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.
A Subtler Side of the Hepburn-Grant Magic
Filmmaker and distributor Michael Schlesinger and critic Michael Sragow dive into the pleasures of Holiday, a romantic-comedy classic that has long stood in the shadow of The Philadelphia Story but has a poignancy all its own.
Wim Wenders Looks Back on the Digital Future He Predicted
From search engines to all-engrossing handheld devices, the technologies that the German director conjured for his 1991 opus Until the End of the World are now common features of contemporary life.
John Bailey Breaks Down a Tour de Force of Gothic Lighting
The veteran cinematographer takes a close look at the highly stylized and atmospheric lighting in one of the most pivotal scenes in pre-Code classic The Story of Temple Drake.
All About Mankiewicz
One of the most celebrated Hollywood writer-directors of his time, Joseph L. Mankiewicz offers a window into the way he sees his characters in this illuminating clip from an archival interview.