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I signed up for Group Writing and chose my theme well before the events of January 6th and its aftermath plunged me into despair. Given what has transpired and what we will face after today, it seemed at first wrong somehow to focus on a screwball comedy from the 1930s. But then, life was not exactly a picnic in 1938, either. I’m sure that the assault on American values was felt keenly throughout the Depression, the New Deal, and their aftermath. It had only been 2 years earlier when FDR also proposed packing the Supreme Court. So that which is old is new again, unfortunately.
And yet, during those dark days, the screwball comedy was born. The first screwball comedies were Bombshell and It Happened One Night in 1933-34. But I believe the form reached a peak with Howard Hawk’s masterful 1938 comedy Bringing up Baby starring Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, and a leopard. If you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest that you do so instead of watching the inauguration. It too features a fossil.