The Talk of the Town Reviews

  • Aug 20, 2020

    Nice comedy-drama, a much better film than the more famous Grant/Arthur collaboration Only Angels Have Wings.

    Nice comedy-drama, a much better film than the more famous Grant/Arthur collaboration Only Angels Have Wings.

  • Aug 20, 2020

    Wow, what a boring movie. It starts out promising, and I'm a Jean Arthur fan, and Cary Grant's usually good (and here his character he plays is just fine), but GOD this was like 4 hours of my life gone - and the movie's under 2. This movie just doesn't work; not as a comedy, not as social commentary, and certainly not in the romance department. A total and complete DUD. Do yourself a favor and avoid this mess.

    Wow, what a boring movie. It starts out promising, and I'm a Jean Arthur fan, and Cary Grant's usually good (and here his character he plays is just fine), but GOD this was like 4 hours of my life gone - and the movie's under 2. This movie just doesn't work; not as a comedy, not as social commentary, and certainly not in the romance department. A total and complete DUD. Do yourself a favor and avoid this mess.

  • Jul 22, 2020

    Not as fun as it should be but the cast makes up for the script.

    Not as fun as it should be but the cast makes up for the script.

  • May 10, 2020

    A boring crime movie about a man falsely accused. The first half hour or so was pretty funny, after that and esp at the end discussing the case it became extremely tedious and outlandish. We are supposed to believe that this man is framed by this wealthy guy, while his crony pretends to be dead when he really is hiding in another city, and that this is all some insurance fraud scheme with a crooked judge in the wealthy guys pocket-yea rite. Its kind of a romantic comedy as well, but not that romantic. The lead lady has to choose btw the 2 leading men, one who is book-smart and has a distinguished career as supreme court judge and the other someone she's known for years who she has more chemistry with and who makes her laugh. Idk overall I thought the film was very boring and I didn't really care who she chose. You know that the innocent man is going to get off in the end. Cary Grant does his typical dry sarcastic humor. The actors try their best but have little to work with.

    A boring crime movie about a man falsely accused. The first half hour or so was pretty funny, after that and esp at the end discussing the case it became extremely tedious and outlandish. We are supposed to believe that this man is framed by this wealthy guy, while his crony pretends to be dead when he really is hiding in another city, and that this is all some insurance fraud scheme with a crooked judge in the wealthy guys pocket-yea rite. Its kind of a romantic comedy as well, but not that romantic. The lead lady has to choose btw the 2 leading men, one who is book-smart and has a distinguished career as supreme court judge and the other someone she's known for years who she has more chemistry with and who makes her laugh. Idk overall I thought the film was very boring and I didn't really care who she chose. You know that the innocent man is going to get off in the end. Cary Grant does his typical dry sarcastic humor. The actors try their best but have little to work with.

  • Dec 02, 2019

    This feels more like the warm up for The More the Merrier (1943) than anything as it is severely lacking in the charm and humor of that later effort while feeling about twenty minutes too long. It has many similarities to The Philadelphia Story (1940), a previous Cary Grant vehicle, but I was never quite taken in by it and because it wasn't as entertaining as The More the Merrier I was less willing to forgive it's lack of originality. There are certainly worse films out there and nobody will be too frustrated while watching the film but it's not deserving of the praise it received and left me with a negative impression after first watching it. Kind schoolteacher Nora Shelley, Jean Arthur, is shocked when her former classmate Leopold Dilg, Cary Grant, who has been accused of burning down a mill that caused a death and escaped from prison during his trial arrives at her house in the hope of hiding from the police. She makes her best efforts to hide him in her attic as famed lawyer Michael Lightcap, Ronald Colman, who she has rented her house out to arrives early. While the two initially clash they grow closer when he hires her as an assistant and he starts to appreciate her attentiveness. Dilg reveals himself due to his desire for food and he and Lightcap strike up a friendship with Lightcap attempting to have him cleared of any guilt when he learns of his real identity. Their burgeoning friendship is damaged by the fact that they are both besotted with Shelley and the people in town are angry at Dilg and repeatedly attacking him for the crime he is suspected of and his radical politics. The film's opening ten minutes set it up as an entertaining farce featuring Grant improbably cast as a potential arsonist, Arthur as her usual friendly gal and Colman as an uptight but intelligent Brit. Sadly the film fails to go anywhere particularly interesting from this moment on as we spend our time following the characters telling the same jokes to diminishing effect and are left with an unsatisfactory ending. I wanted the film to really dig into the ridiculousness of the situation as while we see various characters held at gunpoint and there are plenty of misunderstandings that create innuendo I didn't find it quite wacky enough. We are meant to be left in tears by Grant's reaction shots to the sound of Arthur providing her new employer with eggs or his spirited conversations with Colman over legal ethics. Perhaps if the film had indulged in some of it's darker themes I would have liked it better but no, the film chose to play it goofy and despite the involvement of murder there are no sick thrills to be drawn from the over plotted narrative. Unfortunately the performances were also lacking as Arthur, usually such a reliable presence, is given little to work with and does not have the pizazz and fresh exuberance that she injects into her best roles. Most of this lies in how poor the screenplay is as even a comedienne as great as Arthur cannot make all of the squawking and squealing she is asked to do charming. I do not expect much from Grant at this point as despite his stellar reputation I have realized that I just don't enjoy him as a screen presence as I don't find him to be particularly suave or funny. He has lacked chemistry with each of the female leads I have seen him work with and while I would say that Arthur has more going for her in this film than Loretta Young in The Bishop's Wife (1947) she can't carry Grant in all of his smugness. Colman probably fares the best of the three as his posh British chap act is enough for him to pass as a comedic actor but towards the end of the film, when it falls into treacly melodrama, he becomes a big puddle of mush that is utterly undistinguishable from the rest of the film. No, I wouldn't recommend watching this film as it is another mediocre entry in the fairly awful 1942 Best Picture lineup.

