SHANE
1953, Paramount, 118 min, USA, Dir: George Stevens

George Stevens infuses the Western genre with mythic grandeur in this timeless classic. Alan Ladd is at his most iconic as the title character, an ex-gunfighter forced out of retirement when a family of homesteaders (Van Heflin, Jean Arthur, Brandon de Wilde) comes under attack by a vicious rancher’s hired guns. Jack Palance is one of the most threatening villains in movie history, and the film itself is both a summing up of the Western genre and a sign of things to come in later masterworks such as UNFORGIVEN. One of the most influential films ever made - and one of the most entertaining. Loyal Griggs won an Oscar for Best Cinematography.


YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU
1938, Sony Repertory, 126 min, USA, Dir: Frank Capra

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 redevelopment. The amazing cast includes Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, Edward Arnold, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson and Ann Miller.


EASY LIVING
1937, Universal, 88 min, USA, 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, given added elegance by Leisen's beautiful direction.


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