'The Public Menace' (1935) and 'Adventure in Manhattan' (1936)

The Two Faces of Jean Arthur


Friday, August 24, 2012
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
UCLA Hammer Museum - Billy Wilder Theater

$9 general; $8 students and seniors; free admission to all UCLA students with valid I.D.; $10 online advance purchase.



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'The Public Menace' (1935), directed by Erie C. Kenton: The title of this film ostensibly refers to a gangster who escapes police custody and causes mayhem, but it applies just as well to Jean Arthur’s “Cassie,” a cruise-ship manicurist who lost her US Citizenship on a fluke and regains it by marrying ace reporter George Murphy. Handing the reporter hot tips about the criminal (who escapes custody while on shipboard), Cassie charmingly creates chaos, inevitably leading to romance.

Followed by 'Adventure in Manhattan' (1936), directed by Edward Ludwig: A hotshot reporter (Joel McCrae), adept at predicting big crimes, is foiled by the schemes of a master criminal and by an unwitting actress, Claire Peyton (Arthur), whose play the evil mastermind is producing as part of an elaborate heist plot. Arthur acquits herself handsomely, deftly embodying the shifting moods of this elaborately-plotted, comedic crime drama.

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