    This feels more like the warm up for The More the Merrier (1943) than anything as it is severely lacking in the charm and humor of that later effort while feeling about twenty minutes too long. It has many similarities to The Philadelphia Story (1940), a previous Cary Grant vehicle, but I was never quite taken in by it and because it wasn't as entertaining as The More the Merrier I was less willing to forgive it's lack of originality. There are certainly worse films out there and nobody will be too frustrated while watching the film but it's not deserving of the praise it received and left me with a negative impression after first watching it. Kind schoolteacher Nora Shelley, Jean Arthur, is shocked when her former classmate Leopold Dilg, Cary Grant, who has been accused of burning down a mill that caused a death and escaped from prison during his trial arrives at her house in the hope of hiding from the police. She makes her best efforts to hide him in her attic as famed lawyer Michael Lightcap, Ronald Colman, who she has rented her house out to arrives early. While the two initially clash they grow closer when he hires her as an assistant and he starts to appreciate her attentiveness. Dilg reveals himself due to his desire for food and he and Lightcap strike up a friendship with Lightcap attempting to have him cleared of any guilt when he learns of his real identity. Their burgeoning friendship is damaged by the fact that they are both besotted with Shelley and the people in town are angry at Dilg and repeatedly attacking him for the crime he is suspected of and his radical politics. The film's opening ten minutes set it up as an entertaining farce featuring Grant improbably cast as a potential arsonist, Arthur as her usual friendly gal and Colman as an uptight but intelligent Brit. Sadly the film fails to go anywhere particularly interesting from this moment on as we spend our time following the characters telling the same jokes to diminishing effect and are left with an unsatisfactory ending. I wanted the film to really dig into the ridiculousness of the situation as while we see various characters held at gunpoint and there are plenty of misunderstandings that create innuendo I didn't find it quite wacky enough. We are meant to be left in tears by Grant's reaction shots to the sound of Arthur providing her new employer with eggs or his spirited conversations with Colman over legal ethics. Perhaps if the film had indulged in some of it's darker themes I would have liked it better but no, the film chose to play it goofy and despite the involvement of murder there are no sick thrills to be drawn from the over plotted narrative. Unfortunately the performances were also lacking as Arthur, usually such a reliable presence, is given little to work with and does not have the pizazz and fresh exuberance that she injects into her best roles. Most of this lies in how poor the screenplay is as even a comedienne as great as Arthur cannot make all of the squawking and squealing she is asked to do charming. I do not expect much from Grant at this point as despite his stellar reputation I have realized that I just don't enjoy him as a screen presence as I don't find him to be particularly suave or funny. He has lacked chemistry with each of the female leads I have seen him work with and while I would say that Arthur has more going for her in this film than Loretta Young in The Bishop's Wife (1947) she can't carry Grant in all of his smugness. Colman probably fares the best of the three as his posh British chap act is enough for him to pass as a comedic actor but towards the end of the film, when it falls into treacly melodrama, he becomes a big puddle of mush that is utterly undistinguishable from the rest of the film. No, I wouldn't recommend watching this film as it is another mediocre entry in the fairly awful 1942 Best Picture lineup.

