Join us for a celebration of Claudette Colbert’s long and remarkable film career. A seven-week film series titled “Down-to-Earth Sophistication: Claudette Colbert in Hollywood” begins October 1 at Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake Street, and runs Monday afternoons at 1:30 pm through November 12. Oak Park film historian Doug Deuchler will introduce each film and conduct a discussion following each screening. This free film series is funded by the Friends of the Oak Park Public Library.
Monday, October 1: It Happened One Night (1934, 105 minutes)
Colbert stars as a runaway heiress who meets up with a wise-cracking reporter (Clark Gable) on the hunt for a good news story. Director Frank Capra’s charming romantic comedy won Oscars in all major categories, including Best Actress for Colbert.
Monday, October 8: Midnight (1939, 94 minutes)
In this sophisticated twist on the Cinderella story, Colbert plays a penniless showgirl, stranded in Paris, hired by a millionaire to pose as a Hungarian countess and break up his wife’s affair with another man.
Monday, October 15: Drums Along the Mohawk (1939, 104 minutes)
In director John Ford’s frontier adventure set during the American Revolution, Colbert and Henry Fonda are newlywed homesteaders fighting both marauding Indians and the British.
Monday, October 22: The Palm Beach Story (1942, 88 minutes)
This romantic screwball comedy, directed by Preston Sturges, involves an inventor who needs cash to develop his big idea and his loving wife who decides to raise it for her husband by divorcing him and marrying a millionaire.
Monday, October 29: So Proudly We Hail (1943, 126 minutes)
Colbert leads a group of untested Army nurses, caught behind enemy lines, fighting to survive during the Japanese invasion of Bataan and Corregidor in World War II.
Monday, November 5: Since You Went Away (1944, 172 minutes)
While her husband (Joseph Cotton) is away during World War II, loyal, courageous wife and mother Colbert copes with problems on the homefront.
Monday, November 12: The Egg and I (1947, 108 minutes)
Based on a humorous autobiographical bestseller, this popular comedy features city-bred Colbert getting more than she bargained for when she weds chicken farmer Fred MacMurray and moves to the country.
About Claudette Colbert
Born Lily Claudette Chauchoin in Paris, France in 1903, Claudette Colbert immigrated to America when she was a child. She pursued a career on the stage in the 1920s but when the Depression hit and the lights went out on Broadway, she headed to Hollywood. There, Colbert appeared in musicals, melodrama, epics, and comedies. In her long and remarkable film career, Colbert was one of the screen’s most skillful comediennes, often playing sleek, sophisticated, liberated women. She had true grace and class, and radiated European chic, but it was her spunk and clever wit that made her accessible to all. A box office draw for over 20 years, Colbert was one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood, working with the best directors of the period, from Frank Capra to Preston Sturges.
Find more events happening at Oak Park Public Library at http://oppl.org/events/calendar.