6.4/10
848
19 user 7 critic

No Time for Comedy (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 14 September 1940 (USA)
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:

Mr Smith Goes to town ! 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

Frank Faylen plays a cab driver in a scene with James Stewart. Six years later Faylen again plays a cab driver opposite Stewart in It's s Wonderful Life (1946). 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

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

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User Reviews

 
A strong first half...followed by a talky and unbelievable second half.
6 August 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

The first portion of "No Time for Comedy" is excellent--and I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, somewhere around the middle, it was like the characters had head injuries (particularly James Stewart) and began acting weird...along with some new and annoying friends. As a result, the film really lost its momentum and its way.

The film begins with a playwright (Stewart) being called to Broadway to do some re-writes for the play. They are in rehearsals and the play just doesn't quite flow the way they'd hoped. Stewart is not at all like they expected. After all, the play is a smart drawing room comedy featuring the upper crust--and Stewart is some Midwestern yokel who has never even been to the big city or been with the smart set. After some teething problems, however, the play is a success. This part of the film is very charming and seeing him and Rosalind Russell together was a treat.

The next portion of the film really stopped making sense. Now that Stewart and Russell are married, suddenly the sweet guy has turned into a major butt-head--a very selfish one at that. Now he drinks heavily and begins hanging out with the world's most superficial and annoying married woman anyone could imagine (Genevieve Tobin). While I hated the change in Stewart's character (since it seemed so out of character), everything about Tobin was wrong...100% wrong. Her character made no sense at all and was played so broadly you'd wonder how any semi-sane person could fall for this super-annoying....'lady'. Also incongruous is her husband (Charlie Ruggles)--he simply made no sense at all as the annoyed but unbelievably passive rich husband. At this point, the only person who comes off halfway convincing is Russell...but even she occasionally behaves oddly. It was really as if the film had two different writers who didn't even read each other's scripts before combining them.

The overall film really looks like two separate films. The first half I'd score an 8 and the second I'd score a 3. It really would have been improved with a revision...a re-write like Stewart's character was called in to do when the movie began. Not a good film, though it looks nice and has some lovely scenes. The bad just outweighs the good.

By the way, after Stewart behaved abominably through much of the film, why would Russell's character STILL want him?! What sort of screwy message is this projecting at women?!


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