Double Feature: Million Dollar Legs & Girls About Town – Take the Whole Family!

Gene Siskel Film Center – 164 N. State Street
For the full schedule of our classic film screenings, please click here.

14B MILLION $ LEGSSunday, December 1 @ 11:30am
Directed by Eddie Cline • 1932
Welcome to Klopstokia, the semi-sovereign backwater where policy disputes are resolved with wrestling matches and all the girls (and goats) are named Angela. President W.C. Fields leads a delegation of Klopstokians to the Olympics, but traitors plot to sabotage their chances by throwing the mechanically sexy temptress Mata Machree (Lyda Roberti) into their midst. Ostensibly produced to cash in on the Olympic fever generated by the 1932 Summer Games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, it’s difficult to name a topical film that’s less political. Though often cited as a forerunner to the Marx Brothers’ sharp satire Duck Soup, Million Dollar Legs is closer to a surrealist free-for-all, one gag following another with seemingly unconscious logic.  Cited by Pauline Kael as a candidate for the greatest film ever made, Million Dollar Legs nevertheless defies critical description. (KW)
64 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal


Girls About Town (1931) Directed by George Cukor Shown from left: Kay Francis, Lilyan TashmanGIRLS ABOUT TOWN
Directed by George Cukor • 1931
Lured direct from Broadway by Paramount after the studio determined it needed sophisticated theater directors to oversee the newly literate talkies, George Cukor was still finding his sea legs in 1931. So it only makes sense that he should make a saucy sex farce on a yacht, no? A pair of gold diggers played by Kay Francis and Lilyan Tashman have some business objectives for this maritime adventure: Francis will bag hunky, unconventional Joel McCrea while Tashman will seduce Eugene Pallette (!), the wealthiest man in all of Lansing, Michigan. The title could aptly summarize the whole pre-Code era, and the movie itself distills the emblematic contradictions of these bawdy bedtime stories: in one scene, Francis and Tashman must prove their virtue by selling the very clothes off their backs! (KW)
66 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal


And don’t miss our next show!

15A NINOTCHKASunday, December 8 @ 7:30pm
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch • 1939
Ninotchka, a no-nonsense Soviet envoy (Greta Garbo), is sent to check on three adorable Communists (Lubitsch regulars Sig Ruman and Felix Bressart and WWII refugee Alexander Granach) who were supposed to be selling off jewels confiscated from the ex-Grand Duchess of Russia (Ina Claire). To Garbo’s disgust, they have been taken in by the delightful ways of Parisian capitalism by way of Melvyn Douglas, who attempts to buy back the jewels for Claire but eventually becomes more interested in seducing Ninotchka. In many ways the ultimate Lubitsch picture, Otis Ferguson also noted that Ninotchka was the “first film with any airiness at all to discover that communists are people and may be treated as such in a story.” Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, and Walter Reisch wrote a screenplay filled with incredibly human one-liners. And Garbo in her first comic role is nothing less than perfect. (JA)
110 min • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer • 35mm from Warner Brothers

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