“The More the Merrier” for Academy's Stevens Lecture

Beverly Hills, CA (October 27, 2008) — As part of its George Stevens Lecture on Directing series, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a special screening of “The More the Merrier” (1943), the classic romantic comedy that earned Stevens his first Oscar® nomination, on Thursday, November 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater.  Author and Academy Film Scholar Cari Beauchamp will introduce the film.

“The More the Merrier” stars Jean Arthur as a career woman who finds herself with more roommates than she bargained for when she rents her “half-apartment” during the housing shortage in wartime Washington, D.C.  Arthur earned an Academy Award® nomination for her performance, and Charles Coburn (as an enterprising lodger) took home the Supporting Actor Oscar.  The film also garnered nominations for Outstanding Motion Picture, Directing, Original Motion Picture Story, and Screenplay.

“The More the Merrier” is the latest presentation in a lecture named for the prolific producer-director who enjoyed the autonomy, respect and creative freedom that few did during Hollywood’s studio era.  While his films as a whole defy easy description, they all reflect a definitive filmmaking style as well as a unique and nuanced view of American life and values.  His many other notable films include the Best Picture nominees “The Talk of the Town” (1942), “A Place in the Sun” (1951), “Shane” (1953) and “Giant” (1956), two of which (“A Place in the Sun” and “Giant”) earned him Directing Oscars®.  In 1953 Stevens received the Academy’s Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, honoring a producer’s body of work.

In her introduction, Beauchamp, an Academy Film Scholar and author of the upcoming book Joseph P. Kennedy Presents, will offer insights into the making of the film, the context of its wartime production, and Stevens’s approach to comedy.

Tickets to “The More the Merrier” are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with valid I.D.  Tickets may be purchased online at www.oscars.org, in person at the Academy box office or by mail. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.  All seating is unreserved.  The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood.  For more information, call (310) 247-3600.

Photo of Joel McCrea and Jean Arthur.

Joel McCrea and Jean Arthur in a scene from “The More the Merrier,” 1943.

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Contact Information

For more information, contact

Tarrah Curtis
(310) 247-3090

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