  • May 05, 2019

    The best courtroom comedy romance movie ever made!

    The best courtroom comedy romance movie ever made!

  • Oct 20, 2018

    Watch this just to see how fast Jean Arthur can talk.

    Watch this just to see how fast Jean Arthur can talk.

  • Antonius B Super Reviewer
    May 25, 2018

    A strong cast with two leading men, comedic moments, and intelligent commentary on justice in America all make this a very good film. Cary Grant is a man in jail in a small town on trumped up arson charges, and Ronald Colman is an eminent legal mind who is just arriving there to work on a book. Grant escapes to the home of his old friend Jean Arthur, and Colman shows up the same night to begin renting it from her. Grant is hidden away in the attic for awhile, but soon strikes up a friendship with Colman while pretending to be Arthur's gardener, and the pair engage in some interesting debates on justice and the law. Colman represents the viewpoint of the dispassionate letter of the law, while Grant cautions that such thought is too idealistic for the way justice is often administered. As a mob has been whipped up into a frenzy against him by the local corrupt businessman whose factory burned down, he ought to know. Grant and Colman are given equal chance to charm us and shine, and they do. Arthur more than keeps up them, delivering her lines so naturally, and she's delightful. The film keeps us guessing as to who she may end up with, as both men are attractive in their own way. I loved seeing a little bit of darkness and danger in Grant here, as well as moments of charm, such as when he widens his eye and assures Arthur that they won't recognize him from the photograph on a Wanted poster, because they hadn't captured his spirit. The film gets a little heavy-handed in some of its messaging as the film plays out, but I was swayed by just how relevant it is in the times of today's populism. The danger of the mob being manipulated by someone who is corrupt (how can one not think of 'lock her up' while watching that today?), the danger of rushing to judgment instead of listening to the facts and the evidence, and the need to fight for principles were certainly appropriate in 1942, but they're also timeless. Rex Ingram is strong as Colman's servant, including a moment where he gets choked up watching Colman shave off his beard. It seemed a rather odd to me at the time, but since it means Colman is going to fight for justice in this particular case, going against the mob, it may be that Ingram relates this to countless mobs lynching African-Americans, with no one standing up for them. The film has a few moments where you have to suspend disbelief, but I enjoyed it for its intelligence, and added dimension to what otherwise would have been a standard comedy or romantic comedy. It's a film that will charm you one moment, and make you think the next, and that's not bad. Here's a quote from Colman's speech to the mob: "This is your law and your finest possession - it makes you free men in a free country. Why have you come here to destroy it? If you know what's good for you, take those weapons home and burn them! And then think... think of this country and of the law that makes it what it is. Think of a world crying for this very law! And maybe you'll understand why you ought to guard it. Why the law has got to be the personal concern of every citizen. To uphold it for your neighbor as well as yourself. Violence against it is one mistake. Another mistake is for any man to look upon the law as just a set of principles. And just so much language printed on fine, heavy paper. Something he recites and then leans back and takes it for granted that justice is automatically being done. Both kinds of men are equally wrong! The law must be engraved in our hearts and practiced every minute to the letter and spirit. It can't even exist unless we're willing to go down into the dust and blood and fight a battle every day of our lives to preserve it. For our neighbor as well as ourself!" Hallelujah.

