IMDb > The Awful Truth (1937)
The Awful Truth
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The Awful Truth (1937) More at IMDbPro »

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The Awful Truth -- The screwball antics of a couple (Irene Dunne and Cary Grant) who can't stand being married, but can't stand to see the other married to anyone else.

Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   13,493 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Viña Delmar (screen play)
Arthur Richman (based on a play by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Awful Truth on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 October 1937 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
It's a Glorious Comedy... Uproarious Romance!
Plot:
Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
We're In On the Joke See more (100 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Irene Dunne ... Lucy Warriner

Cary Grant ... Jerry Warriner

Ralph Bellamy ... Daniel Leeson
Alexander D'Arcy ... Armand Duvalle
Cecil Cunningham ... Aunt Patsy

Molly Lamont ... Barbara Vance

Esther Dale ... Mrs. Leeson

Joyce Compton ... Dixie Belle Lee

Robert Allen ... Frank Randall

Robert Warwick ... Mr. Vance
Mary Forbes ... Mrs. Vance
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Claud Allister ... Lord Fabian (uncredited)

Asta ... Mr. Smith (uncredited)

Al Bridge ... Motor Cop (uncredited)
Wyn Cahoon ... Mrs. Barnsley (uncredited)
Ruth Cherrington ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Dora Clement ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Kathryn Curry ... Celeste (uncredited)
Edgar Dearing ... Motor Cop (uncredited)
Sarah Edwards ... Lucy's Attorney's Wife (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Viola Heath (uncredited)
Mitchell Harris ... Jerry's Attorney (uncredited)
Dell Henderson ... Vance's Butler (uncredited)
Arthur Stuart Hull ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Scott Kolk ... Mr. Barnsley (uncredited)

Frank McLure ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Bert Moorhouse ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Miki Morita ... Armand's Japanese Servant (uncredited)
Edmund Mortimer ... Lucy's Attorney (uncredited)
Zita Moulton ... Lady Fabian (uncredited)
George C. Pearce ... 'Dad' (uncredited)
Edward Peil Sr. ... Bailiff (uncredited)
Frances Raymond ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Bruce Sidney ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Paul Stanton ... Judge (uncredited)

John Tyrrell ... Hank (uncredited)
Lee Willard ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Frank C. Wilson ... Master of Ceremonies (uncredited)

Directed by
Leo McCarey 
 
Writing credits
Viña Delmar (screen play)

Arthur Richman (based on a play by)

Sidney Buchman  uncredited

Produced by
Everett Riskin .... associate producer
Leo McCarey .... producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Joseph Walker (photography)
 
Film Editing by
Al Clark 
 
Art Direction by
Lionel Banks 
Stephen Goosson  (as Stephen Goossón)
 
Costume Design by
Robert Kalloch (gowns) (as Kalloch)
 
Makeup Department
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Mull .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Babs Johnstone .... interior decorator
 
Sound Department
Edward Bernds .... sound engineer (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Milton Drake .... lyrics
Ben Oakland .... music
Morris Stoloff .... musical director
Mischa Bakaleinikoff .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Arthur Morton .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
George Parrish .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
George Parrish .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Louis Silvers .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
William Grant Still .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Dwight Taylor .... screenplay constructor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
91 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
What Cary Grant didn't realize was that Leo McCarey was transforming his career by creating a nervous tension in the actor that inspired his performance. And in the process, the director was building scenes from fresh moments between his actors. Giving the barest outlines of a scene, he would have his actors try something on their feet. For instance, in one rehearsal, he told Irene Dunne to simply open the door of her apartment and say, "Well, if it isn't my ex." He told Grant to answer with whatever came into his head. Grant replied, "The judge says this is my day to see the dog." McCarey then built the scene around that moment and shot it while the actors were still fresh. The line stayed in the picture.See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Lucy introduces her music teacher "Armand Duvalle" as "Armand Lavalle".See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Jerry Warriner:Come on, Haig, get that sun lamp ready.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
La SerenataSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
61 out of 70 people found the following review useful.
We're In On the Joke, 17 May 2004
Author: stmichaelsgate

This movie is exquisitely directed and acted. The "fourth wall" is gone; the movie rides so high and smart that we as audience can be subtly acknowledged throughout and made complicit in the production, while we continue to believe in the characters and care about what happens to them.

Much of the important dialogue is "throw-away" dialogue, in a sense. It's clear to the hearing, but lines are often spoken by the characters to themselves, for their own (and our) amusement, or delivered in very deftly choreographed "simultaneity," each speaker maintaining an independent point of view in rapid-fire repartee. Implications are understated. We are expected to expect the unexpected, to listen to every line.

The plot is composed like a piece of music. Each scene takes moment from the time-line established by the impending day and hour and minute at which a husband (Cary Grant) and wife (Irene Dunne) become legally divorced, and the movie ends at precisely the stroke of midnight which marks that moment. They clearly want each other back, but will they cleave together or cleave apart as the clock strikes midnight?

One extended "movement" of the movie lets Cary Grant charmingly undermine his wife's new relationship. In corresponding scenes later, Irene Dunne brilliantly plays a dumb floozie, pretending to be the husband's sister and demolishing in one evening his reputation and his prospects for marriage in respectable society. In these later scenes, in another of the movie's nice compositional touches, she does a reprise of a hoochie musical number performed earlier by a girlfriend of her husband's, and then falls into her husband's arms, apparently drunk. He gestures for her to look back and say goodnight to the horrified guests (and to us) as they do a wonderful little wobbly dance out the door, having burned their bridges behind them.

I found the opening few scenes of the movie unlikable, but with the entrance of Irene Dunne, the movie gets us on board. There's so much great understated visual and verbal double entendre (in the best sense) that I want to go back and see if there's more that I missed. In one scene, Cary Grant has brought to Irene Dunne's new fiancé the paperwork on a coal mine the divorcing couple still own. Interrupted by a visitor while advising the fiancé on where it would good to sink a shaft (har!), he explains that he and the fiancé (brilliantly played by Ralph Bellamy as a very successful bumpkin businessman) are transacting a business deal. The movie moves along briskly and doesn't play up the point, but we catch, for a fraction of a second, Irene Dunne squirming as she finds herself looking like the business transaction in question. The movie moves through moments like this quickly, with high respect for our intelligence and our capacity to get in on the joke.

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