Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Man Who Came To Dinner (1942)

On a lecture tour in Ohio, a famous author (Monty Woolley) with an acidic wit and a venomous tongue slips on some ice injuring himself and is confined to the home of a bourgeois couple (Billie Burke, Grant Mitchell). To say he makes their lives (and everyone else around him) a living hell is an understatement. Based on the 1939 hit Broadway play by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman who based Woolley's character on Alexander Woollcott. Considering how topical circa 1942 the film is, its humor holds up remarkably well though it helps to be familiar with the political and pop culture of the era to "get" some of the jokes. Biting and witty, it's one of the best comedies of the era and one doesn't even mind that it's mostly stage bound. Thankfully, Woolley was allowed to recreate his stage performance as he's nothing less than perfect. I assume Bette Davis was cast for box office insurance. As the secretary, she seems overqualified (she'd already won her 2 Oscars) for an uninteresting role just about any of Warners contract players could have done. As the glamorous actress, Ann Sheridan hits it home and the rest of the cast does itself proud. Directed by William Keighley. With Jimmy Durante, Reginald Gardiner, Mary Wickes, Elisabeth Fraser and Richard Travis. 

No comments:

Post a Comment