Classic Movie Legend Tribute: Jean Arthur


Happy Birthday to Classic Movie Legend, Jean Arthur, born October 17, 1900.

How do you do it, Jean Arthur? How do make comedy look so effortless? This is what I think every time I watch a Jean Arthur movie. Dubbed by film historian Robert Osborne as “the quintessential comedic leading lady,” Arthur typifies what it means to be a comedienne. What I enjoy most about Arthur is something one doesn’t often associate with comedy; what I enjoy most is her disciplined reserve.  You see, Arthur’s brand of humor doesn’t come from bombastic pantomime, pandering to the lowest common denominator to get whatever laugh she can. No. The power of Arthur’s performance comes from knowing when to react rather than act. The perfectly timed quip, the sly look and the exhausted reaction all serve as Arthur’s artillery in the war of wits we like to call comedy. So, let us celebrate this legend of comic screen by remembering some of her greatest performances.


lionel Barrymore, classic movie actor, you cant take it with you, frank capraJean Arthur with Lionel Barrymore in You Can’t Take it with You (1938, Frank Capra director)


james Stewart, classic movie actor, mr. smith goes to washington, frank capraJean Arthur with James Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939, Frank Capra director)


Jean Arthur‘s her Academy Award nominated performance in The More the Merrier (1943, George Stevens director)


Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub

Visit CMH’s BlogHub for more posts about Jean Arthur by Veteran and Emerging Classic Movie Bloggers.

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One Response to Classic Movie Legend Tribute: Jean Arthur

  1. Dorothy Winnett says:

    Wonderful article and photos. She was so talented and in the best movies. She and Frank Capra made magic ♥♥♥

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