Cary and Irene (THE AWFUL TRUTH)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Irene and Cary team up for the first time in The Awful Truth

One of the earliest screwball comedies and one of the best is the 1937 classic, The Awful Truth, which paired Irene Dunne and Cary Grant for the very first time. It's no secret that I have always thought Cary and Irene made the best on screen couple. And Cary has worked with some of the top actresses in the world but he was never better than when paired with Dunnie. The plot of this film has Jerry and Lucy Warriner preparing to divorce and trying their best to ruin each other's chances of remarriage. As one of the early screwball comedies, Truth doesn't hold anything back. The dialogue is crisp and biting. Cary and Irene have wonderful chemistry in their first film together and Irene is positively firing on all cylinders. She is funny from the word go. I believe the great Katherine Hepburn had to have seen this film prior to making Bringing Up Baby and based her performance on what Irene did. She had too. Dunnie was just that good in Truth. The film moves at a brisk pace given the fact it's running time is 92 minutes and not one single second is wasted. In addition to Dunne and Grant, there is terrific support from Cecil Cunningham as Aunt Patsy and Ralph Bellamy in his typical role of the stand up guy. Also Asta the dog from The Thin Man series is a hoot as Mr. Smith. Expert direction from Leo McCarey, who won an Oscar for Best Director for his work here and he deserved it. So if you have never watched The Awful Truth, find it online or rent it or better yet buy it, because you will want to watch this film over and over again.

Jerry: I'm going out to get some popcorn and pink lemonade. I've just seen a three-ring circus.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Topper (1937) is a good screwball farce...

A fun-loving and handsome couple (Cary Grant, Constance Bennett) are killed when they smash their sporty roadster into a tree while returning from a bender. As ghosts in limbo, they decide that one good deed will send them to heaven, so they choose to enliven the life of their dull friend Topper (Roland Young) by showing him how to live as they did -- fast and loose. One of the best screwball comedies of the 1930's with the entire cast clicking on all cylinders. In addition to Grant, Bennett, and Young, look for the great Billie Burke as Mrs. Topper. She's a hoot as usual. Followed by two more entertaining sequels, Topper Takes A Trip (1938) and Topper Returns (1941).