6.4/10
776
19 user 5 critic

No Time for Comedy (1940)

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 »

Director:

William Keighley

Writers:

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

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

A country boy takes over Broadway . . . until he gets into heart-trouble! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original New York production starred Katherine Cornell as Linda and Lawrence Olivier as Gaylord Estabrook. See more »

Goofs

At one point in the movie, Gaylord is at his home and discovers Amanda Swift's phone number is written down on a phone list in his wife's handwriting. His wife, Linda, had just left with Morgan Carrell for dinner at the Swift's home. Then the scene shifts to Amanda Swift's home and Gaylord is there. See more »

Quotes

Morgan Carrell, the Director: Clementine, are you sitting on my hat?
Clementine, Actress in Show: [gets up to look] So I am. I completely covered it. Well, its a small hat.
Morgan Carrell, the Director: A sombrero would have met the same fate.
See more »

Connections

References Mädchen in Uniform (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Opus 98: 1st movement
(1885) (uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
Played on a phonograph at Amanda's house
See more »

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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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