Review: ‘The Man Who Came to Dinner’

Only detracting angle in the entire film is slowness of the first quarter. Portion in which the characters are being built up, before the complications of the story actually begin, is overlong.

Only detracting angle in the entire film is slowness of the first quarter. Portion in which the characters are being built up, before the complications of the story actually begin, is overlong.

Superb casting and nifty work by every member of the company rates plenty of breveting. Monty Woolley is even better than he was in the Broadway edition [of the play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart] as the bearded lecturer-writer-radio commentator who is inveigled to dinner at a home in a small Ohio town where he happens to be lecturing and slips on the front steps, injuring his hip. He’s confined to a wheelchair there for three weeks and with his witty insults, domineering talk and meddling in the affairs of his secretary and of the unfortunate family with whom he is staying, brings havoc upon all.

Bette Davis is in the secondary part of Woolley’s secretary. Role has been strengthened slightly from the legit version to add to the slim romance department.

The Man Who Came to Dinner

Production

Warner. Director William Keighley; Producer Jack Saper, Jerry Wald; Screenplay Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein; Camera Tony Gaudin; Editor Jack Killifer; Music Frederick Hollander

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1942. Running time: 112 MIN.

With

Bette Davis Ann Sheridan Monty Woolley Jimmy Durante Richard Travis
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