Screwballs- Claudette Colbert

I never went through a Claudette Colbert phase. I was always more attracted to her costars; Don Ameche, Clark Gable, John Payne, Joel McCrea. Claudette possessed that 1920’s Kewpie doll look that you either like or don’t like. And I fear I was always more prone to the latter. Still, she had something. I’m not entirely clear on what it was, but there was definitley Something. Cecil B. DeMille saw it, and cast her in Cleopatra, and thus began a sucessful film career. I loved her in Midnight. I loved her in It Happened One Night. And The Palm Beach Story was pretty darn great too.
It was It Happened One Night that immortalized her as a screen legend and the film which won her an oscar in 1934 for Best Actress. Her ability to play both sophisticated and down to earth kept her in films for quite a long time, with 60+ films to her credit. She was also always noted for “knowing how to work the camera”, which could be elaborated on here, but I think i’ll let annstj handle that one.
While I have not seen all her films, there is one thing I really like about her as an actress, and that was her respect for her male costars. Of Clark Gable she said “I was happy to be within two feet of him,” a sentiment which I think all of us could appreciate. And unlike most hollywood starlets of the age, she only married twice. I’m sure there’s some charm in her I didn’t see, so please enlighten me if you can on her allure. Until then I will be pleased with her fine choice of film scripts, and her lovely choice of costars.

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