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.
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.
Charisma to Burn: Béatrice Dalle’s Incandescent Debut in Betty Blue
The young French actor didn’t require much direction for her first screen role. As the film’s director and cinematographer recall, she quickly proved herself to be a born star.
How Paweł Pawlikowski Reimagined His Parents’ Fiery Romance for the Big Screen
As the director explains to filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the love story at the heart of the Oscar-nominated drama Cold War has its roots in his own family history.