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The Talk of the Town

The Talk of the Town (1942)


No Score Yet...

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



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 2,984

My Rating

Movie Info

George Stevens' Talk of the Town is a quick-witted comedy driven by wonderful performances by Cary Grant, Ronald Colman and Jean Arthur. Michael Lightcap (Colman) is a stuffy law professor in line to a Supreme Court appointment, who is spending the summer at the house of schoolteacher Nora Shelley (Arthur). But Lightcap is not the only guest at the house. Shelley has also let Leopold Dilg (Grant)--a man who had recently escaped from prison, where he was serving a sentence for false accusations


Drama, Classics, Comedy

Irwin Shaw, Sidney Buchman, Sidney Harmon

Feb 25, 2003

Sony Pictures Entertainment

Watch It Now


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All Critics (14) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (1) | DVD (11)

An attractive serio-comic tale of civic corruption.

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

It may be off beam in its philosophy, but its quality of humor is not strained.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Overblown, too long, and not nearly as much fun as it's cracked up to be.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment (1)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though verbose, this darkly humorous film benefits from star power of Cary Grant in atypical role, some witty dialogue, and timely subject matter.

March 5, 2008 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

The acting by Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, and Ronald Colman is top-notch.

January 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The contrivance of plot is compensated by one of the most genial casts in history.

November 13, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Part romantic triangle, part Capra-esque hokum, all coast on star power.

February 17, 2006 Full Review Source:

In addition to its status as one of the great screen comedies, the film is a treasure trove of homosexual undercurrents, many of which aren't all that disguised.

August 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Effective, if peculiar, mixture of screwball comedy and political moralising.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

Brilliantly directed, acted, scripted thought-provoking comedy

August 21, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The Talk of the Town (1942) is a classic romantic comedy/drama of the 1940s from producer/director George Stevens and Columbia Pictures.

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

Audience Reviews for The Talk of the Town

Another of my favourite Cary Grant movies, and Jean Arthur and Ronald Colman movies too. I guess you could just say it's one of my favourite movies! The story is both thrilling and hilarious. Plus, you learn a lot about politics and philosophy and things that people cared about in the forties. I highly recommend this movie.
October 3, 2010

Super Reviewer

Wonderfully funny even if it does have a very serious point. The three leads do an absolutely brilliant job in conveying a growing relationship and are perhaps one of the only believable and functional threesomes in cinema. The script doesn't drag itself down by having a rivalry breakout between the two males, making this very fresh. The ending goes on a bit even after the point has been made. Awesomely enjoyable stuff.
June 20, 2008

Super Reviewer

The triangle at the heart of this Capraesque film is contrived, Cary Grant is badly miscast and the script too often feels like a vehicle for soapbox sermonising. Despite these problems "Talk of the Town" manages to be likeable and entertaining, due in no small part to the wonderful performances of Ronald Colman and Jean Arthur.
December 31, 2007

Super Reviewer

In "The Talk of the Town," Leopold Dilg(Cary Grant) is in jail, being accused of arson and murder. Facing an impossible trial and a possible death penalty, he does the only sensible thing and escapes, injuring his ankle in the process. He gets as far as the farmhouse of Nora Shelley(Jean Arthur) who takes pity on him and hides him in the attic. At which point, Professor Michael Lightcap(Ronald Colman), the new tenant, arrives a day early. Leopold's lawyer Sam Yates(Edgar Buchanan) sees an opportunity and wants to recruit the renowned law professor to their cause.

"The Talk of the Town" is an enjoyable comedy about a serious subject that is handled well by its very talented cast, even the more improbable parts of the story. Considering how badly activists have been treated in the movies over the years, it is refreshing to have one in Leopold who is so likable.(Well, yes, I know he is played by Cary Grant but at this point, his persona was not frozen in stone, yet.) I also did not realize how rare beards were at the time which is another detail of how brave this movie was. That fits in well with the movie being so much on the side of advocacy and individualism, showing clearly how politics can change people for the better.
June 26, 2010
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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  • Talk of the Town (1942) (UK)
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