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The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)

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When acerbic critic Sheridan Whiteside slips on the front steps of a provincial Ohio businessman's home and breaks his hip, he and his entourage take over the house indefinitely.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Elisabeth Fraser ...
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George Barbier ...
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Ruth Vivian ...
Edwin Stanley ...
Betty Roadman ...
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Storyline

Lecturer Sheridan Whiteside slips on the ice on his way into the home of a prominent Ohio family. The local doctor says Whiteside must remain confined having broken his leg. He begins to meddle with the lives of everyone in the household and, once his plots are underway, learns there is nothing wrong with his leg. He bribes the doctor and resumes control of the household. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Warner Bros. Happiest Hit. (Lobby cards). See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 January 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre que vino a cenar  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ann Sheridan had a particularly stressful time making the film because she was shooting Kings Row (1942) simultaneously. When she was asked later if she had run into any trouble with the notoriously temperamental Bette Davis, she denied it. "Oh, no. Very little," she said. "She wasn't happy about a lot of things . . . but this had nothing to do with me. I adored her. Wouldn't dream of fighting with her at all--so she got very nice. She was just--temperamental. Who isn't now and then?" See more »

Goofs

Nurse Preen said to Mr. Whiteside, "If Florence Nightingale had ever nursed YOU, Mr. Whiteside, she would have married Jack the Ripper instead of founding the Red Cross!" While Florence Nightingale is indisputably an early leader of nursing, Henri Dunant founded what became the International Red Cross. See more »

Quotes

Sheridan Whiteside: How long can you stay?
Banjo: Just long enough to take a bath.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Wabbit Who Came to Supper (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(1818) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
Sung by a boys' choir
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User Reviews

Groucho-like Insults Worth Memorizing
13 December 2004 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

George S. Kaufman co-wrote this play-turned-film based on the real-life characters with whom he regularly associated. Alexander Woolcott, the famed Broadway critic was the inspiration for Sheridan Whiteside, a publicly loved figure who's private, curmudgeonly demeanor was less than idyllic. Kaufman even went so far as to have Whiteside occasionally sing jibberish with a child's speech impediment, which was a practice of Woolcott's.

Monty Wooley brilliantly delivers the Groucho-like insults penned with supreme wit by the Marxian play and film write. Kaufman, of course, co-wrote many of the Marx's best works and was a good friend of Harpo, upon whom the character "Banjo" is based.

The entire cast is brilliant save for Richard Travis who, while not distractingly bad, is somewhat outclassed by the likes of Bette Davis, Billie Burke, Mary Wickes, and Reginald Gardiner.

All in all, this is solid comedy that bears repeated seasonal viewing. I can't figure out why it's not on DVD. That's not true. I CAN figure it out. I doubt it would sell large numbers of copies given movie audiences' limited awareness of the film. What I meant was, I wish it were available on DVD.


36 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Bert Jefferson -- different actor? GinaRenee
sly references to Whiteside's sexuality ? ksf-2
Song *I'm a wittle wabbit in the day time....* mrsbuz1
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does a video/ dvd of 1942 version of 'the man who came to dinner' exist? wleung46
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