We knew partnering with Slapstick Festival for a screening of the classic Screwball comedy, The Awful Truth (1937) would be a good idea, but little did we know how perfect our choice of film was until seeing it on the big screen with an audience.
If you are not familiar with the plot, it’s a comedy of remarriage, in which Bristol’s legendary Cary Grant is teamed with Screwball comedy’s most underrated actress, Irene Dunne, in the film that broke him as a romantic lead. Coined as the “slapstick prince charming” by critic Pauline Kael, for his marriage of elegance and physical comedy, Grant shines in the definitive, Oscar-winning comedy of the 1930s. Slapstick veteran Leo McCarey (Sherlock Junior, Duck Soup), directs this wonderful vaudeville team.
The screening was listed in The Guardian, The Bristol Post and Doyle Hotel Collection and was warmly reviewed as one of the festival highlights by Silent London:
Watching Cary Grant in screwball masterpiece The Awful Truth (1937) at Slapstick this year was an absolute hoot. But the moment in this fizzy film when Grant is perched on the handlebars of a motorbike, Sherlock Jr-style, and touches his collapsed opera hat to his forehead in imitation of the great Buster Keaton? Priceless.
| Cary Grant in The Awful Truth
|| Buster Keaton in Sherlock Jr
Grant and Dunne sizzle, McCarey knows how to milk a pratfall and Mr Smith, the dog, gets up to all sorts of tricks. The audience were left crying with laughter, proving that Screwball comedy is indeed the true legacy of Slapstick.
A huge thank you to stand-up comedian and festival favourite, Lucy Porter who introduced the film. Thanks also to Chris Daniels and all at Slapstick Festival for what we hope to be a long and fruitful partnership.
We look forward to collaborating with Slapstick Festival again soon.
The Cary Grant Festival returns 16-17 July 2016. Save the date!