7.6/10
6,484
86 user 23 critic

The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)

Trailer
3:15 | Trailer
When acerbic critic Sheridan Whiteside slips on the front steps of a provincial Ohio businessman's home and breaks his hip, he and his entourage take over the house indefinitely.

Director:

William Keighley

Writers:

Julius J. Epstein (screen play), Philip G. Epstein (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bette Davis ... Maggie Cutler
Ann Sheridan ... Lorraine Sheldon
Monty Woolley ... Sheridan Whiteside
Richard Travis ... Bert Jefferson
Jimmy Durante ... Banjo
Billie Burke ... Mrs. Ernest W. Stanley aka Daisy
Reginald Gardiner ... Beverly Carlton
Elisabeth Fraser ... June Stanley
Grant Mitchell ... Mr. Ernest W. Stanley
George Barbier ... Dr. Bradley
Mary Wickes ... Miss Preen
Russell Arms ... Richard Stanley
Ruth Vivian Ruth Vivian ... Harriet Stanley
Edwin Stanley Edwin Stanley ... John
Betty Roadman Betty Roadman ... Sarah
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge, and predictable complications result.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Bette Davis, Claude Rains, Walter Abel
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The day before her wedding, a pampered young woman absconds with her sister's husband; in retaliation, her sister begins seeing the woman's former fiancé.

Directors: John Huston, Raoul Walsh
Stars: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, George Brent
Now, Voyager (1942)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A frumpy spinster blossoms under therapy and becomes an elegant, independent woman.

Director: Irving Rapper
Stars: Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the twentieth century.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A financially-strapped charter pilot hires himself to an oil tycoon to kidnap his madcap daughter and prevent her from marrying a vapid band leader.

Director: William Keighley
Stars: James Cagney, Bette Davis, Stuart Erwin
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A duchess' irrational behavior toward the governess of her children triggers tragic events that will change her family's lives forever.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Bette Davis, Charles Boyer, Jeffrey Lynn
The Letter (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense, but a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson
The Old Maid (1939)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The arrival of an ex-lover on a young woman's wedding day sets in motion a chain of events which will alter her and her cousin's lives forever.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins, George Brent
Dark Victory (1939)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young socialite is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, and must decide whether or not she'll meet her final days with dignity.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, George Brent, Humphrey Bogart
The Great Lie (1941)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After a newlywed's husband apparently dies in a plane crash, she discovers that her rival for his affections is now pregnant with his child.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, George Brent, Mary Astor
A Stolen Life (1946)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When a woman's twin sister is drowned, she assumes her identity in order to be close to the man she feels her sister took from her years before.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Stars: Bette Davis, Glenn Ford, Dane Clark
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A depiction of the love/hate relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland
Edit

Storyline

Lecturer Sheridan Whiteside slips on the ice on his way into the home of a prominent Ohio family. The local doctor says Whiteside must remain confined having broken his leg. He begins to meddle with the lives of everyone in the household and, once his plots are underway, learns there is nothing wrong with his leg. He bribes the doctor and resumes control of the household. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Warner Bros. Happiest Hit. (Lobby cards). See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Laughton desperately wanted the part of Sheridan Whiteside. He tested for the role, but the results were disastrous. Distraught and in tears, Laughton begged his agent to convince producer Hal B. Wallis to give him another test. Wallis recalled that "I was touched by the call and gave Laughton another test. But it was a disaster, worse than the first. When he left the studio, Laughton's face was a picture of despair." See more »

Goofs

Nurse Preen said to Mr. Whiteside, "If Florence Nightingale had ever nursed YOU, Mr. Whiteside, she would have married Jack the Ripper instead of founding the Red Cross!" While Florence Nightingale is indisputably an early leader of nursing, Henri Dunant founded what became the International Red Cross. See more »

Quotes

Sheridan Whiteside: I simply will not sit down to dinner with midwestern barbarians, I think too highly of my digestive system.
Maggie Cutler: Harry Clarke is one of your oldest friends.
Sheridan Whiteside: My stomach is an older one.
Maggie Cutler: And Mrs. Stanley is president of the women's club.
Sheridan Whiteside: I wouldn't care if she was the whole cabinet.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in M*A*S*H: A War for All Seasons (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Did You Ever Have the Feeling That You Wanted to Go?
(uncredited)
Written and Performed by Jimmy Durante
See more »

User Reviews

Groucho-like Insults Worth Memorizing
13 December 2004 | by mrzeppoSee all my reviews

George S. Kaufman co-wrote this play-turned-film based on the real-life characters with whom he regularly associated. Alexander Woolcott, the famed Broadway critic was the inspiration for Sheridan Whiteside, a publicly loved figure who's private, curmudgeonly demeanor was less than idyllic. Kaufman even went so far as to have Whiteside occasionally sing jibberish with a child's speech impediment, which was a practice of Woolcott's.

Monty Wooley brilliantly delivers the Groucho-like insults penned with supreme wit by the Marxian play and film write. Kaufman, of course, co-wrote many of the Marx's best works and was a good friend of Harpo, upon whom the character "Banjo" is based.

The entire cast is brilliant save for Richard Travis who, while not distractingly bad, is somewhat outclassed by the likes of Bette Davis, Billie Burke, Mary Wickes, and Reginald Gardiner.

All in all, this is solid comedy that bears repeated seasonal viewing. I can't figure out why it's not on DVD. That's not true. I CAN figure it out. I doubt it would sell large numbers of copies given movie audiences' limited awareness of the film. What I meant was, I wish it were available on DVD.


47 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 86 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

24 January 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Came to Dinner See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,050,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed