Jolly Cinema > 14:30


Leo McCarey
Introduced by

Steve Massa and Dave Kehr


Saturday 27/06/2015


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

In 1929 McCarey resigned from the Hal Roach Studio. He later joked that his decision to leave came from realizing how ridiculously healthy Hal Roach appeared and that as vice-president there’d be little chance for his advancement (Roach did make it to age one hundred, outliving the younger McCarey by twenty-three years). About his time making shorts Leo said: “I owe a good part of my success to them – and nothing could have replaced that experience – all the ideas were original and new. It was because of the success of these films that I was able to make a reputation, and to direct features and, in a sense climb the ladder”. The next few years saw him moving around to various studios trying to find his way in full-length films. His first stop was Pathé for the college comedy The Sophomore and the musical Red Hot Rhythm (both 1929), and he then tried his hand in drama at Fox with Wild Company (1930).
He had a popular hit with the Paramount musical Let’s Go Native (1930), and returned to Fox to secure his success with Part Time Wife (1930) – a huge hit that he felt was the first really recognizable ‘Leo McCarey’ picture, which also enabled him to double his asking price. The comic incompatablity of husband and wife Edmund Lowe and Leila Hyams prefigures that of Cary Grant and Irene Dunne in The Awful Truth (1937), and in fact McCarey reworked specific scenes from Part Time Wife in the latter film and felt that they were better executed the second time around. More involved in the writing than any of his previous features, he also introduced a bit of his soon to be signature sentiment with the comedy in the character of a worldly-wise young caddy. From here he went to United Artists for a lackluster experience helming Indiscreet (1931) with Gloria Swanson, and even spent a brief time at MGM directing Marie Dressler and Polly Moran in Prosperity (1932), but by the time it was released the directing credit went to Sam Wood. Following the Eddie Cantor hit The Kid from Spain (1932) McCarey finally settled in at Paramount where he would emerge with some of his early signature films.

Steve Massa

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dal racconto The Shepper-Newfounder di Stewart Edward White  Scen.: Raymond L. Schrock, Leo McCarey, Howard Green. F.: George Schneiderman. M.: Jack Murray. Int.: Edmund Lowe (Jim Murdock), Leila Hyams (Mrs. Murdock/Betty Rogers), Tom Clifford (Tommy Milligan), Walter McGrail (Johnny Spence), Louis Payne (il maggiordomo), Sam Lufkin (il capo caddie), Bodil Rosing (la cameriera), George ‘Red’ Corcoran (l’autista). Prod.: Fox Film Corp · 35mm. D. 67’ (incompleto). Bn.