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EASY LIVING (THE JEAN ARTHUR 1937 MOVIE)


AndyM108
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After over four years plus of patiently waiting for the "real" Easy Living to show up on TCM, and after about a dozen false alarms with that mediocre 1949 Victor Mature movie of the same name, I see we're FINALLY getting the real deal at 11:45 tonight. Everyone get out their DVRs and DVD recorders, because this is one you don't want to miss.

 

If anyone has never seen the film in question, I'll say up front that it's right up there with Bombshell, Libeled Lady, His Girl Friday and The Lady Eve as among the greatest screwball comedies ever. The opening scene with Edward Arnold and his wife (Mary Nash) sets the stage for the entire film, and it never lets up for a minute, with Jean Arthur at her absolute best as the lucky recipient of a surprise present from above. And for those who aren't too young to remember one of midcentury America's great communal institutions, the famous "riot in the Automat" scene will bring back many pleasant memories, although not of broken dishes. ;)

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>I'm sure the TCM presentation will have a great picture and sound, but in case anyone falls asleep, here is the film in sections on YouTube

 

Or they could go to WatchTCM or TCM on Demand to see if if the better picture quality and sound with the Robert O intro and outro were available.

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I missed the first half hour or so, so I could never figure out exactly what was going on. Having said that, the film seemed way beyond "screwball". It could have been the most ridiculous, non-sensical, over-the-top movie I've ever seen. For example, did Jean just happen to meet Milland in the auotmat, and coincidentally, he was Edward Arnold's son? That's just one of many questions I have.,

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Spoiler Alert:

 

Yes, the meeting between Jean and Ray at the automat was a coincidence. These occur a lot in movies. But this one wasn?t that ?far out? since Ray left home to get a job, any job, as a way to prove something to his father and the automat wasn?t very far from their home and the hotel where Jean was staying.

 

Do you even like screwball comedies? You don?t like My Man Godfrey and Carole Lombard. It appears you didn?t enjoy this movie. To me Jean Arthur is the bomb and my favorite comedy actress (but she could also do drama very well, she had it all).

 

As someone else noted Easy Living is a very funny movie and one of the best of the genre. It is the best Cinderella movie comedy.

 

LUNATICS and LOVERS: Does anyone else have this book by Ted Sennett. It is a good reference book on the 30s and 40s comedies. It covers most of these movies but only top ones are covered in depth. Easy Living is covered in depth.

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>As someone else noted Easy Living is a very funny movie and one of the best of the genre. It is the best Cinderella movie comedy.

 

I will respectfully disagree. I think MIDNIGHT is the best Cinderella movie comedy. And as far as recent classics go, PRETTY WOMAN is another one.

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EASY LIVING has.been one of my favorite movies since i was a child. I have been showing it to friends since I was a teenager (one has subsequently bought the vhs and dvd over.the years). Some 20 years ago, after.showing it to a couple of friends, one exclaimed, "this is better than PRETTY WOMAN!". As one of my cousins once said after showing another classic screwball, MY MAN GODFREY, "this is pure fun", which is how i feel about EL, and MIDNIGHT as well for that matter.

 

PS....what IS a tippett?

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finance wrote:

>I missed the first half hour or so, so I could never figure out exactly what was going on. Having said that, the film seemed way beyond "screwball". It could have been the most ridiculous, non-sensical, over-the-top movie I've ever seen. For example, did Jean just happen to meet Milland in the auotmat, and coincidentally, he was Edward Arnold's son? That's just one of many questions I have.,

 

It's a screwball--it doesn;t really have to make sense. Look at Bringing Up Baby, for example. If you try to analyze it, you run into all sorts of questions, not the least of which is "What, exactly, is an intercostal clavicle?" And why would a dog be interested in a fossilized bone in the first place? Not to mention the logistics of having an exotic pet in a Manhattan apartment (weren't there any laws against it, even in 1936?)

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I like BRINGING UP BABY. I like MIDNIGHT and LOVE CRAZY. Are they screwball comedies? I read a synopsis of the plot of EASY LIVING. Now that I know what happened in the first half hour, the rest of the film makes more sense, and I think I like it. I like THEODORA GOES WILD, and I love THE AWFUL TRUTH. Howzat?.

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Just watched this little gem on you tube and was greatly surprised. It's terrific with wonderful performances by Arnold, Arthur and Ray Milland.. But no surprise since it was a screen play by the great Preston Sturges. It's always a real treat when you find something you've never seen before and hit the jackpot.. Did you pickout a few of Sturges's stock company members, William Demarest as the Walter Winchell take off Wallace Whistling, Robert Greig as Graves the butler and Franklin Pangborn among others. A true screwball delight. I see it's out on DVD..

Another one of my favorite Jean Arthur films is Billy Wilder's "Foreign Affair" with the great Marlene Dietrich. Why this classic is not on DVD here is a shame. An over looked beautiful piece of film making...

 

Edited by: fredbaetz on Nov 17, 2013 6:21 PM

 

Edited by: fredbaetz on Nov 17, 2013 7:21 PM

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Another one of my favorite Jean Arthur films is Billy Wilder's "Foreign Affair" with the great Marlene Dietrich. Why this classic is not on DVD here is a shame. An over looked beautiful piece of film making...

 

Totally agree, but that movie shows up at least once or twice a year on TCM, so just look for it and get your recorder ready. And don't overlook Millard Mitchell's sardonic performance as Arthur's tour guide amidst the postwar ruins of Berlin.

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I just watched Easy Living again for the first time in about five years, and it just solidified my opinion that this is one of the top half dozen screwball comedies. I'd almost forgotten how great Luis Alberni was as the financially challenged hotel owner "Louis Louis", but that's one advantage of having less than a perfect memory for plots.

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Well, dont blame the movie if you missed the first half hour. He believed Jean was Arnold's mistress and was using her for free publicity.

 

I hadnt seen this movie in awhile and it was a lot of fun. I saw it for the first time many years ago on the late show and it was the first Jean Arthur film I had ever seen and fell in love with her.......(Ray wasnt bad either!)

 

Great cast and a glimpse of what was to come (Preston S.)

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