CITY STREETS
1932, Paramount, 83 min, USA, Dir: Rouben Mamoulian

Gary Cooper (young and stunningly handsome) plays a carny sharpshooter who goes crooked in order to free his love (Sylvia Sidney) from prison. The only story Dashiell Hammett wrote specifically for the screen, it is brilliantly realized by director Rouben Mamoulian and legendary cameraman Lee Garmes. Screenplay by Oliver H. P. Garrett, adapted by Max Marcin, from Hammett's original story. NOT ON DVD.


BALL OF FIRE
1941, Park Circus/Goldwyn, 111 min, USA, Dir: Howard Hawks

Barbara Stanwyck is sassy, saucy Sugarpuss O’Shea, a wisecracking nightclub singer on the run from mob kingpins. Gary Cooper is good egg Professor Bertram Potts, a naive scholar who meets the crooner while researching slang. Two worlds collide as Sugarpuss hides out with Potts and his nerdy crew of lexicographers in Howard Hawks’ wonderfully hilarious romantic comedy, which garnered four Oscar nominations, including Stanwyck for Best Actress and Billy Wilder and Thomas Monroe for Best Original Screenplay.


DESIGN FOR LIVING
1933, Universal, 91 min, USA, Dir: Ernst Lubitsch

Playwright Tom Chambers (Fredric March) and painter George Curtis (Gary Cooper) share an apartment in Paris and both fall for lovely interior designer Gilda Farrell (Miriam Hopkins). Gilda can't make up her mind which man she loves, so she concocts a scheme for the three of them to live together platonically. Of course it's not long before the two men are figuratively clawing at each other’s throats in this pre-Code delight from director Ernst Lubitsch and screenwriter Ben Hecht, based on Noel Coward’s play.


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