The Awful Truth (1937)
Critics Consensus: Great comic direction by Leo McCarrey and memorable onscreen chemistry from stars Cary Grant and Irene Dunne make this screwball comedy a charmer.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
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 brown under a handy sun lamp. Unfortunately, when he gets home, Lucy is gone. When Jerry sees her with handsome voice teacher Armand Duvalle, he assumes the worst. He doesn't realize that she is only out with him because she assumed that Jerry was trysting with a mistress. All of this leads to a divorce, made ugly by their bitter fight for custody of Mr. Smith, their dog. When not wrestling in court, both Jerry and Lucy make big shows of seeing other people. Matters come to a head when Jerry falls in love with a stuffy socialite, whom he wants to wed. To break them up, clever Lucy dresses up as a tacky fan dancer and shows up at the socialite's hoity-toity party. From there it is only a matter of time before true love prevails and marital bliss is restored. The Awful Truth was originally a popular stage play and came to the screen twice before, in 1925 and in 1929. This version was nominated for several Oscars and won one for "Best Direction." … More
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for The Awful Truth
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.
Zappy, sophisticated screwball comedy with Grant and Dunne displaying perfect timing.
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.
...has earned its reputation as one of the most effective screwball comedies from the 1930s.
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.
The look of love [Grant] gives co-star Irene Dunne, captured not in a close-up but a medium-wide shot, could melt anyone.
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.
A smart screwball comedy from the 1930s that's given the Lubitsch touch by director Leo McCarey.
Its sophistication convinced the Academy that it was more than "just" a comedy and they awarded McCarey the Best Director Oscar
Episodic but sublime screwball comedy, with Grant and Dunne at their most alluring.
As pleasurable as anything a Hollywood studio and the star system ever produced.
Cary Grant ... delivers one of the greatest comic performances we'll ever have the pleasure of witnessing.
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.
Brilliant romantic comedy from Leo McCarey
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
A superbly lighthearted production, and the epitome of 1930s screwball comedies.
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.
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.More
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.More
Discuss The Awful Truth on our Movie forum!