7.6/10
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The Talk of the Town (1942)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 20 August 1942 (USA)
An escaped prisoner and a stuffy law professor vie for the hand of a spirited schoolteacher.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 7 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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Professor Michael Lightcap
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Sam Yates
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Regina Bush
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Andrew Holmes
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Mrs. Shelley
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Tilney
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Jan Pulaski
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Clyde Bracken
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Police Chief
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Storyline

In suburban Lochester, New England, three people end up living together in high school teacher Nora Shelley's rental house. The first is her new tenant, renowned Harvard law professor Michael Lightcap, who has rented the house for the summer while he writes his new book. The second is Nora herself. Despite having an auspicious first meeting, Lightcap hires Nora to be his live-in cook and secretary for a week until his manservant Tilney arrives. The third is Joseph, the property's gardener, who is currently laid up with a sprained ankle. In reality, Joseph is Nora's childhood friend Leopold Dilg, who has just escaped from prison. Leopold was being tried for the arson of the factory where he worked, and for murder for the death of the factory foreman Clyde Bracken, whose body was never recovered but who is assumed to have died in the fire. Despite the danger to herself, Nora hides Leopold since she believes his story that although he, as an activist, did speak out about the dangerous ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Screen comedy so gay... drama so thrilling... love so exciting, it will be the talk of YOUR town!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 August 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

George Stevens' The Talk of the Town  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Watts "Judge Grunstadt" died suddenly on July 1, 1942 at age 63, roughly 51 days before the film was released on August 20, 1942. See more »

Goofs

During the headline montage at the beginning of the film, one of the headlines misspells "EMPLOYEE" as "EMPLOYE". See more »

Quotes

Leopold Dilg: I don't approve of, but I like people who think in terms of ideal conditions. They're the dreamers, poets, tragic figures in this world, but interesting.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Lady with the Torch (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

High Pressure And Love
(uncredited)
Music by Werner R. Heymann
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User Reviews

 
Funny, thoughtful, what more do you want?
5 March 2000 | by (california) – See all my reviews

I don't understand why this movie isn't more popular or regarded as a classic in the canon of early Hollywood movies. All the stars are wonderful in their roles, but Ronald Coleman is fantastic as an ivory tower jurist who is forced to rethink his philosophy. Maybe Claude Rains could have played this part, but without the subtly sarcastic bemusement that Coleman brings.

Maybe because it can't be categorized definitely as a screwball comedy or a "serious" movie, it has been overlooked. I found it much funnier than "Bringing Up Baby" for example, even though "Talk" is a great deal more serious and introspective.

A lot of the suspense that might have been put into the story was bled out by the philosophical approach that the movie takes. Every potentially suspenseful situation that could have been played out for at least half of the movie is extinguished within fifteen minutes at the most. But that's part of the fun! It gets rolling, and you can't quite tell where it's going all of the time. Watching Cary Grant mug suavely and Jean Arthur speak like she's ad-libbing, you just have to sit back and enjoy it. It's not interested in manipulating its audience, it's actually trying to present real characters in a compelling story. I loved it!


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