The Awful Truth (1937)


No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...


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

Movie Info

The screwiest of the screwball comedies of the '30s, The Awful Truth is filled with merry mix-ups and romantic misadventures that lead a previously happy couple Jerry and Lucy Warriner (marvelously played by Cary Grant and Irene Dunne) to divorce. The trouble begins when Jerry supposedly goes to Florida for some rest. At least that's what he tells Lucy; actually, he is planning to spend the vacation with his buddies playing endless rounds of poker. When it is time to come home, he toasts himself … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Romance, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Arthur Richman, Viņa Delmar
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 11, 2003


as Jerry Warriner

as Lucy Warriner

as Daniel Leeson

as Frank Randall

as Armand Duvalle

as Aunt Patsy

as Barbara Vance

as Mrs. Leeson

as Dixie Belle Lee

as Mr. Vance

as Mrs. Vance

as Lord Fabian

as Lady Fabian

as Barbara Vance

as Mr. Barnsley

as Mrs. Barnsley

as Jerry's Attorney

as Motor Cop

as Motor Cop

as Japanese Servant

as Police Sergeant

as Motor Cop

as Hotel Clerk

as Secretary

as Viola Heath

as Lucy's Attorney

as Frank Randall
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Awful Truth

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (3)

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.

Full Review… | May 27, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top 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.

Full Review… | May 21, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

A joy.

Full Review… | May 27, 2008

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

Full Review… | April 10, 2007
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.

Full Review… | November 9, 2006

Audience Reviews for The Awful Truth

Cary Grant and Irene Dunne get tired of being married and so opt for a divorce, only ... guess what? Yeah, you guessed it, they're still in love. Doh! The fun is in watching them convince each other then about what we already know from the jump. Asta shines throughout, too.
By many judges one of the best of this genre. It does stand the test of time, so that says something, doesn't it?
And Ralph Bellamy was a master at playing cold leftovers to Grant, practically blending into the wallpaper.

Apeneck Fletcher

Super Reviewer

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

AJ Verser

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.

Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

The Awful Truth Quotes

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