Manhattan Melodrama Screening & Myrna Loy Discussion
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The last date listed for Thoroughly Modern Myrna Talk & Manhattan Melodrama was Sunday November 20, 2011 / 3:00pm.
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Quotes & Highlights
Watch the trailer for Manhattan Melodrama.
Emily Leider will take a look at Loy’s evolving appearance and physical surroundings, on screen and off, paying most attention to the Myrna Loy of Art Deco era, when she began performing as a prologue dancer at Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre, and the 1930s, when her slim, graceful figure complemented the taste for all things streamlined. Illustrated with slides and movie clips, her talk will touch on the work of MGM set designer Cedric Gibbons and costume designers Dolly Tree and Adrian. I will talk some about MGM’s high gloss, high contract black-and-white aesthetic, and will discuss the influence on Myrna Loy of her teacher, modern dancer Ruth St. Denis. The flapper craze, Orientalism, Egypto-mania, and changing American ideals of female beauty will all be part of the story.
Film Screening (beginning at approximately 4:00pm):
Manhattan Melodrama,_ 1934, Warner Bros., 93 min, USA, Dir: W.S. Van Dyke, George Cukor (uncredited)
Hard gambler and racketeer Edward “Blackie” Gallagher (Clark Gable) and bookish district attorney and would-be governor Jim Wade (William Powell) have been lifelong friends, brought together by their both being orphans. When Blackie’s girlfriend, Eleanor (Myrna Loy), leaves him for the more sensible Jim, there are no ill feelings between the friends, but when Blackie kills the D.A. running opposite Jim for the election of governor, Jim must face the most difficult case of his career: convicting his best friend of murder. The first of 14 onscreen pairings between Loy and Powell, and made in the same year as their most famous film,_ The Thin Man_. Look for Mickey Rooney in one of his earliest roles, playing Blackie as a child. Manhattan Melodrama has become infamous as the last film seen by gangster John Dillinger before he was gunned down leaving Chicago’s Biograph Theater.