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It's a Wonderful World (1939)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Mystery  |  19 May 1939 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,642 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 9 critic

Detective Guy Johnson's client, Willie Heywood is framed for murder and while Guy hides him so he can catch the real killer, both of them are nabbed by the police, tried, convicted and ... See full summary »

Director:

(as W.S. Van Dyke II)

Writers:

(screen play), (based on an original story by), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Guy Johnson
Guy Kibbee ...
'Cap' Streeter
...
Sergeant Koretz
Frances Drake ...
Vivian Tarbel
Edgar Kennedy ...
Lieutenant Miller
Ernest Truex ...
Willie Heyward
Richard Carle ...
Major Willoughby
Cecilia Callejo ...
Dolores Gonzales
...
Al Mallon
...
'Gimpy'
Cliff Clark ...
Captain Haggerty
Cecil Cunningham ...
Madame Chambers
Leonard Kibrick ...
Herman Plotka
...
Stage Manager
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Storyline

Detective Guy Johnson's client, Willie Heywood is framed for murder and while Guy hides him so he can catch the real killer, both of them are nabbed by the police, tried, convicted and sentenced to jail -- Guy for a year, Willie to be executed. On the way to jail Guy comes across a clue and escapes from the police... Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE HAPPENINGS OF ONE WONDERFUL NIGHT! (original ad - all caps)


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

't Is een wonderlijke wereld  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System) (5.0) (L-R)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many easily recognized cast members who are supposed to be in this film (according to studio records) are not seen in the print. These are Jack Norton, Eddie Acuff, Lester Dorr, Dorothy Ates, Nell Craig, Carl Stockdale, Bess Flowers and David Newell. See more »

Goofs

All of the newspapers shown in the film share many of the same articles, with the same headlines and typefaces, despite being in different newspapers and spread across several weeks. See more »

Quotes

Guy Johnson: [as he boosted her up into the tree] Take those heels out of my back!
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Surprise, But Not Because It's Good
19 March 2004 | by (Switzerland) – See all my reviews

What makes this film a surprise is not that it's good. After all, a romantic screwball caper starring Claudette Colbert & Jimmy Stewart, directed by W.S. Van Dyke from a script by Ben Hecht -- how could it *not* be good? No, what surprised me about this film is that as good as it is, it's not currently available on VHS or DVD.

Like Van Dyke's The Thin Man and Hecht's His Girl Friday, It's a Wonderful World combines elements of crime films with the romantic screwball comedy, and the result is both gripping & laugh-out-loud funny.

In their only on-screen pairing, Colbert & Stewart play off each other beautifully; she's the comedic foil to his tough-talking detective, and their romance is handled realistically and with patience. The supporting cast in uniformly excellent, with standout performances from Nat Pendleton & Edgar Kennedy as the bumbling cops on Stewart's trail, and Guy Kibbee as Stewart's partner & friend.

Watching this film, it's hard to believe that it's one of *four* that Van Dyke made in 1939 (especially since one of the others is the even-better Stand Up and Fight). Van Dyke was famous for shooting films quickly, but his direction never seems hurried. A director-for-hire, he was gifted at serving both art and commerce, satisfying both audiences and his bosses at MGM.

Thanks to Turner Classic Movies for giving me the opportunity to see this film, which as I mentioned is otherwise unavailable. Here's hoping that Warner Bros., which owns the rights, releases it soon on home video.

Score: EIGHT out of TEN


24 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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