This coming Friday (i.e. tomorrow), the Mechanics Institute will begin its Cinema Lit series of Myrna Loy film screenings (in celebration of a new book on the actress by Emily Leider, Myrna Loy: The Only Good Girl in Hollywood. Leider, who is best known (to me anyway) for her biography of Rudolph Valentino, Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino, will introduce the first two films in the series.
For those who are unfamiliar, Myrna Loy was discovered by Natacha Rambova and gave her a first film role in the late 1920s (changing her name, and giving her an ‘exotic’ look). However, she became famous for her roles opposite William Powell in The Thin Man series beginning in 1934 (see my post on the costume designer Dolly Tree for more on the costumes in this film).
Friday, October 7, 6pm. The Animal Kingdom (1932): Loy plays a beautiful and manipulative woman married to a reformed bohemian in this thoughtfully subversive pre-code comedy. Details here.
Friday, October 14, 6pm. Penthouse (1933): A woman helps a lawyer vindicate an innocent man accused of murder in this blend of comedy and drama. Details here.
Friday, October 21, 6pm. Manhattan Melodrama (1934): with William Powell and Clark Gable, Two orphaned friends take wildly divergent paths, one into the district attorney’s office, the other into a life of crime — but they both love the same woman. Details here.
Friday, October 28, 6pm. Love Crazy (1941): William Powell teams with Myrna Loy in this comedy about a man who will do anything – even fake insanity – to prevent his wife from divorcing him. Details Here.
Can’t make any of those dates for screenings? There will be a few more in the Los Angeles and San Francisco area through the end of 2011 (Details forthcoming):
November 20, 2011, 1:00 PM – American Cinematheque (Los Angeles)
December 14, 2011 – Hollywood Heritage Museum in the Lasky-DeMille Barn, Hollywood, CAFebruary 21, 2012 – San Francisco Historical Society
Added bonus! Here’s a trailer of Manhattan Melodrama to wet your appetite: