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USA 1937
Directed by
Leo McCarey
91 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

The Awful Truth

At the top of his form in a screwball comedy Cary Grant plays well-to-do married playboy, Jerry Warriner, who takes umbrage when he believes that his wife, Lucy (Irene Dunne), is canoodling with her male voice teacher. They decide to divorce but being a gentleman, he allows her to sue him. She gets custody of their dog, Mr. Smith. They tryu to go their separate ways but come to realize that they cannot live without each other.

Much as with Howard Hawks' classic His Girl Friday (1940) the bulk of the film portrays Grant as still in love with his former wife and trying to stop her from re-marrying a dull Oklahoma oil-man (Ralph Bellamy) who lives with his mother. The outcome is, of course, the same in both films, although the pacing in this one is rather odd, as the Bellamy character is summarily dumped too early, leaving Dunne alone trying to break up Grant’s plans to re-marry, this in turn leading to a protracted final act which contrives to bring hte couple back together

 Notwithstanding, the script by Viña Delmar based on a play by Arthur Richman is zesty in the best screwball comedy vein and Dunne and Grant work well off each other.  The film was a hit in its day with. rather surprisingly,  McCarey winning an Oscar for his direction, beating out, amongst others, William Wellman for A Star Is Born.

Available from: Shock Entertainment




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