    A strong cast with two leading men, comedic moments, and intelligent commentary on justice in America all make this a very good film. Cary Grant is a man in jail in a small town on trumped up arson charges, and Ronald Colman is an eminent legal mind who is just arriving there to work on a book. Grant escapes to the home of his old friend Jean Arthur, and Colman shows up the same night to begin renting it from her. Grant is hidden away in the attic for awhile, but soon strikes up a friendship with Colman while pretending to be Arthur's gardener, and the pair engage in some interesting debates on justice and the law. Colman represents the viewpoint of the dispassionate letter of the law, while Grant cautions that such thought is too idealistic for the way justice is often administered. As a mob has been whipped up into a frenzy against him by the local corrupt businessman whose factory burned down, he ought to know. Grant and Colman are given equal chance to charm us and shine, and they do. Arthur more than keeps up them, delivering her lines so naturally, and she's delightful. The film keeps us guessing as to who she may end up with, as both men are attractive in their own way. I loved seeing a little bit of darkness and danger in Grant here, as well as moments of charm, such as when he widens his eye and assures Arthur that they won't recognize him from the photograph on a Wanted poster, because they hadn't captured his spirit. The film gets a little heavy-handed in some of its messaging as the film plays out, but I was swayed by just how relevant it is in the times of today's populism. The danger of the mob being manipulated by someone who is corrupt (how can one not think of 'lock her up' while watching that today?), the danger of rushing to judgment instead of listening to the facts and the evidence, and the need to fight for principles were certainly appropriate in 1942, but they're also timeless. Rex Ingram is strong as Colman's servant, including a moment where he gets choked up watching Colman shave off his beard. It seemed a rather odd to me at the time, but since it means Colman is going to fight for justice in this particular case, going against the mob, it may be that Ingram relates this to countless mobs lynching African-Americans, with no one standing up for them. The film has a few moments where you have to suspend disbelief, but I enjoyed it for its intelligence, and added dimension to what otherwise would have been a standard comedy or romantic comedy. It's a film that will charm you one moment, and make you think the next, and that's not bad. Here's a quote from Colman's speech to the mob: "This is your law and your finest possession - it makes you free men in a free country. Why have you come here to destroy it? If you know what's good for you, take those weapons home and burn them! And then think... think of this country and of the law that makes it what it is. Think of a world crying for this very law! And maybe you'll understand why you ought to guard it. Why the law has got to be the personal concern of every citizen. To uphold it for your neighbor as well as yourself. Violence against it is one mistake. Another mistake is for any man to look upon the law as just a set of principles. And just so much language printed on fine, heavy paper. Something he recites and then leans back and takes it for granted that justice is automatically being done. Both kinds of men are equally wrong! The law must be engraved in our hearts and practiced every minute to the letter and spirit. It can't even exist unless we're willing to go down into the dust and blood and fight a battle every day of our lives to preserve it. For our neighbor as well as ourself!" Hallelujah.

  • Mar 01, 2018

    Cheap theatrics, a rushed climax and cliches weakened the ending in this one. It seemed like it couldn't decide if it wanted to be a comedy or a drama. I did enjoy the "tyranny of the mob" and the SCOTUS business though. It looked like it was legitimately filmed in the SCOTUS too.

    Cheap theatrics, a rushed climax and cliches weakened the ending in this one. It seemed like it couldn't decide if it wanted to be a comedy or a drama. I did enjoy the "tyranny of the mob" and the SCOTUS business though. It looked like it was legitimately filmed in the SCOTUS too.

  • Oct 09, 2016

    Comedy with serious undertones and nicely observed characters from George Stevens - who seems to be channelling Frank Capra with Jean Arthur in the lead and a story about "the law" and how it needs to serve the people rather than lofty principles. Cary Grant stumbles into Jean's life and the cottage she is about to rent out to Dean of the Law School Ronald Colman, he's on the lam after escaping prison, falsely accused of burning down a factory. The factory owner has the town in his back pocket and he's railroading the case with a handpicked judge and jury. Grant and his lawyer lean on Colman to assist, but he's too principled to get involved in a local case...until his fondness for Grant and Arthur both win him over and he shaves off his beard and gets his hands dirty. It works because we too grow fond of these characters, even if the larger themes are a bit garbled; Capra handled complicated issues better by ramping up the sentimentality and distilling the arguments to their simplest points, also throwing in quirky supporting players. Stevens hits it right down the middle which is satisfying but it doesn't go out of the park.

    Comedy with serious undertones and nicely observed characters from George Stevens - who seems to be channelling Frank Capra with Jean Arthur in the lead and a story about "the law" and how it needs to serve the people rather than lofty principles. Cary Grant stumbles into Jean's life and the cottage she is about to rent out to Dean of the Law School Ronald Colman, he's on the lam after escaping prison, falsely accused of burning down a factory. The factory owner has the town in his back pocket and he's railroading the case with a handpicked judge and jury. Grant and his lawyer lean on Colman to assist, but he's too principled to get involved in a local case...until his fondness for Grant and Arthur both win him over and he shaves off his beard and gets his hands dirty. It works because we too grow fond of these characters, even if the larger themes are a bit garbled; Capra handled complicated issues better by ramping up the sentimentality and distilling the arguments to their simplest points, also throwing in quirky supporting players. Stevens hits it right down the middle which is satisfying but it doesn't go out of the park.