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The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)

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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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Maggie Cutler
... Lorraine Sheldon
... Sheridan Whiteside
... Bert Jefferson
... Banjo
... Mrs. Ernest W. Stanley aka Daisy
... Beverly Carlton
... June Stanley
... Mr. Ernest W. Stanley
... Dr. Bradley
... Miss Preen
... Richard Stanley
Ruth Vivian ... Harriet Stanley
Edwin Stanley ... John
Betty Roadman ... Sarah
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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:

Nothing could be funnier! (Posters). See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 January 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre que vino a cenar  »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The car owned by Mr. and Mrs. Stanley is a 1941 Buick Limited 90 Limousine. See more »

Goofs

After Banjo hands Whiteside 'Lana Turner's sweater' ( in a package ), in the next instant, after the cut, nothing is in Whiteside's hands. See more »

Quotes

Maggie Cutler: I've been skating for the first time in my life! I'm told I'm the only person to do a figure eight from the sitting position!
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Connections

Referenced in Dominick and Eugene (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(1818) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
Sung by a boys' choir
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User Reviews

 
1942 Bette Davis a Subdued Secretary in a Comedy
18 October 2007 | by See all my reviews

Screenwriters Moss Hart & George S. Kaufmann created this hilarious story based upon the personas of playwright Noel Coward, film critic Alexander Woollcott, and theater actress Gertrude Lawrence. It became a Broadway hit, then this box-office sensation. Bette Davis convinced Warner Brothers to make this film.

When "The Man Who Came To Dinner," Sheridan Whiteside (Monty Woolley), an eccentric author & radio lecturer, & his secretary, Maggie Cutler (Bette Davis), arrive at the home of a prominent Ohio family, the Stanleys, Whiteside injures his leg, slipping at his hosts' entrance. After a doctor (George Barbier) tells Whiteside that his leg is broken & he can't leave, the eccentric guest who had only come to dinner wreaks havoc by meddling in everyone else's lives in a proper family's home! Whiteside is especially bent upon keeping Maggie (Davis) unmarried & employed as his secretary who manages all of his life affairs. She's fallen in love, wants to marry & leave her job. Whiteside even bribes the doctor to remain silent after learning nothing's wrong with his leg! When Mr. Stanley uncovers their fraud, Whiteside blackmails him by holding an old family secret over his head. Though, Whiteside's plot to keep Maggie doesn't fool her, it is the central comedy performance of the movie.

Maggie Cutler (Davis) is a perfect foil for Whiteside (Woolley). Her original role was not as central in the stage play. It was expanded for film. Playing a secretary is the only time during Davis' golden 40's period in Hollywood when she accepted a supporting role. However, Davis was billed first in order to make the movie box-office hit. It's a delightful Christmas comedy.

Here's a typical exchange between 'Sheri' & Maggie: 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.

Banjo (Jimmy Durante) delivers some memorable comical one-liners, as well.


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