IMDb > Dinner at Eight (1933)
Dinner at Eight
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Dinner at Eight (1933) More at IMDbPro »

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Dinner at Eight -- Scandal and intrigue abound as a social climbing woman and her husband host a party of New York's elite.
Dinner at Eight -- Trailer for this big screen version of the stage triumph


User Rating:
7.8/10   5,652 votes »
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Frances Marion (screen play) and
Herman J. Mankiewicz (screen play) ...
View company contact information for Dinner at Eight on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 January 1934 (USA) See more »
Affluent Millicent and Oliver Jordan throw a dinner for a handful of wealthy and/or well-born acquaintances, each of whom has much to reveal. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
One of the Best Comedies M-G-M made During the 1930s See more (88 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
George Cukor 
Writing credits
Frances Marion (screen play) and
Herman J. Mankiewicz (screen play)

George S. Kaufman (from the Sam H. Harris stage play by) and
Edna Ferber (from the Sam H. Harris stage play by)

Donald Ogden Stewart (additional dialogue)

John Meehan  uncredited

Produced by
David O. Selznick .... producer
Original Music by
William Axt (musical score by) (as Dr. William Axt)
Cinematography by
William H. Daniels (photographed by) (as William Daniels)
Film Editing by
Ben Lewis (film editor)
Art Direction by
Hobe Erwin 
Fredric Hope  (as Fred Hope)
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Joseph M. Newman .... assistant director (uncredited)
Cullen Tate .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Charles E. Wallace .... sound mixer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Frank Tanner .... still photographer (uncredited)
Harvey White .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Chester W. Schaeffer .... assistant film editor (uncredited)
Other crew
Sam Harris .... producer: stage play (as Sam H. Harris)
Howard Dietz .... general press agent (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
111 min (Turner library print)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Australia:PG | Canada:G (video rating) | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1934) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #2284-R: 15 May 1936 for re-release) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Despite the complications of a large ensemble cast to juggle, the filming went smoothly with no unforeseen problems arising.See more »
Continuity: As Dan is talking to her, Carlotta holds her suddenly unlit cigarette in her left hand. As she crosses to the door to exit, the cigarette shifts to her right hand and is lit again.See more »
Kitty:[stage whispers during the dinner] Go on, tell Jordan.
Dan Packard:Shut up.
Kitty:Go on, and tell 'im.
Dan Packard:Shut up.
Kitty:If ya don't, you'll be sorry as long as you live.
Dan Packard:Shut up, shut up, shut up. Sh - shut up.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in Come to Dinner (1934)See more »
I Loved You Then As I Love You NowSee more »


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21 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
One of the Best Comedies M-G-M made During the 1930s, 11 November 2003
Author: EightyProof45 from New Jersey

The movie Dinner at Eight is one of the best comedies ever made in Hollywood. Any reviewer who has claimed that it isn't a comedy needs to re-examine the picture. Although undeniably dark in its tone, the film is undeniably hilarious, especially when certain actors are on-screen. It could be called a dark comedy, even a black comedy, but a comedy it is nonetheless. There are eight `above-the-title' stars in this picture.

Billie Burke, except for the scene in which she discovers her husband is ill, is a parody of the society woman. Every line of hers, emphasizing her scatterbrain-ness and her lack of priorities, reeks of hilarity. Her role is pure comedy.

Lionel Barrymore, playing a sickly business tycoon, has a less comedic role. His opening lines about `Australian mutton' are hilarious. The way he watches his wife planning the party is also quite comedic. His dramatic moments juxtapose alongside his wife's to create some of her funniest moments. His part is almost split down the middle between comedy and drama.

Wallace Beery, portraying a ruthless, uncouth business man, is hilarious. His vulgarity contradict everything Mrs. Jordan views as ideal. He screams, yells, and has a violent temper. And, boy, is he funny to watch. Anyone who tries to label his performance as anywhere near dramatic should have his or her head examined. He gives the funnies male performance in the film. The role is almost all comedy.

Jean Harlow, as his slutty, common, vixen-of-a-wife gives the finest comedic performance of her entire career. She snarls, changes her voice in different conversations, manipulates, and lies, all to comedic perfection. Just the sound of her voice, saying the most outrageous dialogue to boot, triggers the laughs. This is the most comedic role in the picture.

John Barrymore, as an aging silent matinee idol, is the film's most dramatic performance. Although he has some comic moments (very few), and some ironic and satirical actions (when he kills himself, for example, he positions the light perfectly to capture his profile), for the most part, his scenes give the film their most dramatic moments. The performance is about 90% drama.

Edmund Lowe, playing a doctor-cum-playboy having a tryst with Harlow, has his part split down the middle. He is often funny, never reaching the sheer hilarity of some of the others, but, also, never quite elevating to the heights of histrionics either. His views on extramarital affairs are pretty funny, but when he has to tell a patient of impending illness, its drama. The fact that he specializes in `bedside manner' is just funny, and his first embrace with his `patient' is a scathing critique of corrupt society. Just as Lionel Barrymore's role, Lowe's is split fifty-fifty, right down the middle.

Lee Tracy, as John Barrymore's agent, is simply hilarious. His vocal fluctuations were his trademark, and the part seems tailor-made for him. Although he has many dramatic moments, he is very funny most of the time. His reactions and gestures are wonderful. In all, this part is about 60% comedy, 40% drama.

Marie Dressler, as a grand dame of the 1890s, is priceless. She all-but steals the picture from her co-stars. Sprinkled among her part are dozens of comic innuendos and perfect double takes. She is perfect and absolutely hilarious at all time, with the exception of the one scene in which she must explain to a young woman that her lover has committed suicide. The rest of the time she goes traipsing about making a perfect spectacle of herself, and she is the greatest asset to the film, acting-wise. Her part is 99% comic, except for that one scene.

The supporting actors, particularly Louise Closser Hale and Grant Withers, are comedic perfection. With the exception of the scenes in John Barryore's room at the Hotel Versailles, almost every supporting role is meant to be funny. The sets and costumes poke fun at the times too, and in the last analysis, the picture is a dramatic comedy, but a comedy bien sûr!

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