2024 Schedule:

Media Events

Aliece Pickett, Film Society founder, appeared with Bianca Ventura on News Channel 3, KESQ’s “Eye on the Desert” Channel 3 to discuss Screwball Sundays.

Aliece Pickett, Film Society founder, appeared with Patrick Evanson News Channel 3, KESQ’s “Eye on the Desert” Channel 3 to discuss Screwball Sundays.

Aliece Pickett, Film Society founder, joined Grammy winner Don Wardell on ““Martinis, Mimosas, and Music” (ModFM 107.3) to discuss Screwball Sundays.

Aliece Pickett, Film Society founder, joined the “Voice of the Desert” Joey English on The Joey English Radio Show (KGX 99.1 FM and 920 AM) to discuss Screwball Sundays.

Aliece Pickett, Film Society founder, joined Bonnie G., on Mutual Broadcasting System’s “The Desert Scene” podcast to discuss Screwball Sundays.

Doors open 45 minutes early for preshow of 1930s shorts, cartoons, and newsreels.

Legendary film critic, historian and author Molly Haskell will be speaking and signing books at the Camelot Theater’s screenings of The Palm Beach Story starring Claudette Colbert on April 27, and Design for Living starring Gary Cooper on April 28.

Ms. Haskell is the author of six books. From Reverence To Rape, the Treatment of Women in the Movies is cited as one of the most influential books in film history. She has written for The New York Times, The Guardian UK, Esquire, The Nation, Town and Country, The New York Observer, The New York Review of Books, The Village Voice, New York Magazine, and Vogue. She has served as associate Professor of Film at Barnard, and as Adjunct Professor of Film at Columbia University.

Steven C. Smith will be speaking and signing his book Music By Max Steiner, The Epic Life of Hollywood’s Most Influential Composer on March 3 at the Camelot Theater’s screening of Arsenic and Old Lace starring Cary Grant.

Mr. Smith is a film historian, author, and national speaker. He is a four-time Emmy nominated producer of over 200 documentaries, and has also authored A Heart at Fire’s Center, The Life And Music of Bernard Herrmann.

Kristen Lopez will be speaking and signing her TCM book, But Have You Read The Book? on April 7 at the Camelot Theater’s screening of Sullivan’s Travels, starring Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake.

Ms. Lopez is an entertainment journalist and the Film Editor for TheWrap. She is a regular contributor to TCM, has written for Variety, Roger Ebert and MTV, and was the TV editor for IndieWire. Ms. Lopez is the creator of the classic film podcast, Ticklish Business, now running for eight years. Her next book is set to be published in 2025.

Rob Kozlowski will be speaking and signing his book Becoming Nick & Nora, The Thin Man and the Films of William Powell and Myrna Loy on April 14, at the Camelot Theater’s screening of After The Thin Man, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Mr. Kozlowski is a film historian, journalist, and author. He has taught comedy writing at Second City Chicago and at the Cinema and Television Arts Department at Columbia College Chicago. Mr. Kozlowski has authored two other books on the entertainment industry, The Art of Chicago Improv: Short Cuts to Long-Form Improvisation, and The Actor’s Guide to the Internet.

Kimberly Truhler will be speaking and signing her book Film Noir Style: The Killer 1940s at the May 5th screening of HOLIDAY, starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. Holiday will be exhibited on 35mm film.

Ms. Truhler is a film and fashion historian and the founder of GlamAmor.com. She has contributed to TCM, The National Film Registry, the BBC, Elle, the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, CNN’s series American Style, the Encyclopedia of Film and Television Costume Design and American Cinematheque. Ms. Truhler has taught History of Fashion in Film at Woodbury University.


Olympia Kiriakou will be speaking at the May 19th screening of Twentieth Century, starring Carole Lombard and John Barrymore.

Olympia Kiriakou is the author of Becoming Carole Lombard: Stardom, Comedy and Legacy (2020). She teaches film history and theory at Florida Atlantic University, hosts the podcast The Screwball Story, and created the website TheScrewballGirl.com. Dr. Kiriakou earned her PhD in Film Studies from King’s College London. She also holds an MA in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto, and a BA, Honors in Multimedia Studies from FAU.

