The More the Merrier 1943

The More the Merrier

Critics Consensus

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94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 18

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,310

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Movie Info

Due to a housing shortage in Washington, D.C., during World War II, Connie Milligan (Jean Arthur) agrees to rent part of her apartment to wealthy retiree Benjamin Dingle (Charles Coburn) and soldier Joe Carter (Joel McCrea). Although Connie is engaged to the unexciting Charles Pendergast (Richard Gaines), she becomes fond of Joe. When Dingle notices their interests in each other, he attempts to play matchmaker -- but instead causes problems for the entire apartment.

Cast & Crew

Jean Arthur
Connie Milligan
Joel McCrea
Joe Carter
Charles Coburn
Benjamin Dingle
Richard Gaines
Charles J. Pendergast
Clyde Fillmore
Senator Noonan
Stanley Clements
Morton Rodakiewicz
Donald Douglas
FBI Agent Harding (uncredited)
Edward Eliscu
Original Music
Jay Gorney
Original Music
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Critic Reviews for The More the Merrier

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for The More the Merrier

  • Jul 19, 2018
    I've fallen in love with Jean Arthur. She is funny, cute, romantic, and utterly charming in this film. Her hair and outfits are exquisite. The way she moves her body is so endearing, in everything from getting out of a car, to skipping around her apartment in madcap moments, to dancing. I love the little squeak in her voice and the fact that she was 43 when this film was made. Her reaction to being kissed on the neck on the steps outside, my god. What an incredibly steamy scene. Oh yeah, and Joel McCrea was great too. :) He plays his part with a perfect touch, drawing on the seriousness of wartime, goofing around with Charles Coburn, and unable to stop a growing attraction to Arthur, but at the same time, with a degree of understatement and reserve. He's a gentleman, but damn, those hands and his moves in that scene on the steps. Did I mention that scene? Another great one is when he gives her a fancy travel bag and then shows her all of its various features - they are both just so natural, and one feels their interest in each other simmering in their terrible nearness. He accidentally marks his nose sniffing a makeup container, and it was quite clever of director George Stevens to leave it on his face for as long as he did. I also loved when they both secretly hoped her fiancé (Richard Gaines) wouldn't call by 8 pm, so that they could go out together instead. Charles Coburn is quite a character in this film as well, impish and bold, while cleverly playing matchmaker between the two. The banter between Coburn and McCrea is as good as the banter each have with Arthur. Coburn's performance was worthy of the best supporting actor Oscar he won. Stevens has a great sense of flow, balances the comedic and romantic elements perfectly, and gives us lots of little eye candy on top of it. The wartime song at the end was a nice touch too. Highly recommended.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 02, 2014
    This was likely done to distract folks from the War but it actually is quite good. I found the chemistry between Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea to be excellent. It's funny...I don't know if I have ever encountered this crew on another picture. You figure they would have shown their value with this effort.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • May 15, 2012
    George Stevens' comic war-at-home tale about the housing and man shortage in Washington D.C. that works principally because of the chemistry of its cast, particularly Charles Coburn as a businessman turned Cupid. Joel McCrea is the standard stalwart male lead, and Jean Arthur is wonderful as the woman whose friendship is more important than how she looks. Some nice screwball bits in here.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 28, 2012
    This was just hilarious. If you like classic comedies then this must be on your watch list. At first I was thinking of giving this a low review but it started to pick up towards the end. Once I decided to rate this online I found out that it was nominated for best picture at Oscars. Man I'm good. The plot to this was good and it seemed as if it was difficult to come up with. The idea that one guy plays Cupid towards a couple was genius. It doesn't sound that hard to think up but the events that lead toward the end result where the parts that are hard to think up when writing. I also really enjoyed the acting. I seemed to switch back and forth from funny acting to serious acting. That's not a bad part but not so good either. That part at the end where Joe Carter walked into Connie Milligain's room just hit me. How did he get in their if there was a wall separating them. You have to watch this to find out that's if you haven't already.
    Eduardo T Super Reviewer

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