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The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  24 January 1942 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 4,401 users  
Reviews: 71 user | 21 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.

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(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Monty Woolley ...
Richard Travis ...
...
...
Reginald Gardiner ...
Elisabeth Fraser ...
...
George Barbier ...
...
Russell Arms ...
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 Dr. 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. The owner discovers the fraud, but Whiteside blackmails him (he finds out that the owner's sister is an axe murderer) and resumes control. 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:

Approved | 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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The poem Whiteside recites ("Harriet Stanley took an ax; gave her father forty whacks...") is - but for the name - the same as the rhyme about Lizzie Borden, who was accused of killing her father and step-mother...with an ax. See more »

Goofs

When Mr. Whiteside is having his conversation with June, each time the camera angle changes, Whiteside alternates his position from sitting back in his chair to leaning forward. See more »

Quotes

Maggie Cutler: I've been skating for the first time in my life! I'm told I'm the only person to do a figure eight from the sitting position!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: I Won't Be Home for Christmas (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Did You Ever Have the Feeling That You Wanted to Go?
(uncredited)
Written and Performed by Jimmy Durante
See more »

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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.


34 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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