René Clair’s I Married a Witch is among the buried treasures of 1940s American filmmaking. As the title promises, this is the most fanciful of screwball comedies, one with a peculiar charm that may take you by surprise. Known as an inventive poet of early sound cinema in France, thanks to such sharp, creative films as Under the Roofs of Paris (1930), Le million (1931), and À nous la liberté (1931), Clair had a reputation that preceded him to Hollywood, and I Married a Witch overflows with the same comic irreverence and fleet storytelling as his earlier films. Check out the clever opening sequence, in which the director satisfyingly sets up the film’s central conceits—a witch’s curse; an epic battle of the sexes—with great comic velocity.
Digging Through Movie History at Chaplin’s Studios
Film scholar Craig Barron gives us a tour of the studios on whose back lot Charlie Chaplin built the set for his final film of the silent era, The Circus.
Career Women in the Land of Lubitsch
Critics Molly Haskell and Farran Smith Nehme talk about the highly idiosyncratic heroines who populate Ernst Lubitsch’s comedies, including the protagonist of his final film, Cluny Brown.
Ritwik Ghatak’s Pursuit of Truth Beyond Realism
Acclaimed Indian filmmakers Saeed Akhtar Mirza and Kumar Shahani discuss how the Bengali master mixed expressionism and naturalism in his devastating domestic tragedy The Cloud-Capped Star.