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The Awful Truth (1937)



Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 2

Great comic direction by Leo McCarrey and memorable onscreen chemistry from stars Cary Grant and Irene Dunne make this screwball comedy a charmer.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0

Great comic direction by Leo McCarrey and memorable onscreen chemistry from stars Cary Grant and Irene Dunne make this screwball comedy a charmer.



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Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 7,339

My Rating

Movie Info

Leo McCarey directed this classic screwball comedy in which Cary Grant and Irene Dunne play Jerry and Lucy Warriner, a couple whose marriage is starting to fall apart. Jerry informs Lucy that he's taking a vacation alone in Florida; instead, he holes up with his buddies and plays poker for a week (while sitting under a sun lamp so he'll have an appropriate tan). Lucy concludes that Jerry was never in Florida just as Jerry discovers that Lucy was spending her time with Armand Duvalle (Alex


Romance, Classics, Comedy

Viņa Delmar, Arthur Richman

Mar 11, 2003


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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (2) | DVD (11)

Leo McCarey's largely improvised 1937 film is one of the funniest of the screwball comedies, and also one of the most serious at heart.

May 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Zappy, sophisticated screwball comedy with Grant and Dunne displaying perfect timing.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To be frank, The Awful Truth is awfully unimportant, but it is also one of the more laughable screen comedies of 1937, a fairly good vintage year.

May 21, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A joy.

May 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

...has earned its reputation as one of the most effective screwball comedies from the 1930s.

April 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

One of the best screwball comedies (of remarriage) ever made, based on the astute mise-en-scene of director Leo McCarey (who won an Oscar) and superb turns from Cary Grant and Irene Dunne as the sparrying partners.

November 9, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

The look of love [Grant] gives co-star Irene Dunne, captured not in a close-up but a medium-wide shot, could melt anyone.

February 17, 2006 Full Review Source:

One should be rooting for Cary Grant to get the girl, which means he ought to deserve her — and if that's more or less the case here, well, it's only because the girl turns out to be no great shakes either.

February 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide | Comment (1)
Decent Films Guide

A smart screwball comedy from the 1930s that's given the Lubitsch touch by director Leo McCarey.

January 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Its sophistication convinced the Academy that it was more than "just" a comedy and they awarded McCarey the Best Director Oscar

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Episodic but sublime screwball comedy, with Grant and Dunne at their most alluring.

August 16, 2003
Nick's Flick Picks

As pleasurable as anything a Hollywood studio and the star system ever produced.

April 4, 2003 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Cary Grant ... delivers one of the greatest comic performances we'll ever have the pleasure of witnessing.

March 26, 2003
Creative Loafing

This comedy is a hilarious match-up between Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, with the wonderful Ralph Bellamy cast in his pigeonholed role as the fifth wheel.

March 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Brilliant romantic comedy from Leo McCarey

August 26, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Grant's antics are hysterical.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

The Awful Truth (1937) is one of the classic, definitive screwball comedies of the thirties. Producer/director Leo McCarey's stylish light comedy is a witty battlefield

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Tim Dirks' The Greatest Films
Tim Dirks' The Greatest Films

A superbly lighthearted production, and the epitome of 1930s screwball comedies.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It is a surprisingly tight and densely-packed comedy with excellent performances all around.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Audience Reviews for The Awful Truth

I enjoyed this movie, great cast, good story, and it's funny.
September 18, 2010

Super Reviewer

Cary Grant and Irene Dunn play a couple who rather impulsively decide to divorce and then spend the rest of the movie trying to undo their mistake while simultaneously undoing each other's new relationships. I'm not sure how taboo divorce was in their time, but the whole thing is played for laughs, with the two arguing over who gets custody of "mr. smith", their dog (who led to their first meeting). Actually, the dog is alot of fun, probably the best movie dog outside of Asta (the Thin Man's dog). What makes this film good is the chemistry Grant has with his leading lady (which he tends to have with every leading lady, which is a big part of what makes him so great). He not only plays a straight man to her hijinks, he also gets in some slapstick of his own.
March 19, 2010
Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

Reminded me of His Girl Friday, only older and much more tamer... Ralph Bellamy plays another dumb-witted moron while Grant plays the smooth, suave and debonair prince. Cute, but I still prefer His Girl Friday.
December 31, 2009
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

I think I just have something against McCarey, because I usually love screwball and this is supposed to be the "definitive" one or whatever. Cary Grant is an excellent stock character who can just be dropped into a movie in a second and he can do this thing. Irene Dunne I hadn't heard of before, and she's not too magnificent. She's not pretty at all, which shouldn't count but does, and lacks the chops to match up with Grant's automatic suaveness. The sister number was decently cute but never cut it with me. But I didn't HATE her or anything. I mean, it could be worse...she's not as bitchy or annoying as Maureen O'Hara in The Shop Around the Corner.
November 15, 2008

Super Reviewer

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