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Icons of Screwball Comedy, Vol. 2 (Theodora Goes Wild / Together Again / A Night to Remember / The Doctor Takes a Wife)

67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Crazy situations, fast and sophisticated dialogue, and conflict arising from the roles of men and women in modern society? these are the essential elements of the Screwball Comedy. The Awful Truth, Twentieth Century, Holiday, His Girl Friday and The More the Merrier are prime examples of what would become a hallmark for Columbia Screwball Comedies. With superb production values, top directors (Capra, Hawks, Cukor, Stevens) and major stars, these classic films are some of the best known screwballs. For the second volume of Columbia's Screw Ball Comedies form the '30s and '40s, we return to the vaults to rediscover more classics of the beloved genre featuring two of its most glamorous leading ladies. The Legendary Irene Dunne plays a small-town author whose racy bestsellers, written under a pseudonym, bring her notoriety when a New Yorker (Melvyn Douglas) discovers her secret, in THEODORA GOES WILD. In TOGETHER AGAIN, Dunne plays the mayor's widow who falls for a sculptor (Charles Boyer)

The vaults of Columbia Pictures provide four screwball titles from the silly era, a package evenly split between two sylphlike stars, Irene Dunne and Loretta Young. Dunne gloriously shines in Theodora Goes Wild, a 1936 classic that changed her image from a serious actress to a skilled comedian. She plays Theodora, the author of a slightly racy novel--but she keeps her authorship secret for fear of scandalizing her neighbors, whose small town is the subject of the book. Enter smoothie Melvyn Douglas and a serving of cocktails, and Theodora's staid personality loosens up. Richard Boleslawki's spritzy film depends on Dunne's delightful touch with line readings, a touch that would blossom so memorably in The Awful Truth a year later. Alas, Together Again (1944) is a much less successful vehicle for the actress, reunited here with her Love Affair costar Charles Boyer. Dunne's a small-town mayor, Boyer's a sculptor, the screwball situations are busy--but the whole thing comes across like day-old champagne.

The Doctor Takes a Wife (1940) is a likable outing: Loretta Young is a bestselling author of an advice book for unmarried ladies--which makes it difficult to explain her sudden marriage to a physician (Ray Milland) she just met. The explanation is one of those screwball contrivances--it'll spare a scandal, for starters--required for the plot to work. And, largely because of the deft playing of Young and Milland, it does work. The 1942 A Night to Remember sounds like more fun than it is: Young and hubby Brian Aherne arrive at their new Greenwich Village apartment only to learn the place comes furnished… with a corpse. Alas, the body isn't the only stiff in sight: the comic sleuthing is surely meant to evoke the Thin Man series, but despite Aherne's breezy approach, the movie clumps badly. In this company, Theodora reigns head and shoulders above the rest. --Robert Horton

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Irene Dunne, Loretta Young
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: August 4, 2009
  • Run Time: 374 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0024FAG1M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,306 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Icons of Screwball Comedy, Vol. 2 (Theodora Goes Wild / Together Again / A Night to Remember / The Doctor Takes a Wife)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Sony has been the only company doing much in terms of commercial releases of classic film lately. Warner and Fox have announced and released very little compared to their great activity of the last few years.
Like volume one, this set contains four films on two discs:

Theodora Goes Wild (1936) - Irene Dunne is part of the leading family in a small-minded small town. She is also the author of a racy bestseller under an assumed name. Melvyn Douglas is a book jacket illustrator who figures out who the author is and assumes Theodora wants to be liberated from her small town existence. Probably the best film in this set.

Together Again (1944) Irene Dunne is a Vermont widow who goes to New York to interview a sculptor, played by Charles Boyer. When she returns to Vermont she is surprised to see Boyer again when he decides to move into her garage to do his sculpting. Charles Coburn costars as Dunne's confused father-in-law. A hard-to-find and amusing film.

The Doctor Takes a Wife (1940) Loretta Young plays the feminist author of books on the joy of being a single woman. Ray Milland is a college professor whose career advancement is hurt by the fact that he is unmarried. When the two are mistaken as a married couple they decide to let the farce continue since it benefits both of them individually. A very good film and rarely seen.

A Night to Remember (1943) - Loretta Young plays the wife of a novelist. She rents a gloomy apartment in Greenwich Village hoping it will provide the atmosphere her husband needs to write his next novel. Instead, a body turns up in their apartment. Not as good as the other films, but pleasant enough.

I get the impression that we should expect no extra features.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Doug - Haydn Fan VINE VOICE on July 13, 2009
Sony offers us one masterpiece of Screwball Comedy and three lesser but in varying degrees perfectly acceptable minor films.

