and his direction of an ensemble of gifted character actors is a timeless delight.



Tuesday, January 1 – 5:00 PM

Marx Brothers Double Feature:

DUCK SOUP, 1933, Universal, 68 min. Dir. Leo McCarey. What better way to spend New Year’s than with the Marx Brothers in the AFI’s #5 Funniest Film (and #1 among movies made before 1959). Groucho is newly-appointed Prime Minister Rufus T. Firefly, who promptly declares war on a neighboring country for no particular reason. (Hmm, sounds vaguely familiar.) This absolutely merciless satire was a flop in its day, but by the 1960’s had taken its place as one of the unconditional giants of film comedy. Written by Bert Kalmar & Harry Ruby (who also wrote the songs), Arthur Sheekman and Nat Perrin. With Louis Calhern, Raquel Torres, Charles Middleton, Edgar Kennedy, and of course, Margaret Dumont; it was also Zeppo’s last film.

HORSE FEATHERS, 1932, Universal, 68 min. Dir. Norman Z. McLeod. The Marx Brothers’ zaniest film finds Groucho as the new president of Huxley College, where his son (Zeppo!) is romancing Thelma Todd and Harpo and Chico have to kidnap the star football players from rival Darwin. Co-written by S.J. Perelman, whose literate wordplay makes this a special treat, and containing the classic speakeasy and singing lesson routines. With David Landau, Nat Pendleton and Robert Grieg (for once, not cast as a butler).