A young man in love with a girl from a rich family finds his unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long-suffering brother.
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 Barbara Vance, 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Leo McCarey's process enabled him to keep control over the tone of the film, throwing his cast off balance so they were not able to arrive on set with memorized lines, psychoanalyzed characterizations, and performances already frozen in their minds. See more »
Lucy introduces her music teacher "Armand Duvalle" as "Armand Lavalle". See more »
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.
24 of 34 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this