Sass Mouth Dames celebrates woman’s pictures from 1929-1959, a genre in classic Hollywood which regarded women’s stories as important and meaningful. Megan McGurk regularly hosts both the Sass Mouth Dames podcast and the Sass Mouth Dames Film Club, discussing, distributing and celebrating prominent fixtures in female films from the Golden Age of Hollywood. The latest series of Sass Mouth Dames will be kicking off screenings in Dublin in March 2020.
The Sass Mouth Dames Film Club focuses on classic films where women are the main attraction, shining super stars ranging including Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, Katharine Hepburn and more. Films made for women in this era covered a wide range of topics from sex, employment, social mobility, female rivalry and female friendship, and McGurk’s work is important in acknowledging the film history and women’s role in it, especially at a time when big film studios are happy to weaponize and reshape the need for representation of women in film for their own purposes.
The Club returns for its 14th edition through March 2020, with a series of films showing at the Brooks Hotel every Thursday from the 5th March. Tickets cost €11.09 and popcorn is free, what better reason to head into town and catch some icons of the silver screen at the best?
Check out the full list of screenings for Sass Mouth Dames Film Club Series 14 below. Tickets are available now from Eventbrite here.
5 March – Undercurrent (1946)
Nearly every star of woman’s pictures during the 1930s made a Bluebeard story—even Katharine Hepburn. Initially content to run her father’s house, Hepburn’s character becomes overwhelmed with desire for a suave inventor sporting a chiselled widow’s peak and sad eyes from the war, played by Robert Taylor. What she mistakes for a romantic disposition turns out to be something much more sinister. Bob Mitchum turns up as Taylor’s ‘bad boy’ brother, making traditional ideas about ideal masculinity even more complicated.
12 March – Secret Beyond the Door (1947)
Just like many of us, Joan Bennett’s character prefers to sleep until eleven, and needs three cups of coffee before she can feel conscious in the morning. On holiday in Mexico, she becomes aroused watching two men throw knives, fighting over a woman. Ripe for a fling with a handsome stranger (Michael Redgrave), she gives way to passion, which leads to a trip down the aisle. Once she’s installed in his family home as the new missus, Bennett faces a brutal truth that she married a total stranger who has a macabre hobby.
19 March – Too Late for Tears (1949)
Although Lizabeth Scott’s husband does not try to kill her, he does attempt to keep her from spending a bag of money they find one night, which is a cut too deep, especially for a woman with dreams of mink. Soon enough, she’s in grave danger when Dan Duryea attempts to recover the loot and delivers one of his best sleazy characters—a gangster who takes pleasure in threatening women. Lizabeth Scott is not easily deterred from her plan to buy things. Impressed, Duryea realises that he hasn’t stumbled upon an average housewife.
26 March – Sudden Fear (1952)
Joan Crawford enjoys an independent life based on inherited wealth and a successful career as a playwright at the beginning of the film. During rehearsals for her new theatre production, she sacks an actor (Jack Palance), because from every seat in the house, at any angle, he was not what she considered to be a swoon merchant leading man. On the train home to California, she meets up with the disgruntled actor and succumbs to his charms. After a hasty exchange of vows, Joan discovers her new groom wants her dead, so that he can cash in and run off with a mistress, played by sexpot Gloria Grahame.