The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)

G  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  24 January 1942 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 4,734 users  
Reviews: 72 user | 23 critic

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.



(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Monty Woolley ...
Elisabeth Fraser ...
George Barbier ...
Russell Arms ...
Ruth Vivian ...
Edwin Stanley ...
Betty Roadman ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Comedy | Romance


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 January 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre que vino a cenar  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bette Davis desperately wanted John Barrymore to play Whiteside, but he couldn't remember lines. She always said later that she'd rather have acted with him reading from cue cards than with anyone else. See more »


After Banjo hands Whiteside 'Lana Turner's sweater' ( in a package ), in the next instant, after the cut, nothing is in Whiteside's hands. See more »


Dr. E. Bradley: [repeated line, most of the times the doctor appears out of a side door just when Whiteside is at the center of a three ring circus of activity] Mr. Whiteside, are you busy?
See more »


Referenced in Empty Nest: The R.N. Who Came to Dinner (1989) See more »


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Written and Performed by Jimmy Durante
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User Reviews

The Most Hilarious Film Ever Made
14 April 2001 | by (New York City, USA) – See all my reviews

After nearly 60 years, "The Man Who Came To Dinner" still ranks as the most hilarious film ever committed to celluloid. Though censorship at the time required some of Kaufman and Hart's ribald dialogue to be toned down, no matter! Monty Woolley's performance is priceless, but Bette Davis, for once in a subdued, non-star performance, provides the heart of the movie and is achingly touching in her subtle evocation of a down-trodden secretary finally discovering love--and in danger of losing her Romeo to the ravishing, outrageously man-eating Ann Sheridan. A perfect film for Christmas viewing (thanks to its exquisite black-and-white cinematography capturing a greeting card background for the non-stop lunacy in the foreground). A perfect film for any day of the year. I've seen other versions--the TV production with Orson Welles, the Broadway musical in the late 1960s, the recent Broadway revival with Nathan Lane. They all pale when compared to this definitive, timeless, masterpiece!

11 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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sly references to Whiteside's sexuality ? ksf-2
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Song *I'm a wittle wabbit in the day time....* mrsbuz1
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