Case of Cary Grant, the outspoken factory town, soapbox ‘anti’ worker, being tried for arson and the death of factory foreman in the blaze, serves as a vehicle to introduce a pert schoolteacher (Jean Arthur) and a law school dean (Ronald Colman) in a procession of comedy dissertations on law, in theory and practice. Plot has Grant escaping before his trial is completed and seeking refuge in the schoolmarm’s home.
Story [from one by Sidney Harmon, adapted by Dale Van Every] doesn’t give Grant quite enough to do, with plenty of meaty lines and situations handed Colman, who manages the transition from the stuffy professor to a human being with the least amount of implausibility.
George Stevens’ direction is topflight for the most part. Transition from serious or melodramatic to the slap-happy and humorous sometimes is a bit awkward, but in the main it is solid escapist comedy.
1942: Nominations: Best Picture, Original Story & Screenplay, B&W Cinematography, B&W Art Direction, Editing, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture