Byrge, co-author of The Screwball
Comedy Films: A History and Filmography, 1934-1942,
will be featured at the Fifth Annual ZaSu Pitts Film Festival
in Parsons, Kansas, April 26 and 27. He is senior editor for
ShowbizDATA.com and previously was the longtime senior film
critic for The Hollywood Reporter. Byrge will be available
to sign copies of his book.
theme of this year's festival is Screwball Comedies:
Laughing Through Troubled Times. The festival will
focus on the depression years and will feature a panel discussion
of local residents who will speak about their lives during
the depression. The festival will also exhibit a collage of
1920-1940's photographs depicting people in everyday life.
to be shown include four classics from this era:
Man Godfrey (1936) starring William Powell and Carole
of Fire (1941) with Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper
Limited (1941) starring ZaSu Pitts and Victor McLaglen
Palm Beach Story (1942) featuring Claudette Colbert
and Joel McCrea
short films starring ZaSu Pitts and Thelma Todd will also
festival is an annual event held to pay tribute to ZaSu Pitts
who was born in Parsons in 1898. Her family moved to Santa
Cruz, California in 1903 and she began her film career in
1917. She was discovered among a group of spectators watching
Mary Pickford in the filming of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.
She was cast as an extra in the film and was given a much
larger role in Pickford's next film, The Little Princess.
Pitts would go on to appear in more than 500 films, doing
drama and later comedy. From 1956 to 1960 she costarred with
Gale Storm in the television series Oh! Susanna. Pitts
died in 1963.
activities include a memorabilia exhibit, movie shorts and
activities will be at Labette Community College
and are free and open to the public.
festival is sponsored by the Parsons Arts and Humanities
Council, Kansas Humanities Council, Labette County Convention
and Visitors Bureau, Labette Community College
and by businesses and individuals.