Mark Schenker “How to Read a Film” explores “Some Like It Hot” Sun., Dec. 8, at 2 PM

In this ninth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, turns to screwball comedies. Like the gangster movie, the Western and the Hollywood musical, the genre of screwball comedy films originated in the United States. The new satirical spin (hence “screwball”) on romantic comedy stressed witty dialogue and zaniness over sentimental love, and placed big name stars in odd situations. As with gangster movies, horror films and lavish musicals, the genre found a ready audience with Depression-era filmgoers who were eager for escapist fare.

Because of the postponement due to snow of “Ball of Fire,” scheduled for Dec. 1, the remaining schedule has been rearranged as follows: What would have been the final lecture on “Some Like It Hot” will take place as planned on Sun., Dec. 8, at 2 PM. “Ball of Fire” has been rescheduled to Sun., Dec. 15, but at 1 PM rather than 2 PM.

Director Billy Wilder’s 1959 “Some Like It Hot” stars Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. Roger Ebert described “Some Like It Hot” as “one of the enduring treasures of the movies, a film of inspiration and meticulous craft, a movie that’s about nothing but sex and yet pretends it’s about crime and greed.”

From A.H. Weiler’s 1959 New York Times review:

There should be no doubt this morning that the members of the happily irreverent film troupe that made “Some Like It Hot” have done something constructive about the old wheeze that begins, “Who was that lady I saw you with?” For, in fashioning this overlong, occasionally labored but often outrageously funny series of variations on an ancient gag, they have come up with a rare, rib-tickling lampoon that should keep them, the customers and the management … chortling with glee.

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