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The Man Who Came To Dinner Review


OK
The Man Who Came to Dinner has traveled a long way: from stage (1939) to screen (1942) and then down through the decades to DVD, where we find it today. While this classic of erudite yet zany comedy still sparkles at times, the long trip has dulled some of its shine. What may have cracked people up way back then (references to ZaSu Pitts, calf's foot jelly, Katherine Cornell, long-distance operators, and Noel Coward) will leave today's audiences scratching their heads. Best to wait for the slapstick moments while imbibing on martinis.

George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart were master comic playwrights, and like You Can't Take It With You, The Man Who Came to Dinner is basically a drawing-room farce that spins more and more out of control as 20 or so main characters bounce off each other, hurl insults ("You flea-bitten Cleopatra!") and make wisecracks. At the center of the action is crusty old Sheridan Whiteside (Monty Woolley), a curmudgeonly New York critic (based on Alexander Woollcott, who starred in the show on Broadway) who breaks his leg while on tour in a provincial Ohio town. Taking up residence with the well-to-do and very flustered Mr. and Mrs. Stanley (Grant Mitchell and Billie Burke), he quickly makes their house his own, commandeering their telephone and their butler while his secretary Maggie (a blousy Bette Davis) and his nurse (Mary Wickes) scurry around catering to his every obnoxious whim.

Continue reading: The Man Who Came To Dinner Review

The Man Who Came To Dinner Review


OK
The Man Who Came to Dinner has traveled a long way: from stage (1939) to screen (1942) and then down through the decades to DVD, where we find it today. While this classic of erudite yet zany comedy still sparkles at times, the long trip has dulled some of its shine. What may have cracked people up way back then (references to ZaSu Pitts, calf's foot jelly, Katherine Cornell, long-distance operators, and Noel Coward) will leave today's audiences scratching their heads. Best to wait for the slapstick moments while imbibing on martinis.

George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart were master comic playwrights, and like You Can't Take It With You, The Man Who Came to Dinner is basically a drawing-room farce that spins more and more out of control as 20 or so main characters bounce off each other, hurl insults ("You flea-bitten Cleopatra!") and make wisecracks. At the center of the action is crusty old Sheridan Whiteside (Monty Woolley), a curmudgeonly New York critic (based on Alexander Woollcott, who starred in the show on Broadway) who breaks his leg while on tour in a provincial Ohio town. Taking up residence with the well-to-do and very flustered Mr. and Mrs. Stanley (Grant Mitchell and Billie Burke), he quickly makes their house his own, commandeering their telephone and their butler while his secretary Maggie (a blousy Bette Davis) and his nurse (Mary Wickes) scurry around catering to his every obnoxious whim.

Continue reading: The Man Who Came To Dinner Review

A Star Is Born (1954) Review


Very Good
As it turns out, stars are made, not born. The classic George Cukor film gives us Judy Garland, unforgettable as Vicki Lester, a plucky singer whom Big Star James Mason targets for her raw talent, and soon makes her into an Oscar winner. The movie seems a little too easy, though. As if all you need to do is have Brad Pitt be your friend and, presto, you're famous. The teeth are pretty dull on Star, too -- for example, when Mason's character hits rock bottom (all while Garland's star is rising), the worst that we hear about before his tragic end is an arrest for being drunk and disorderly. Puh-lease. But it was the 1950s, so what can you expect? Overall, it's too long, but altogether this star is fairly bright.

Gentleman's Agreement Review


Very Good
Gregory Peck masquerades as a Jew to write a big story on Anti-Semitism in this wartime tale of prejudice, bigotry, and hipocracy. Not exactly light-hearted fare, and the now 50+ year-old film has aged to the point of near-irrelevance. Peck and McGuire are incredible as the leads, but (and this is a good thing), Jew-bashing has faded as a commonly-experienced social ill. While it still crops up, the "restricted clubs" and playground abuse of Gentleman's Agreement are things of the past. Very controversial in its day, not to mention director Elia Kazan, who has generated plenty of controversy in recent years as well.
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Moss Hart Movies

The Man Who Came to Dinner Movie Review

The Man Who Came to Dinner Movie Review

The Man Who Came to Dinner has traveled a long way: from stage (1939) to...

The Man Who Came to Dinner Movie Review

The Man Who Came to Dinner Movie Review

The Man Who Came to Dinner has traveled a long way: from stage (1939) to...

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