Black and White and Tough All Over



Every Tuesday night in January at 6:30 p.m. the Humboldt County Library presents its Hard Times and Happy Endings film series with comedies that got Americans through some lean years (free).

Kick off the journey on Jan. 3 with Sullivan's Travels (1941), hosted by Bob Doran. Preston Sturges' satirical movie tells the rambling tale of a rich, naïve director (Joel McCrea) who longs to make a culturally important picture. Donning hobo drag, he heads for the open road and rails, running into Veronica Lake as an actress giving up the game along the way.

On Jan. 10, yours truly presents Woman of the Year (1942), starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracey. In this rom-com, a pair of newspaper writers duke it out on the front page before marrying up and starting the fight all over again. It's also the film during which those crazy kids fell in love in real life.

On Jan. 17 Charity Grella hosts A Night at the Opera (1935), This Marx Bros. comedy pokes fun at the swells in their finery as Groucho, Harpo and Chico pull all kinds of hijinks in the aid of a pair of star-crossed singers. Cue waggling eyebrows.

Michael Cooley hosts what is maybe the ultimate hard-times-happy-ending movie City Lights (1931) on Jan. 24. In this silent picture, Charlie Chaplin stars as the Little Tramp who's fallen in love with a blind flower girl and must sweat and scheme to help her out.

Bonus week! On Jan. 31, hold onto your thesaurus when Philip Wright presents Ball of Fire (1942), starring a brassy, sassy Barbara Stanwyck.

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