Joy of Living (1938)

Joy of Living (1938)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Joy of Living Photos

Movie Info

Given the talent involved, The Joy of Living should have been far better than it is. Irene Dunne plays Maggie, a popular musical-comedy star saddled with a possessive, spendthrift family. Maggie would like to leave the house once in a while and experience "real life," but her parents (Alice Brady, Guy Kibbee), worried that they'll lose their meal ticket, refuse to allow her to do so. The Prince Charming who rescues Maggie from her folks is ship-owner Dan (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) As a bonus, the footloose and fancy-free Dan teaches the repressed Maggie that "it's fun to be foolish." Apparently director Tay Garnett couldn't keep the production under control, and the cost ballooned to a then-staggering $1.1 million, resulting in a huge loss for RKO Radio. Some of the film's brighter moments are provided by Lucille Ball, Billy Gilbert, Jean Dixon and Franklin Pangborn, who like Dunne and Fairbanks all deserved funnier material than this.
Comedy , Musical & Performing Arts , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
RKO Pictures


Irene Dunne
as Margaret 'Maggie' Garret
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
as Daniel 'Dan' Brewster
Alice Brady
as Minerva Garret
Guy Kibbee
as Dennis Garret
Jean Dixon
as Harrison
Eric Blore
as Potter
Lucille Ball
as Salina
Billy Gilbert
as Cafe Owner
Frank Milan
as Bert Pine
Dorothy Steiner
as Dotsy Pine
Estelle Steiner
as Betsy Pine
Franklin Pangborn
as Radio Broadcast Orchestra Leader
John Qualen
as Oswego
Spencer Charters
as Magistrate
George Chandler
as Taxi Driver
Grady Sutton
as Florist
Charles Lane
as Dress Extra
Pat Flaherty
as Autograph Hound
Harry Woods
as Cop/Autograph Hound
Frank Moran
as Cop with Gravel Voice
Bert Roach
as German Waiter
Charles Williams
as Sideshow Barker
Fuzzy Knight
as Sideshow Piano Player
Dennis O'Keefe
as Man in Building Lobby
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Joy of Living

All Critics (1)

Tiresome musical screwball comedy.

Full Review… | December 23, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Joy of Living


Slow, cardboard start - but once Doug Jr. gets Irene drunk the show properly transforms into a Rom-Com worth watching. Note that Lucille Ball is cast as Irene's younger sister and understudy, ....once she put on Ms. Dunne's shoes Lucy actually did become the queen of screwball;-)

Christopher Bergan
Christopher Bergan

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