The Awful Truth (1937)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  21 October 1937 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 12,954 users  
Reviews: 97 user | 57 critic

Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance.



(screen play), (based on a play by), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Alexander D'Arcy ...
Cecil Cunningham ...
Esther Dale ...
Robert Allen ...
Robert Warwick ...
Mary Forbes ...


Before their divorce becomes final, Jerry and Lucy Warriner both do their best to ruin each other's plans for remarriage, Jerry to haughty socialite Molly Lamont, she to oil-rich bumpkin Daniel Leeson. Among their strategies: Jerry's court-decreed visitation rights with Mr. Smith, their pet fox terrier, and Lucy doing her most flamboyant Dixie Belle Lee impersonation as Jerry's brassy "sister" before his prospective bride's scandalized family. Written by Paul Penna <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's a Glorious Comedy... Uproarious Romance!


Comedy | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

21 October 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cette sacrée vérité  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on Monday, September 11th, 1939, with Cary Grant reprising his character role of the film. See more »


When Lucy has her chin on her hand, the position of her hand changes. See more »


[first lines]
Jerry Warriner: Come on, Haig, get that sun lamp ready.
See more »


Referenced in Bringing Up Baby (1938) See more »


My Dreams Are Gone With the Wind
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Ben Oakland
Lyrics by Milton Drake
Performed by Joyce Compton (dubbed)
Reprise by Irene Dunne
See more »

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User Reviews

Accept No Substitutes! This Is The Best
3 January 2006 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

The funniest comedy ever made. An older friend introduced me to "The Awful Truth" in the days before VCRs. I thought it so hilarious, I taped the dialogue on a tape recorder when it was shown on local channels.

Of course, the most famous scene is the one in which Irene Dunne, still in love with husband Grant, appears at his society girl's family's estate. She pretends they are from a class these snobs would not accept. It is Dunne's finest ten minutes -- hilarious and it never grows old.

But the whole movie is funny. Cary Grant and his "continental mind." Grant thinking he is bursting in on a love nest, only to find himself in the middle of a sedate vocal recital. And Dunne, singing a Tosti song, watches him lovingly as he stumbles and executes pratfalls, ending her son with a laugh rather than the words of her song! Asta, even, is put to better use than he was in the delightful "Thin man" series. Here is their dog Mr. Smith.

Esther Dale never had a better role than as Ralph Bellamy's prudish and prurient mother. And Bellamy, as he played the wrong man so often in romantic comedies, is easy to take for granted. But he is delightful too.

Joyce Compton, in endless movies for a couple decades, is an absolute scream as Dixie Belle, the risqué nightclub performer with whom Grant takes up at around the time Dunne has taken up with deadly dull Bellamy.

Not only is this sequence funny but it is also touching: Don't we all, on the rebound, make choices that seem right but turn out catastrophic! I also like "Twentieth Century" and Bringing Up Baby." I do not like the smug "My Favorite Wife," also with Dunne and Grant" or the mean "Nothing Sacred." When it comes to screwball comedy, this is the one! It surely is one of the greatest of all American movies.

21 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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