Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Preston Sturges series: Screening of “Easy Living” February 23 at Daystar Center

Preston Sturges series: Easy Living
Where: The Venue 1550 at the Daystar Center, 1550 S. State Street, Chicago, IL
When: February 23, 2016
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Hosted by Stephen Reginald

Easy Living (1937) is a classic screwball comedy with a screenplay by Preston Sturges and direction
by Mitchell Leisen. Jean Arthur stars as a poor working girl whose life is turned upside down when a sable coat, thrown from the penthouse apartment of financier J.B. Bull (Edward Arnold), lands on her head, ruining her hat. Bull lets Mary keep the coat, leading gossipers to assume that she is his mistress.

The plot begins when J.B. Bull finds out that his wife (Mary Nash) has purchased a $58,000 (almost a million dollars today!) sable coat without letting him know about it. In frustration, Bull throws the coat off of his terrace. The coat floats down and lands on the head of Mary Smith (Arthur) while she is riding to work on a double-decker bus with an open roof. Startled and confused, Mary goes door to door looking for the coat’s owner. While she is doing this she runs into Bull who lets her keep the coat (she has no idea it’s sable)) and offers to buy her a new hat on his way to the office. The hat shop proprietor, Van Buren (Franklin Pangborn) starts the rumor that Mary is Bull’s mistress. The rumor is passed along to Mr. Louis (Luis Alberni) the owner of the Luis Hotel, which is about to be foreclosed on by Bull.

Before you know it, Mr. Louis is offering Mary a suite in his hotel as a way to promote it. Meanwhile, Mary is completely oblivious to the ramifications of her new circumstances. She’s even ignorant of the fact that she’s been dating Bull’s son, John Ball Jr. (Ray Milland). Things get more complicated and hilarious with each passing moment.

Easy Living is the second screenplay written by Sturges that starred Arnold and Arthur. Diamond Jim featuring both stars was penned by Sturges two years earlier.

Have some Joe and Enjoy the Show!
Before the movie, grab a cup of coffee from Overflow Coffee Bar, located within the Daystar Center. You can bring food and beverages into the auditorium; we even have small tables set up next to some of the seats. General Admission: $5 Students and Senior Citizens: $3.

Join the Chicago Film club; join the discussion
Twice a month we screen classic films and have a brief discussion afterward. For more information, including how to join (it’s free), click here. The Venue 1550 is easily accessible by the CTA. Please visit Transit Chicago for more information on transportation options.

Stephen Reginald is a freelance writer and editor. He has worked at various positions within the publishing industry for over 25 years. Most recently he was executive editor for McGraw-Hill’s The Learning Group Division. A long-time amateur student of film, Reginald hosts “Chicago Film Club,” a monthly movie event held in the South Loop, for the past two years. Reginald has also taught several adult education film classes at Facets Film School, Chicago.

Daystar Center located at 1550 S. State St. works through a grassroots network of collaborations and partnerships with individuals and other nonprofit organizations. Through this web, they’re able to provide educational, cultural, and civic activities that enrich and empower their clients, guests, and community members. To learn more about classes and events offered at the Daystar Center, please visit their Web site.

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