Aliece Pickett will speak at the Screwball Sundays film series. She will discuss the genre’s origins during its classic period from the Great Depression through World War II, plot elements, character archetypes, and distinguishing dialogue. Ms. Pickett will also interview special guest speakers, noted film authors Molly Haskell, Steven C. Smith, Rob Kozlowski, Kristen Lopez and Kimber Truhler.

Ms. Pickett is co-founder of the Film Society of Screwball Comedy has created a comprehensive catalog and database of screwball comedy films to be used for film research and restoration, and for use by film enthusiasts.

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March 3 –ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (1944) Frank Capra
Starring Cary Grant and Priscilla Lane
SPECIAL GUEST: Author and Film Historian Steven C. Smith

Writer and notorious marriage detractor Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) falls for girl-next-door Elaine Harper (Priscilla Lane), and they tie the knot on Halloween. When the newlyweds return to their respective family homes to deliver the news, Brewster finds a corpse hidden in a window seat. With his eccentric aunts (Josephine Hull, Jean Adair), disturbed uncle (John Alexander), and homicidal brother (Raymond Massey), he starts to realize that his family is even crazier than he thought.

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(1937) Leo McCarey
Starring Irene Dunne and Cary Grant

Jerry (Cary Grant) and Lucy (Irene Dunne) are a married couple who doubt each other’s fidelity: Jerry suspects Lucy and her music teacher (Alexander D’Arcy) of spending an evening together, and Lucy is convinced Jerry lied about a business trip. When the jealous pair file for divorce, both rush into new relationships, but quickly realize their love never died. The soon-to-be-divorced husband and wife then both scramble to spoil each other’s chances for newfound romance.

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March 31 – HARVEY (1950) Henry Koster
Starring James Stewart and Josephine Hull

Elwood P. Dowd (James Stewart) is a wealthy drunk who starts having visions of a giant rabbit named Harvey. Elwood lives with his sister Veta (Josephine Hull) and her daughter (Victoria Horne), and Veta worries that Elwood has gone insane. In the process of trying to have him committed, Veta admits that she occasionally sees Harvey herself. The director of the mental home, Dr. Chumley (Cecil Kellaway), tries to reconcile his duty to help Elwood with his own growing experiences with Harvey.

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April 7 – SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS (1941) Preston Sturges
Starring Veronica Lake and Joel McCrea
SPECIAL GUEST: Author and Film Historian Kristen Lopez

Successful movie director John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea), convinced he won’t be able to film his ambitious masterpiece until he has suffered, dons a hobo disguise and sets off on a journey, aiming to “know trouble” first-hand. When all he finds is a train ride back to Hollywood and a beautiful blonde companion (Veronica Lake), he redoubles his efforts, managing to land himself in more trouble than he bargained for when he loses his memory and ends up a prisoner on a chain gang.

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April 14 –
Starring William Powell and Myrna Loy
SPECIAL GUEST: Author of Becoming Nick and Nora, Rob Kozlowski

Recently returned home from vacation, private detective Nick Charles (William Powell) and his socialite wife, Nora (Myrna Loy), are back on the case when Nora’s cousin, Selma (Elissa Landi), reports her husband Robert (Alan Marshal) missing. As the duo search for the disreputable Robert, Selma’s friend David Graham (James Stewart), who secretly pines for her, aids the investigation. When the three begin to unravel Robert’s secret life, the missing persons case turns into one of murder.

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April 27 – THE PALM BEACH STORY (1942) Preston Sturges
Starring Claudette Colbert and Joel McCrea

*Saturday 6pm Screening with Reception*
SPECIAL GUEST: Author and Film Critic Molly Haskell

This screwball comedy finds married couple Tom (Joel McCrea) and Gerry Jeffers (Claudette Colbert) in a strained relationship, largely due to financial difficulties. Gerry decides to leave Tom, a struggling architect, and head to Palm Beach in order to marry a wealthy man who could fund Tom’s projects. When Tom follows Gerry, they cross paths with the quirky millionaire John D. Hackensacker III (Rudy Vallee) and his chatty, husband-seeking sister, Princess Centimillia (Mary Astor).

