The More the Merrier (1943)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  23 October 1943 (Sweden)
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During the WW2 housing shortage in Washington, two men and a woman share a single apartment and the older man plays Cupid to the other two.



(screen play), (screen play), 5 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Joe Carter
Richard Gaines ...
Frank Sully ...
FBI Agent Pike
FBI Agent Harding (as Don Douglas)
Clyde Fillmore ...
Senator Noonan
Stanley Clements ...
Morton Rodakiewicz


It's World War II and there is a severe housing shortage everywhere - especially in Washington, D.C. where Connie Milligan rents an apartment. Believing it to be her patriotic duty, Connie offers to sublet half of her apartment, fully expecting a suitable female tenent. What she gets instead is mischievous, middle-aged Benjamin Dingle. Dingle talks her into subletting to him and then promptly sublets half of his half to young, irreverent Joe Carter - creating a situation tailor-made for comedy and romance. Written by A.L.Beneteau <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She saw her patriotic duty - and she dood it! (original 11x14 Title Card) See more »


Comedy | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 October 1943 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Merry-Go-Round  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The picture won the greatest number of hold-overs for a Columbia picture in the first week of release. See more »


At 43:38, Joe's arms change position. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: Our vagabond camera takes us to beautiful Washington, D.C., the national capital of our United States, situated on the broad banks of the Potomac River. Living is pleasant and leisurely... for it is a city of formality and custom. Manners and courtesy are responsible for the well-ordered conduct of its daily affairs. The many fine restaurants of Washington are the delight of the epicurean and the gourmet, where one may enjoy to the full the rare dishes of the old south. ...
See more »


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


The Torpedo Song
(Published as "Damn the Torpedos-Full Speed Ahead")
Music by Jay Gorney
Lyrics by Henry Myers & Edward Eliscu
Recited often by Charles Coburn (uncredited)
Sung by Coburn and other members of the Committee at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

The great film that time forgot
30 April 2005 | by (Copenhagen, Denmark) – See all my reviews

What otherworldly power decides what films survive in the public mind decade after decade? And what films don't? 'The More the Merrier' is completely forgotten, although in its time, during WWII, it was a huge hit and was nominated for several of the most prestigious Academy Awards, Best Picture, Director, Leading Actress, Script etc. And deserved every one of those nominations. It is, simply a great film, that time forgot, and one that is finally out on DVD. And it remains a mystery how a sexy, sassy, down-to-earth and abundantly funny film such as this could ever be forgotten.

In the Washington of 1943, with the housing crisis brought on by the war, single working girl Jean Arthur feels compelled to do her bit and let out half of her apartment. Well-to do businessman Charles Coburn, who has arrived in town too early for a conference and cannot find a vacant hotel room, moves in with her, and, wanting to play Cupid, he sublets, unbeknownst to her, his half of half her apartment to a young soldier, Joel McCrea, on town on a mysterious purpose.

Rumour has it that Garson Kanin, of later 'Adam's Rib' fame, wrote the script for 'The More the Merrier', but never took credit. Whoever did it, the premise and even more so the execution of the plot is wonderfully crisp and superbly done. There is not one moment in this film that doesn't work on an extremely advanced level, and as sheer exuberant fun! And the replay value of the DVD is infinite.

George Stevens, one of the truly great American directors, has titles such as 'Gunga Din', 'Penny Serenade', 'Woman of the Year', 'A Place in the Sun', 'Shane' and 'The Diary of Anne Frank' to his credit, and 'The More the Merrier' has won a place in that exalted category of masterpieces in all genres. It is obvious that Stevens got a kick out of directing his actors in this movie, creating a many-colored carpet with all this apparently improvised dialogue, so magnificently stylish and at the same time with a looseness, a naturalness in structure that makes the movie feel like a slice of real life.

But of course real life was never as wonderful as this! Just imagine having known characters like the ones played by Miss Arthur and Mr McCrea, in one respect they are so typical and easily recognizable, and in another they are so immensely attractive, and not just in a physical sense, that you would want them for your best friends. In a strict Hollywood sense, try and imagine two more gorgeous people in the scene near the end when they, almost but not quite, make out on a the quiet street where they share the apartment! The film is great, no two ways about it.

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