7.6/10
47
3 user 1 critic

True to Life (1943)

A writer for a radio program needs some fresh ideas to juice up his show. For inspiration, he rents a room with a typical American family and begins to secretly write about their true life ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young singer becomes so desperate to appear on Broadway that she goes to a prominent producer and tells him that she is the daughter who resulted from his day-long marriage to a young woman he knew years ago.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Franchot Tone, Susanna Foster, David Bruce
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Based on the files of the United States Department of Treasury. Commissioner Michael Barrows is an American Government Agent. On board a Coast Gaurd boat off the California coast he chases ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Dick Powell, Signe Hasso, Maylia
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Pop, a security guard at Paramount has told his son that he's the head of the studio. When his son arrives in Hollywood on shore leave with his buddies, Pop enlists the aid of the studio's ... See full summary »

Directors: George Marshall, A. Edward Sutherland
Stars: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Fred MacMurray
Cry Danger (1951)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Ex-con Rocky Mulloy seeks the real culprit in the crime he was framed for, in a night world of deceptive dames and double crosses.

Director: Robert Parrish
Stars: Dick Powell, Rhonda Fleming, Richard Erdman
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Hot-tempered Kathleen Maguire enlists the services of a young attorney to help her zookeeper father get his job back after he is fired for political reasons. In the midst of uncovering ... See full summary »

Directors: Melvin Frank, Norman Panama
Stars: June Allyson, Dick Powell, David Wayne
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Professor Hardwick teaches at Winfield College and detests the new swing music that is the craze. He has written a rhapsody which he takes to New York to be published. Staying with his Aunt... See full summary »

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Ann Sheridan, Dick Powell, Gale Page
Cornered (1945)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Canadian flyer Laurence Gerard finds that his wife has been murdered by a French collaborator. His quest for justice leads him to Switzerland and Argentina.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Dick Powell, Walter Slezak, Micheline Cheirel
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young turn-of-the-century newspaper man finds he can get hold of the next day's paper. This brings more problems than fortune, especially as his new girlfriend is part of a phony clairvoyant act.

Director: René Clair
Stars: Dick Powell, Linda Darnell, Jack Oakie
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Comedy about newlyweds wondering if their marriage was a mistake.

Director: Ralph Murphy
Stars: Joan Blondell, Dick Powell, Gloria Dickson
Without Honor (1949)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Jane Bandle has recently married, but Bill, her husband's brother, tries to wreck her marriage because Jane rejected his sexual advances before her marriage.

Director: Irving Pichel
Stars: Laraine Day, Dane Clark, Franchot Tone
Right Cross (1950)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Prizefighter Johnny is in love with his promoter O'Malley's daughter Pat. His best friend, sports reporter Rick, is also in love with her but knows that she loves Johnny. Lonely Rick takes ... See full summary »

Director: John Sturges
Stars: June Allyson, Dick Powell, Ricardo Montalban
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A gold-digger hopes to land a rich husband in Trinidad, but gets mixed up with a beach boy and voodoo.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Stars: Mary Martin, Dick Powell, Betty Hutton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Fletcher Marvin
...
Link Ferris
...
Pop Porter
...
Mom Porter
...
Uncle Jake
...
Mr. Huggins
Beverly Hudson ...
Twips
Raymond Roe ...
Clem
...
Oscar Elkins
...
Mr. Mason
Edit

Storyline

A writer for a radio program needs some fresh ideas to juice up his show. For inspiration, he rents a room with a typical American family and begins to secretly write about their true life antics. The show becomes a big hit, but he begins to feel guilty about his charade when he falls in love with the family's pretty older daughter. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 December 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dois Solteiros em Apuros  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

Quotes

Twips: Ma?
Mom Porter: [Setting the dinner table] Hmm?
Twips: Do you think he's handsome?
Mom Porter: Who?
Twips: Link. I mean, Mr. Ferris.
Mom Porter: I hadn't noticed. Get the napkins.
Twips: I think he's very handsome.
Mom Porter: Children shouldn't be noticing such things.
Twips: I'm not children. Lots of girls marry before they're 15. I think he's different. He's got character.
Mom Porter: I'd rather he had a job.
See more »

Soundtracks

Mister Pollyanna
Music by Hoagy Carmichael
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by Mary Martin (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An Unheard Of Comedy Gem
8 October 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

After Betty Hutton stole Happy Go Lucky right out from under leads Dick Powell and Mary Martin, Paramount decided to try the Martin and Powell combination again for one more time. They were cast in a very funny comedy picture, True to Life, but the demand for them as a team was underwhelming.

Mary might even have at the time been contemplating an offer to go back to Broadway and do One Touch Of Venus and Powell was begging Paramount for the chance to do some really dramatic roles. But troopers that they were they did do this film which has a lot of laughs in it.

Dick Powell and Franchot Tone play a pair of radio writers whose radio show has fallen in the Hooper ratings and network president Clarence Kolb tells them to get some fresh material. A chance meeting by Powell with waitress Mary Martin who mistakes him for being indigent and feels sorry for him. She takes him home and persuades the family to take him in as a boarder.

What Powell's fallen into is a kind of poor version of the Vanderhof clan from You Can't Take It With You. The folks at Paramount leaned very heavily on the Kaufman&Hart classic for inspiration here. Powell's inspired as well realizing he's found a gold mine of fresh material here with parents Victor Moore and Mabel Paige and Mary's siblings Raymond Roe and Beverly Hudson. Also boarding with them is William Demarest, Paige's sickly brother. Some of the best lines in True To Life come from Paige who indulges Demarest not contributing anything to the household, but is on Powell's case constantly to get a job and earn a living.

Of course Powell mining this treasure trough of comedy material and Tone actually doing the writing isn't pleasing to Tone. He contrives a meeting with this family and also enters their lives and as a suitor for Martin.

Interestingly enough Franchot Tone who left his original home studio of MGM because he also was not getting the dramatic parts he wanted, was once again cast as a debonair man in a tuxedo because he looked so good in them.

Later on in their careers I do wonder how Powell and Tone looked back on their various films and did they appreciate what a comedy gem True To Life is. I certainly hope so.

A couple of guys who were just as good at presenting their own material as the stars they were whom they wrote for, Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer, wrote some songs for True To Life. The best of them is The Old Music Master which Powell sings in an effort to distract the family from the radio where their daily lives are being broadcast. Dick Powell had stopped recording his musical material, he had not renewed his contract from Decca a couple of years earlier. But Carmichael himself did a classic version of The Old Music Master

The guy who rains on the parade is William Demarest. I really enjoyed his performance as the lazy good for nothing uncle who when all is revealed does something in the grand American tradition, he finds a lawyer and threatens suit, something about defamation of character and invasion of privacy. That particular part of this film is even more relevant today than in 1943.

True To Life was no doubt something that Mary Martin, Franchot Tone, and Dick Powell were all doing until the next stage of their careers commenced. Yet this film, directed by comedy master George Marshall is a real sleeper. It's terribly under-appreciated and very funny.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?