7.6/10
5,610
80 user 21 critic

The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)

Trailer
3:14 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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.

Director:

Writers:

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Old friends Kit Marlowe and Millie Drake adopt contrasting lifestyles: Kit is a single, critically acclaimed author while married Millie writes popular pulp novels.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins, Gig Young
The Old Maid (1939)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The arrival of an ex-lover on a young woman's wedding day sets in motion a chain of events which will alter her and her cousin's lives forever.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins, George Brent
Biography | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A financially-strapped charter pilot hires himself to an oil tycoon to kidnap his madcap daughter and prevent her from marrying a vapid band leader.

Director: William Keighley
Stars: James Cagney, Bette Davis, Stuart Erwin
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge, and predictable complications result.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Bette Davis, Claude Rains, Walter Abel
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The day before her wedding, a pampered young woman absconds with her sister's husband; in retaliation, her sister begins seeing the woman's former fiancé.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, George Brent
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A schoolteacher becomes the mentor of a talented young miner and seeks to get him into a university.

Director: Irving Rapper
Stars: Bette Davis, John Dall, Nigel Bruce
The Sisters (1938)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Three daughters of a small town pharmacist undergo trials and tribulations in their problematic marriages between 1904 and 1908.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Anita Louise
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A homeless New Yorker moves into a mansion and along the way he gathers friends to live in the house with him. Before he knows it, he is living with the actual home owners.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Don DeFore, Ann Harding, Charles Ruggles
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A German-born engineer, his American wife and their children travel from Mexico to the United States to visit her family but their plans are complicated by a Romanian count.

Directors: Herman Shumlin, Hal Mohr
Stars: Bette Davis, Paul Lukas, Geraldine Fitzgerald
Bordertown (1935)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Johnny Ramirez rises from bouncer to partner in Charlie Roark's border town casino. Charlie's wife Marie loves Johnny, but Johnny loves society woman Dale. Marie kills her husband, making ... See full summary »

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Paul Muni, Bette Davis, Margaret Lindsay
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young widow is romanced by a sales clerk whom she inadvertently got fired.

Director: Don Hartman
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh, Wendell Corey
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A food writer who has lied about being the perfect housewife must try to cover her deception when her boss and a returning war hero invite themselves to her home for a traditional family Christmas.

Director: Peter Godfrey
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
June Stanley
...
Mr. Ernest W. Stanley
...
...
...
Ruth Vivian ...
Harriet Stanley
Edwin Stanley ...
John
Betty Roadman ...
Sarah
Edit

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:

Nothing could be funnier! (Posters). See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 January 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre que vino a cenar  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Movie audiences are often confused by the fact that well-known actors such as Ann Sheridan, Jimmy Durante and Reginald Gardiner do not appear until beyond the midway point of the film. Kaufman and Hart constructed their theater pieces like relay races, introducing new characters throughout the length of their three-act plays as a means of injecting audiences with periodic shots of adrenaline to help them keep pace with the frenetic goings-on. In the case of The Man Who Came to Dinner, Lorraine Sheldon and Beverly Carlton do not appear until the second act, while Banjo makes his entrance at the top of the third. See more »

Goofs

There is a magical white pillow that alternately appears behind Whiteside's back as he sits in the wheelchair. It is most noticeable when Harriet Stanley, the odd lady, gives Whiteside a present which he does not open right away. It is there and it is not there pretty quickly. By the time Jimmy Durante (Banjo) visits him the pillow never returns. See more »

Quotes

Maggie Cutler: Sherry, the next time you do NOT want to see anybody, just let me know, and I'll usher them right in.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in M*A*S*H: A War for All Seasons (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
1942 Bette Davis a Subdued Secretary in a Comedy
18 October 2007 | by See all my reviews

Screenwriters Moss Hart & George S. Kaufmann created this hilarious story based upon the personas of playwright Noel Coward, film critic Alexander Woollcott, and theater actress Gertrude Lawrence. It became a Broadway hit, then this box-office sensation. Bette Davis convinced Warner Brothers to make this film.

When "The Man Who Came To Dinner," Sheridan Whiteside (Monty Woolley), an eccentric author & radio lecturer, & his secretary, Maggie Cutler (Bette Davis), arrive at the home of a prominent Ohio family, the Stanleys, Whiteside injures his leg, slipping at his hosts' entrance. After a doctor (George Barbier) tells Whiteside that his leg is broken & he can't leave, the eccentric guest who had only come to dinner wreaks havoc by meddling in everyone else's lives in a proper family's home! Whiteside is especially bent upon keeping Maggie (Davis) unmarried & employed as his secretary who manages all of his life affairs. She's fallen in love, wants to marry & leave her job. Whiteside even bribes the doctor to remain silent after learning nothing's wrong with his leg! When Mr. Stanley uncovers their fraud, Whiteside blackmails him by holding an old family secret over his head. Though, Whiteside's plot to keep Maggie doesn't fool her, it is the central comedy performance of the movie.

Maggie Cutler (Davis) is a perfect foil for Whiteside (Woolley). Her original role was not as central in the stage play. It was expanded for film. Playing a secretary is the only time during Davis' golden 40's period in Hollywood when she accepted a supporting role. However, Davis was billed first in order to make the movie box-office hit. It's a delightful Christmas comedy.

Here's a typical exchange between 'Sheri' & Maggie: Sheridan Whiteside: I simply will not sit down to dinner with Midwestern barbarians, I think too highly of my digestive system.

Maggie Cutler: Harry Clarke is one of your oldest friends.

Sheridan Whiteside: My stomach is an older one.

Maggie Cutler: And Mrs. Stanley is President of the women's club.

Sheridan Whiteside: I wouldn't care if she was the whole cabinet.

Banjo (Jimmy Durante) delivers some memorable comical one-liners, as well.


23 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 80 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page