The masterpiece among these four movies is of course "Theodora Goes Wild", Columbia's 1936 comedy about the adventures of small town girl Theodora Lynn in the big city. Leading lady Dunne was so unattracted to such a role - a ditzy comedy - she took off for Europe in the hope Columbia studio boss Harry Cohn would give up on his 'crazy idea' of casting her, dignified and very proper Irene Dunne, a serious actress, as a small town girl who secretly pens a racy bestseller under a pseudonym, Caroline Adams, then tries to hide her famous identity back home from her church-going family and neighbors. Cohn stuck to his guns, and through one of those delightful transformations film is forever giving us, the melodramatic star of countless womens pictures reemerged reborn as a star comedienne!

The basic story line is pretty straightforward, Theodora doesn't want anyone to discover she is the author of a book condemned in her own home town, Lynnfield - named after her family! When Michael Grant, played by Melvyn Douglas at his most urbane, the artist who painted the sexually alluring cover for the book, tricks Theodora's publisher into meeting the highly elusive Ms 'Caroline Adams', the painter discovers she's anything but the wild debauchee the book suggests. Instead, the real author is terrified at all the notoriety and wishes she had never written 'That thing!" "What came over me!" Theodora says, as she explains to her publisher and the leering artist who she's certain is undressing her with his look, "Were you ever raised in a small town by two maiden aunts? Have you played the organ in church since you were fifteen? No, well I have.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Olivier Comte on July 28, 2009
I have only one reservation about the excellenrt review by "Doug-Haydn Fan": ONE NIGHT TO REMEMBER is very, very good.
I was fortunate enough to see it, some twenty years ago in London, and a British friend taped it for me. It gave me
hours and hours of pleasure.
We have a married couple of amateur detectives, nothing new here, but everything seems to be related to houses (they have rented
a basement apartment at 13 Gay street in Greenwich), a new twist.
YOUNG is outstanding and AHERNE does his usual unsung acting. They are very funny together.
JOSEPH WALKER does his usual superior cinematography and the director RICHARD WALLACE, best known for THE FALLEN SPARROW
and SINBAD THE SAILOR, is respectable.
I won't reveal the plot, since you'll be buying the picture anyway, for the great THEODORA GOES WILD, but we have the pleasure
of seeing old friends: GALE SONDERGAARD/BLANCHE YURKA/LEE PATRICK and SIDNEY TOLER as a police inspector and DONALD MAC BRIDE
as a police officer, and the great JAMES BURKE.
It was the third novel by KELLEY ROOS ("THE FRIGHTENED STIFF") in a series of 8 novels, from 1941 to 1949, featuring
the same couple of amateur detectives (mystery writer and wife). Again, not groundbreaking, but a decent American
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Douglas M VINE VOICE on September 10, 2009
Verified Purchase
Columbia and RKO were the smallest of the major Hollywood studios in the 30s and 40s. RKO was famous for the Astaire/Rogers musicals and Columbia was known for attracting leading actresses on short term contracts, usually starring them in romantic comedies. This collection of Columbia comedies showcases 2 leading ladies, the unique Irene Dunne and the ubiquitous Loretta Young.

Dunne was a ladylike dramatic actress who could also sing. She surprised the pundits in 1936 when she starred in her first outright comedy, "Theodora Goes Wild", displaying her superb timing and sunny personality. The change of direction was so surprising, Dunne was nominated for an Oscar! Both this film and "Together Again", released in 1944, focus on the break down of Dunne's ladylike persona, the first as a small town spinster who writes a racy novel and the latter as a widowed mayor who falls for a sculptor. Both films benefit from first rate leading men although Charles Boyer looks a bit tired in "Together Again" and is a rather stiff farceur. Melvyn Douglas, however, matches Dunne magnificently in "Theodora". The latter, whilst overlong, is the superior film with a wonderful collection of supporting players and many good lines. The film is meticulously directed but would be better with some of the spontaneity and speed of the subsequent and more famous "The Awful Truth". "Together Again" is best with the byplay between the stars. The rest is reminiscent of those squeaky clean American 50s situation TV comedies like "The Donna Reed Show", with "cute" Charles Coburn as Dunne's father-in-law dispensing advice with a trowel and Mona Freeman as a tiresome and precocious teen.

In 1939, Loretta Young refused to renew her 20th Century Fox contract due to differences with studio head, Daryl F. Zanuck.
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Icons of Screwball Comedy, Vol. 2 (Theodora Goes Wild / Together Again / A Night to Remember / The Doctor Takes a Wife)
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