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.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, authors of the play from which this film was adapted, were good friends with Alexander Woollcott, a famous critic, radio personality, and lecturer at the time. Woollcott requested that they write a play FOR him, but they never came up with a plot. One day Woollcott came to visit Hart unexpectedly and turned his house upside down, taking over the master bedroom, ordering Hart's staff around and making a general nuisance of himself. When Hart told Kaufman of the visit, he asked, "Imagine what would have happened if he broke his leg and had to stay?" They looked at each other and knew they had a play. See more »
At one point in the film, Maggie Cutler goes to the window and comments on the snow falling outside. The falling snow is clearly visible outside the window. Then the camera goes to a medium shot, with all the windows visible, but from this angle, no snow is seen to be falling whatsoever. See more »
The Man Who Came to Dinner is a little uneven, but it's mostly entertaining. The unevenness comes mainly from the dullness of the budding relationship which the film holds in focus. The original play is very well written, especially the dialogue. It was actually performed at my high school when I was there. But its the cast here that excels. Monty Woolley is great in the titular role. He plays Sheridan Whiteside to absolute perfection. Bette Davis is quite good as his secretary, but the role is actually somewhat below her standards. I'm sure she took the role because she loved the play so much and was sure it'd be a hit, but that role is pretty dull. Ann Sheridan perhaps gives the film's most memorable performance as an egotistical Hollywood diva who's not sure whether she wants to marry British nobility for money or just chase around cute guys. Also noteworthy are Billie Burke as Mrs. Stanley, the Ohio society woman who invites Whiteside to dinner, Reginald Gardiner as an eloquent celebrity friend of Whiteside (far underused), and the incredibly insane Jimmy Durante as Banjo. He comes into the film very late, but he very nearly steals the show. 8/10.
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