The Talk of the Town - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Talk of the Town Reviews

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Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
June 20, 2008
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.
Super Reviewer
½ December 31, 2007
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.
Super Reviewer
½ June 26, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
April 25, 2014
A great classic dramatic comedy. The aging Ronald Colman has to match wits with the youthful Cary Grant and Jean Arthur is in the middle of it all. Very well performed.
½ August 17, 2013
I had never even heard of this gem until I randomly stumbled upon it. I'm glad I stumbled upon it because I was laughing a lot within a matter of minutes. It's a very crazy and manic comedy that it is constantly funny and is also bolstered by strong performances across the board. It's a shame that this wonderful comedy hasn't got the attention it deserves because it should be regarded as a classic. If you enjoy a good comedy from the golden era, this is definitely one worth seeing.
½ September 7, 2011
Still playing catch -up with the work of Cary Grant, this was something that turned up on TCM awhile back and made for a quick little watch in the afternoon.

Jean Arthur is cute as the object of two very different men's affections, with Grant's falsely accused criminal character competing with a law professor on the verge of being nominated for the Supreme Court.

Fun film, well worth a look.
December 17, 2010
This film stars Cary Grant and Ronald Coleman together and is the first film For Ronald Colman that he didn't have top billing. This is an interesting film for the time. The story revolves around an anarchist. Given the time of the films release I cannot decide the anarchist is in fact an anarchist or a Hollywood symbol of communism. Although we as a nation were past the 'red scare' of the 20's we were allied with the communist at this time preceding the 'red scare of the 50's!
It's interesting watching Coleman and Grant act together. I can never wrap my head around it however they work together well. The characters are fairly balanced with Jean Arthur who's style works with either one of the two but foe both, had to be tone down a bit. The film was directed by George Stevens. the mere fact of getting combination of actors to pull this off is a testament to his work.
Besides your run of the mill character actors in this film, you can see a young Lloyd Bridges in a bit part.
½ February 17, 2010
there aren't many comedies that make you laugh and think. this is one of them. Jean Arthur's funniest role yet! Grant and Coleman are great to, as are all the supporting players!
November 1, 2009
A delightful comedy drama, what a wonderful cast. Jean Arthur is terrific. Well written, very fast pace, good supporting cast. It's very entertaining.
November 20, 2007
An unusually out-of-sync performance for Grant, whose edge feels artificial here. Considering the great cast and the great director this was disappointing.
January 25, 2007
Continuing on with my Cary Grant movies, I don't have too much to say about this one. It's a great movie, as might be expected, and it's interesting to see Grant cast in a "darker" role-here he plays a man accused of arson who escapes from jail and is forced to take refuge in a home with a celebrated professor and a childhood sweetheart, as his ankle was hurt while on the lam. Grant has some witty and intelligent dialogue with the professor (played wonderfully by Ronald Colman) regarding the law, saying that if it is just or not depends on what side of the gun you're on (made me think of Ben Harper). Really a great movie, though Grant tends to take a backseat to Colman and Jean Arthur, as he has to spend much of the movie in seclusion. Next up is either "Holiday" or "The Awful Truth," I think.
November 18, 2006
Not, you know, that I find Ronald Colman particularly attractive. (Though he did play my beloved Sidney Carton once.) Still, he's not [i]un[/i]attractive, he's nice, and he's intelligent enough to be a Supreme Court Justice (and from that era, too, not now).

Cary Grant, however, [i]is[/i] that attractive, less nice and less smart, but way funnier and more . . . understanding, I think, is the word we want to use here. Also, no cherished retainer at his side at all times, and that tends to be awkward in bed.

One wonders, while watching this, what evidence they presented that Cary Grant to even make him a suspect for longer than five minutes. I mean, yeah, he sounds like someone the police would look into, but they never mention any actual evidence except that he's a malcontent. Granted, this is a crooked town that only seems to have one judge, but there's no way Cary Grant actually would've been executed. After all, very few crooked mill owners bother owning appeals courts.

One also gets the feeling that the script writers don't really want us asking this question, despite presenting us with a character who's actually educated enough about law to even be shortlisted for the Supremem Court. Certainly he never asks. True, he makes a big fuss about not wanting to be dragging into the case, but once he is, shouldn't he want to know? He of all people should know that people's apparent personalities can be deceptive.

Cary Grant does get one thing absolutely right, however. It does sound utterly ludicrous to whisper the word "Leopold" in any sort of passionate way.
½ June 5, 2006
Hmm. I seldom dislike Cary Grant or his movies, but something about this movie just didn't sit right with me. I kept expecting it to be better than it was, and then it... wasn't. And the Jean Arthur character irritated me immensely, with all sorts of bizarre quirks and lines that just didn't make much sense. I guess to sum it up, the movie felt sloppy. It was a good idea for what could have been an incredibly engaging film but the dialogue was shoddy and the characters poorly slapped-together. Too bad.
½ May 25, 2006
I usually don't like Cary Grant's movies because he often act exactly same in most of his movies. Only other movie with Cary Grant in it, that I actually like, is Father Goose. The Talk of the Town is clean fun movie with wry humor about an innocent escaped convinct, blah blah. Just watch it already.
November 29, 2004
A delightful comedy drama, what a wonderful cast. Jean Arthur is terrific. Well written, very fast pace, good supporting cast. It's very entertaining.
½ August 11, 2015
A fun, worthwhile dramedy which has some unique subtexts for this period.
January 15, 2015
Maybe because it can't be categorized definitely as a screwball comedy or a "serious" movie, it has been overlooked, but never will you see a movie that mixes comedy, romance, social commentary, and drama as well as this one... Borscht With An Egg In It--'The Talk of the Town' is George Steven's only serious comedy. He fights alongside with Frank Capra's theme of the common man against big business and big government and he makes a home run. The casting was superb from the three leads to all the supporting cast in the smallest of roles... Jean Arthur at her zenith!!
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