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April 28 – DESIGN FOR LIVING (1933) Ernest Lubitsch
Starring Miriam Hopkins, Gary Cooper, and Fredric March

SPECIAL GUEST: Author and Film Critic Molly Haskell

Painter George (Gary Cooper) and playwright Thomas (Fredric March) are two Americans sharing a Paris apartment. They’re also rivals for the affection of commercial artist Gilda (Miriam Hopkins). When the plucky Gilda moves in, with the express understanding that there will be no funny business, the rivalry between George and Thomas heats up even further. Then Thomas heads to London when one of his plays is being produced there, leaving George free to make his move.

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May 5 – HOLIDAY (1938) George Cukor
Starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn
SPECIAL GUEST: Author and Film Historian Kimberly Truhler

Johnny (Cary Grant) seems like a solid match for Julia (Doris Nolan), the socialite daughter of Edward Seton (Henry Kolker). Assured that Johnny is a worthy suitor, Edward approves of the pairing. But, as Johnny’s wanderlust surfaces — he is more interested in traveling than in business — Edward starts to have doubts. Johnny also begins to wonder if he might not be a better match for Linda (Katharine Hepburn), Julia’s outspoken younger sister, with whom he has much more in common.

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May 19 – TWENTIETH CENTURY (1934) Howard Hawks
Starring Carole Lombard and John Barrymore
SPECIAL GUEST: Author and Film Historian Olympia Kiriakou

When down-on-his-luck Broadway impresario Oscar Jaffe (John Barrymore) meets his discovery and former flame, Lily Garland (Carole Lombard), on the glamorous 20th Century Limited train between Chicago and New York, he uses every scheme at his disposal to win the movie star back both professionally and romantically. However, Lily, along with her new beau, George (Ralph Forbes), and Jaffe’s rival producer, Max Jacobs (Charles Levison), who hired Lily to star in his latest play, have other plans.

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May 26 – TROUBLE IN PARADISE (1934) Ernest Lubitsch
Starring Miriam Hopkins and Kay Francis

Thief Gaston Monescu (Herbert Marshall) and pickpocket Lily (Miriam Hopkins) are partners in crime and love. Working for perfume company executive Mariette Colet (Kay Francis), the two crooks decide to combine their criminal talents to rob their employer. Under the alias of Monsieur Laval, Gaston uses his position as Mariette’s personal secretary to become closer to her. However, he takes things too far when he actually falls in love with Mariette, and has to choose between her and Lily.

Past Events:

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Aliece Pickett, Film Society founder, will join broadcast legend and Grammy award winner Don Wardell on 107.3 MOD FM radio to discuss the cinematic life of screwball comedy icon Cary Grant. Mar 13, 2023, 2:00 pm.

Hoping to update his chapter on modern slang, encyclopedia writer Professor Bertram Potts (Gary Cooper) ventures into a chic nightclub. Inside, he meets the snarky burlesque performer “Sugarpuss” O’Shea (Barbara Stanwyck). Fascinated by her command of popular jargon, Potts invites her to stay with him. But, unknown to Potts, she is the fiancée of a mobster (Dana Andrews) and wanted by the police. In the ensuing mayhem, Potts must stay on his toes or be swallowed up by bigger fish. (Screened June 18, 2023).

Fifth Avenue socialite Irene Bullock (Carole Lombard) needs a “forgotten man” to win a scavenger hunt, and no one fits that description more than Godfrey Park (William Powell), who resides in a dump by the East River. Irene hires Godfrey as a servant for her riotously unhinged family, to the chagrin of her spoiled sister, Cornelia (Gail Patrick), who tries her best to get Godfrey fired. As Irene falls for her new butler, Godfrey turns the tables and teaches the frivolous Bullocks a lesson or two. (Screened June 11, 2023).

