The critic Jonathan Rosenbaum once called Sylvia Scarlett “the most interesting and audacious movie George Cukor ever made.” With its gender-swapping conceit—a young woman (Katharine Hepburn) disguises herself as a man in order to flee France with her criminal father, only to attract the romantic attention of everyone, boy and girl, in her path—the film sparked a major controversy on release. Since then, it’s become a cult hit—a strange cocktail of theater, deception, and Cockney accents (the latter courtesy of a young Cary Grant). “The film,” Rosenbaum wrote, “changes tone every few minutes, from farce to tragedy to romance to crime thriller, rather like the French New Wave films that were to come a quarter century later… One of the most poetic, magical, and inventive Hollywood films of its era.”

  • Directed By George Cukor
  • 1935
  • USA
  • 35mm
  • 95 minutes