(Sam Taylor, US 1929, 63 min., 35mm)
William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy comes to life in the first sound adaptation of any of his plays. In sixteenth-century Padua, Baptista (Edwin Maxwell) has two daughters: Bianca (Dorothy Jordan) and Katherine (Mary Pickford). Bianca is in love with Hortensio (Geoffrey Wardwell), but Baptista will not allow the two to get married until Katherine is betrothed. Enter Petruchio (Douglas Fairbanks), whose father has just passed, leaving him to travel the world and marry. Resentful and spiteful, the two war with each other toward the altar and beyond, sparking one of the greatest un-romantic romances of all time. This is the only feature film where Fairbanks and Pickford—married for nine years at this point and stars for even longer—prominently play against each other.
Post-screening discussion with Audrey Johnson, curator of the "Hollywood Pairings" series