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Celluloid Chemistry: Memorable Movie "Couples" in Hollywood's Golden Age

September 3, 10, 17, 24

Genuine sexual chemistry between motion picture actors, even those who are not romantically involved off-screen, is an ineffable quality that usually cannot be predicted until it occurs, often spontaneously, on a movie set. Hollywood studios in the 1930s and 1940s repeatedly exploited such harmony when it developed between two actors by pairing them up as frequently as they could.

The opening series of the 2015-16 Thursday Forum schedule will provide an in-depth examination of four of the most memorable (and long-lasting) cinema couplings from the Hollywood studio era. On successive weeks in September, Theatre Arts Professor Steven Marc Weiss investigates the movie pairings of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, Myrna Loy and William Powell, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, and Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart.

On the Sundays following each forum presentation, a film representing the work of each pair of actors will be presented in its entirety at 2 p.m. in Kesler Lecture Hall: Rogers and Astaire on Sept. 6, Loy and Powell on Sept. 13, Hepburn and Tracy on Sept. 20, and Bacall and Bogart on Sept. 27. Popcorn will be provided.

Steven Marc Weiss
Steven Marc Weiss
Professor of Theatre Arts