Rarely Seen Film Version of Kaufman and Lardner's June Moon Opens in New York June 30

News   Rarely Seen Film Version of Kaufman and Lardner's June Moon Opens in New York June 30 A 1931 film version June Moon, the George S. Kaufman-Ring Lardner comedy about the Tin Pan Alley music business, will get a rare screening at New York City's Film Forum starting June 30.

The 8 PM show will be followed by a panel discuss featuring Kaufman's daughter, Anne Kaufman Schneider, and James Lardner, grandson of Ring Lardner, as well as theatre historian Foster Hirsch, musicologist Peter Mintun and Film Forum's own programmer, Bruce Goldstein.

June Moon is a satire about the songwriting racket, centering on the affairs of the feckless and callow young lyricist Fred Stevens, who stumbles upon a hit when he collaborates with nearly burnt out has-been composer Paul Sears. Lardner wrote many of the intentionally bad tunes in the comedy, which also features Sears jaded wife, Lucille, and a wise and sarcastic accompanist named Maxie.

The movie stars Jack Oakie as Fred, Ernest Wood as Sears, Wynne Gibson as Lucille and Harry Akst as Maxie. The most famous player in the cast is Frances Dee, who plays Fred's supportive girlfriend, Edna. A. Edward Sutherland directed.

Kirk Browning and Burt Shevelove directed a 1974 television movie of the play that is most famous for having starred composer Stephen Sondheim in a rare acting turn as Maxie.

The Off-Broadway company The Drama Dept. did much to revive the play's reputation when it staged a hit production in 1997. Positive reviews of the Mark Nelson-directed piece led to an extension and a brief commercial transfer in 1998. The cast featured Geoffrey Nauffts as Fred, Robert Joy as Paul, Becky Ann Baker as Lucille, Albert Macklin as Maxie, and Cynthia Nixon as Lucille's conniving sister.