MoMA presents Joan Blondell Retrospective, Dec. 19-31

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December is Joan Blondell month at MoMA. The museum is presenting daily screenings of the Manhattan-born blonde “Bombshell From Ninety-First Street’s” films. Blondell’s (1906-1979) Hollywood career spanned more than half a century, during which she co-starred with the likes of James Cagney in such classics “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” and “Footlight Parade.” The museum’s schedule of sreenings includes:

  • Blonde Crazy. 1931. USA. Directed by Roy Del Ruth. With James Cagney, Louis Calhern, Ray Milland. Wednesday, December 19, 6:00; Saturday, December 22, 2:00.
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. 1945. USA. Directed by Elia Kazan. With Dorothy McGuire, James Dunn, Lloyd Nolan, Peggy Ann Garner. Wednesday, December 19, 8:00; Monday, December 24, 5:30.
  • Blondie Johnson. 1933. USA. Directed by Ray Enright. With Chester Morris, Allen Jenkins. Thursday, December 20, 6:00; Saturday, December 22, 4:00.
  • Nightmare Alley. 1947. USA. Directed by Edmund Goulding. Screenplay by Jules Furthman, based on the novel by William Lindsay Gresham. Cinematography by Lee Garmes. With Tyrone Power, Coleen Gray, Helen Walker, Mike Mazurki. Thursday, December 20, 8:00; Sunday, December 23, 2:00.
  • Footlight Parade. 1933. USA. Directed by Lloyd Bacon. Cinematography by George Barnes. Musical numbers created and directed by Busby Berkeley. With James Cagney, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, Frank McHugh. Friday, December 21, 6:00 (introduced by Matthew Kennedy); Saturday, December 22, 6:00.
  • The Blue Veil. 1951. USA. Directed by Curtis Bernhardt. Musical numbers choreographed by Busby Berkeley. With Jane Wyman, Charles Laughton, Richard Carlson, Agnes Moorehead, Natalie Wood. Friday, December 21, 8:30; Sunday, December 23, 4:30.
  • Night Nurse. 1931. USA. Directed by William A.Wellman. With Barbara Stanwyck, Ben Lyon, Clark Gable. Monday, December 24, 8:00; Saturday, December 29, 2:00.
  • Three on a Match. 1932. USA. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy. With Ann Dvorak, Bette Davis, Warren William, Humphrey Bogart. Wednesday, December 26, 6:00; Saturday, December 29, 4:00.
  • The King and the Chorus Girl. 1937. USA. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Screenplay by Norman Krasna, Groucho Marx. With Fernand Gravet, Edward Everett Horton, Jane Wyman. Wednesday, December 26, 7:30; Monday, December 31, 5:30.
  • There’s Always a Woman. 1938. USA. Directed by Alexander Hall. With Melvyn Douglas, Mary Astor, Frances Drake. Thursday, December 27, 6:00; Friday, December 28, 8:00.
  • Three Girls About Town. 1941. USA. Directed by Leigh Jason. With Binnie Barnes, Janet Blair, Robert Benchley. Thursday, December 27, 8:00; Sunday, December 30, 4:00.
  • Lizzie. 1957. USA. Directed by Hugo Haas. With Haas, Eleanor Parker, Richard Boone, Johnny Mathis. Friday, December 28, 6:00; Sunday, December 30, 2:00.
  • Opening Night. 1977. USA. Written and directed by John Cassavetes. With Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara, Paul Stewart. Saturday, December 29, 5:30; Monday, December 31, 7:30.

For more information on the retrospective and film descriptions, click here.

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association in the Film, Documentary and TV branches and a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).