Repertory Series

Comedy On The Road
October 5–10, 2007

For some reason, the beginning of fall always puts us in the mind of road trips, and so, in celebration of the season, we offer this selection of classic comedic road movies. All made during or just after the period when the highway began to rule the American consciousness (with one notably silent exception), our COMEDY ON THE ROAD films cover ground from Maine to Albuquerque – with a side trip to Oz. From the dustbowl travels of Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT to the madcap treasure hunters of IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD to, yes, Dorothy’s trip over the rainbow, we’re certain that everyone will find something to love in this true cavalcade of comedy.

Film Descriptions, Dates & Showtimes

Friday 10/5 at 5:15, 7:30, 9:45 & Saturday 10/6 at 12 Noon

The Wizard Of Oz
(1939) dir Victor Fleming w/Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Margaret Hamilton, Frank Morgan [101 min]
A road movie of the imagination, THE WIZARD OF OZ tells the immortal story of Dorothy and Toto’s trip ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ to the magical land of Oz. Joined by the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man, Dorothy travels down the Yellow Brick Road in search of a way home in this Technicolor dream of a film.

Sunday 10/7 at 2:00, 5:00, 8:00

It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World
(1963) dir Stanley Kramer w/Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, Phil Silvers, Terry-Thomas, Jonathan Winters [161 min]
Quite simply one of the most madcap of madcap comedies, MAD WORLD pits teams of comedic geniuses against each other in a search for hidden treasure… and the biggest laughs. When a group of drivers stop to help an accident victim, they are incited into a riotous, cross-state race to find the $350,000 in stolen cash that he describes to them. Caustic wit and slapstick comedy careen headlong into each other and this cavalcade of comedy stars.

Monday 10/8 at 3:15, 7:15

Double Feature w/LOVE ON THE RUN
It Happened One Night
(1934) dir Frank Capra w/Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert [105 min]
A harbinger of the contemporary romantic comedy, IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT is as hilarious now as it was when it won Best Picture in 1934. A spoiled, sheltered heiress (Colbert) flees her controlling father and hits the road. It isn't long before she needs the help of a down-on-his luck reporter played by the roguishly charming Clark Gable. They immediately drive each other completely crazy, trading barbs with a comedic chemistry that is rarely replicated. In fact, Colbert and Gable find each other so infuriating that they can't help but fall madly in love. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT is a romantic, hilarious, Hollywood classic that is not to be missed.

Monday 10/8 at 5:30, 9:30

Love On The Run
(1936) dir W.S. Van Dyke w/Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone [80 min]
When IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT struck it rich at the box office, Hollywood churned out a number of imitators to capitalize on it, and LOVE ON THE RUN is one of the best. Gable is recast as a reporter chasing an escaping heiress, but this time, instead of Colbert, we get Joan Crawford. Crawford is fleeing her wedding and Gable is more than happy to assist but the pair wind up being chased by spies… and another reporter.

Tuesday 10/9 at 7:15

Double Feature w/THE GENERAL
Palm Beach Story
(1942) dir Preston Sturges w/Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor, Rudy Vallee [88 min]
Preston Sturges was a comedic genius and this railway road movie is one of his best films. Nutty wife Colbert up and leaves her inventor husband and heads to Palm Beach by train to get a divorce with jilted hubby hot on her trail. Mistaken identity, a loopy millionaire, the meddling of the boisterous ‘Ale and Quail Club’ and an inexplicable pair of twins follow as well.

Tuesday 10/9 at 5:30, 9:15

Double Feature w/PALM BEACH STORY
The General
(1927) dir Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton w/Buster Keaton, Marion Mack [75 min]
Silent comedy legend Buster Keaton plays a love-sick train conductor during the Civil War. When his train is hijacked with his lady-love onboard Keaton must subvert the spies, rescue his love and retrieve his train! The film soon erupts into a high-speed locomotive chase as Keaton and his love rush to warn the confederate army about a union plot. Keaton, a skilled physical comedian, performs his own stunts and jumps along the top of the train without missing a beat. A masterpiece of silent comedy THE GENERAL is the great stone face at his delightful best.

Wednesday 10/10 at 8:00, 10:00

The Long Long Trailer
(1954) dir Vincente Minnelli w/Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz [103 min]
Ah, the Fifties, a time when a suburban starter home became the aspiration of millions… but what if you could get that suburban home on wheels!?! At least that’s the dream of one half of the newlyweds at the center of this classic comedy. And, when Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz play the married couple, we’ll give you one guess which half wants the mobile home. Outrageous comedic set-pieces follow as the couple tries to simultaneously live the opposing dreams of the Fifties: the call of the open road and the bliss of domestic partnership.

©The Brattle Film Foundation. All rights reserved worldwide. The Brattle Film Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit, supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.