When hard-charging New York newspaper editor Walter Burns (Cary Grant) discovers that his ex-wife, investigative reporter Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell), has gotten engaged to milquetoast insurance agent Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy), he unsuccessfully tries to lure her away from tame domestic life with a story about the impending execution of convicted murderer Earl Williams. But when Hildy discovers Williams may be innocent, her reporter instincts take over. (Screened June 4, 2023).

A courtroom rivalry finds its way into the household when prosecuting lawyer Adam Bonner (Spencer Tracy) faces off against his wife, Amanda (Katharine Hepburn), who happens to be a defense attorney. Working on opposite sides of a lawsuit where a woman (Judy Holliday) has shot her cheating husband (Tom Ewell), Adam and Amanda are both determined to win the case, and their home becomes the setting for comical showdowns, with neither spouse willing to relent. (Screened May 28, 2023).

When a major newspaper accuses wealthy socialite Connie Allenbury (Myrna Loy) of being a home-wrecker, and she files a multi-million-dollar libel lawsuit, the publication’s frazzled head editor, Warren Haggerty (Spencer Tracy), must find a way to turn the tables on her. Soon Haggerty’s harried fiancée, Gladys Benton (Jean Harlow), and his dashing friend Bill Chandler (William Powell) are in on a scheme that aims to discredit Connie, with amusing and unexpected results. (Screened May 21, 2023).

It’s no accident when wealthy Charles (Henry Fonda) falls for Jean (Barbara Stanwyck). Jean is a con artist with her sights set on Charles’ fortune. Matters complicate when Jean starts falling for her mark. When Charles suspects Jean is a gold digger, he dumps her. Jean, fixated on revenge and still pining for the millionaire, devises a plan to get back in Charles’ life. With love and payback on her mind, she re-introduces herself to Charles, this time as an aristocrat named Lady Eve Sidwich. (Screened April 16, 2023).

This classic romantic comedy focuses on Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn), a Philadelphia socialite who has split from her husband, C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant), due both to his drinking and to her overly demanding nature. As Tracy prepares to wed the wealthy George Kittredge (John Howard), she crosses paths with both Dexter and prying reporter Macaulay Connor (James Stewart). Unclear about her feelings for all three men, Tracy must decide whom she truly loves. (Screened April 9, 2023).

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After a four-year absence, one-time detective Nick Charles (William Powell) returns to New York with his new wife, wealthy heiress Nora (Myrna Loy). After reconnecting with his old cronies, Nick is approached by Dorothy Wynant (Maureen O’Sullivan) whose inventor father Clyde Wynant is suspected of murdering her father’s mistress (his former secretary). Nick isn’t all that keen on resuming his former profession, but egged-on by wife Nora, who thinks this all very exciting, he agrees to help. (Screened March 19, 2023).

Screwball sparks fly when Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn let loose in one of the fastest and funniest films ever made—a high-wire act of invention that took American screen comedy to new heights of absurdity. Hoping to procure a million-dollar endowment from a wealthy society matron for his museum, a hapless paleontologist (Grant) finds himself entangled with a dizzy heiress (Hepburn) as the manic misadventures pile up—a missing dinosaur bone, a leopard on the loose, and plenty of gender-bending mayhem among them.

Bringing Up Baby’s sophisticated dialogue, spontaneous performances, and giddy innuendo come together in a whirlwind of comic chaos captured with lightning-in-a-bottle brio by director Howard Hawks. (Screened March 12, 2023).

In Frank Capra’s acclaimed romantic comedy, spoiled heiress Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) impetuously marries the scheming King Westley, leading her tycoon father (Walter Connolly) to spirit her away on his yacht. After jumping ship, Ellie falls in with cynical newspaper reporter Peter Warne (Clark Gable), who offers to help her reunite with her new husband in exchange for an exclusive story. But during their travels, the reporter finds himself falling for the feisty young heiress.

The first film to accomplish the very rare feat of sweeping all five major Oscar categories (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Screenplay), It Happened One Night is among the most gracefully constructed and edited films of the early sound era, packed with clever situations and gags that have entered the Hollywood comedy pantheon and featuring two actors at the top of their game, sparking with a chemistry that has never been bettered. (Screened March 5, 2023).