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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co.
Follow-up to hit film Claudia (1943) finds title characters (Dorothy Mc Guire, Robert Young) dealing with the ups and downs of marriage and parenthood in their rural Connecticut town. See full summary » Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge, and predictable complications result.
When he miraculously returns, they decide to marry, but are threatened by a wealthy, egotistical composer the piano teacher started dating on the rebound after she became convinced her love had died.
They usually include visual gags (with some slapstick), wacky characters, identity reversals (or cross-dressing), a fast-paced improbable plot, and rapid-fire, wise-cracking dialogue and one-liners reflecting sexual tensions and conflicts in the blossoming of a relationship (or the patching up of a marriage) for an attractive couple with on-going, antagonistic differences (such as in The Awful Truth).
Some of the stars often present in screwball comedies included Katharine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck, Claudette Colbert, Jean Arthur, Irene Dunne, Myrna Loy, Ginger Rogers, Cary Grant, William Powell, and Carole Lombard.
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In general, they are light-hearted, frothy, often sophisticated, romantic stories, commonly focusing on a battle of the sexes in which both co-protagonists try to outwit or outmaneuver each other.