22 user 7 critic

No Time for Comedy (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 14 September 1940 (USA)
1:51 | Trailer
Playwright Gaylord Esterbrook scores a hit with his first Broadway play, both with the critics and with leading lady Linda Paige. He and Linda are happily married until a patroness of the ... See full summary »


William Keighley


Julius J. Epstein (screen play), Philip G. Epstein (screen play) | 1 more credit »





Complete credited cast:
James Stewart ... Gaylord Esterbrook
Rosalind Russell ... Linda Paige Esterbrook
Genevieve Tobin ... Amanda Swift
Charles Ruggles ... Philo Swift (as Charlie Ruggles)
Allyn Joslyn ... Morgan Carrell
Clarence Kolb ... Richard Benson
Louise Beavers ... Clementine
J.M. Kerrigan ... Jim
Lawrence Grossmith Lawrence Grossmith ... Frank (as Lawrence Grosmith)
Robert Greig ... Robert
Frank Faylen ... Cab Driver
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bonnie Gaye Cowen Bonnie Gaye Cowen


Playwright Gaylord Esterbrook scores a hit with his first Broadway play, both with the critics and with leading lady Linda Paige. He and Linda are happily married until a patroness of the arts convinces Esterbrook to forget about comedy and concentrate on writing a tragedy. The end result nearly destroys his career and his marriage. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mr Smith Goes to town ! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Last screen appearance of Genevieve Tobin; she retired to become a full-time wife to director Keighley, whom she'd recently married. See more »


A montage dramatizing Gaylord's writers block includes three day & date calendar pages. The first two calendar pages are consistent with the year 1938, but the closest years for which the third page would be correct are 1930 or 1941. See more »


Clementine, Actress in Show: [on phone looking for Mr. Esterbrook] Hello, Luxury Turkish Bath? Connect me to the department for taking care of gentlemen on the loose. Line's busy? I'll wait.
[door bell rings and she goes to let in Mr. Swift]
Clementine, Actress in Show: Has Mr. Easterbrook been there today? No? Well, if he should be carried in, ask him to call his apartment - if he can talk.
See more »


References Mädchen in Uniform (1931) See more »


When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano
(1940) (uncredited)
Music by Leon René
Played when Gaylord meets Amanda
See more »

User Reviews

Limp But Not Without Interest.
22 March 2004 | by tjonasgreenSee all my reviews

Successful comic playwright Jimmy Stewart decides that the times he is living in call for political drama instead of laughs. His stage star wife disagrees and must win him back from the clutches of the pretentious matron who has him in her thrall. Though one would think that the tall, lanky duo of Stewart and Rosalind Russell would be perfect together, they disappoint. They manage some charm and chemistry in the early parts of the film, but both surrender to stridency later on, and this movie has none of the fast pace or glossy sheen a sophisticated comedy set in Manhattan should have.

What is interesting here is the cultural mirror of the times. The amusing portrait of a cynical Manhattan is still recognizable, and the thesis that in bad times there is nothing more important than making people laugh is the same one Preston Sturges explored in his overrated SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS a year or so later. Though this film doesn't mix comedy and message drama as well as Sturges did, however imperfectly, the penultimate scene here is intriguing. Russell is prepared to marry the droll plutocrat whose wife has stolen Stewart from her, but he lets loose with a string of invective that probably accurately reflected the 'America First' Republicanism of the time. Russell decides that she'd rather be with a man who hates the fact that the free world was being taken over by fascists than by a man who sees all dictators with cynical detachment.

This film is heavy and crude where it should be light, and the implied sexual sophistication of the plot is not directed or played with the right tone at all. But this misfire will still manage to be of interest to some.

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Release Date:

14 September 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Guy with a Grin See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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