The Meanest Man in the World (1943)

Approved  |   |  Comedy  |  12 February 1943 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 174 users  
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Compassionate small-town lawyer Richard Clarke moves to New York City to seek his fortune, but is unsuccessful until he takes a friend's advice and tries to convince the world he's a ... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Janie Brown
Frederick P. Leggitt
Matt Briggs ...
Arthur Brown
Kitty Crockett
Margaret Seddon ...
Mrs. Frances H. Leggitt
Helene Reynolds ...
Wife (Park Ave. Neighbor)


Compassionate small-town lawyer Richard Clarke moves to New York City to seek his fortune, but is unsuccessful until he takes a friend's advice and tries to convince the world he's a ruthless heel. Suddenly he's the most popular lawyer in town -- but he could lose his fiancée. Written by Kevin Ackley <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis








Release Date:

12 February 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Maior Sovina do Mundo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On July 8, 1942, both The Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety revealed that Twentieth Century-Fox was scrapping the film despite an investment of about $150,000 so far. The next day, The Hollywood Reporter described Jack Benny as being unhappy with some of the screenplay, which Mr. Benny complained was too juvenile. For this project, Fox had given Jack approval of the script, director and co-star. Mr. Benny and the studio quickly settled their differences, and shooting began on July 22, 1942, with principal photography lasting into early September. See more »


Version of The Meanest Man in the World (1923) See more »


I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now?
Music by Joseph E. Howard and Harold Orlob and lyrics by William M. Hough and Frank R. Adams
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User Reviews

Benny as a more Mr. Nice Guy...
23 December 2006 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

I was always a fan of JACK BENNY and his radio shows and later his appearances on TV after his movie career waned. But while I enjoyed some of his films tremendously (GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE, CHARLEY'S AUNT, THE HORN BLOWS AT MIDNIGHT), I found THE MEANEST MAN IN THE WORLD to be a huge disappointment.

Even though it runs less than an hour, it's a dud. Poor PRISCILLA LANE has a hard time convincing me as Benny's patient sweetheart that she'd have anything to do with the character Benny plays. He's a softy, with a heart of gold, but discovers that people pay more attention to him as a lawyer if he appears to be mean and ruthless in his dealings. So much for the ironic flavor of the plot.

Thankfully, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson is on hand for a few laughs and there are a few clever moments in the script, but most of it just lays an egg--a big one. If you want to enjoy Benny in films, I'd recommend GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE as one of his better comedies.

4 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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