Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Awful Truth

Leo McCarey, 1937, bw (8.8*)
This is one of those 30’s screwball comedies that you can watch over and over. Cary Grant plays a man who may or may not have been philandering, as he’s getting a tan in a salon in the film’s beginning because he’s supposed to have been in Florida. When he gets home, wife Irene Dunne is gone, and the two start divorce proceedings.

They also start trying to make each other jealous by trying to get engaged as fast as possible. Of course, they then play little games trying to saboutage each other’s attempts at a new relationship. All this is made a classic with some very funny dialogue and performances to match. There’s a great sequence in which Dunne has someone play her husband sister for his new lady’s family.

Asta the dog, from the Thin Man series, has one of his 14 film roles here as Mr. Smith, the family pet for whom Grant demands visitation rights in the divorce proceedings - but is he missing the dog or Dunne?

Awful Truth is a film with genuine laughs, not one of those films that is pleasant throughout and a funny concept, but seemingly lacks any laugh-out-loud dialogue. McCarey had a hand in some of the best comedies of his era, notably the Marx Brothers’ best film, Duck Soup (1933)

McCarey actually won the Oscar® for best director for this film, which he later duplicated with Going My Way in 1945, for which he also won for best screenplay. This could have easily won for screenplay as well.

Ranked #515 in our update of the top ranked 1000 films of all-time
Top Ranked 1000 Films on the Net

Ranked #84 comedy on our list of comedies in the top 100
Top Ranked Comedy Films of All Time


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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