Before a movie can proceed with its story, it needs to lay its narrative groundwork through exposition. However, exposition is often delivered in clunky and uninteresting ways, such as through voiceover narration. As a result, clever screenwriters often disguise their obvious attempts at exposition by using humor to distract us — like a magician diverting our attention with one hand, while performing a trick with the other. Ultimately, well-delivered exposition can be one of the movie’s most memorable moments, as this video essay will explore.

Watch Now: An Oversimplification of Her Beauty and A Star Is Born (1937), streaming here on Fandor.

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