Contents 1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Production 4 Critical reception 5 DVD release 6 References 7 External links

Plot[edit] During a cross-country lecture tour, notoriously-acerbic New York radio personality Sheridan Whiteside (Monty Woolley) slips on the icy steps of the house of the Stanleys (Grant Mitchell and Billie Burke), a prominent Ohio family, and insists on recuperating in their home during the Christmas holidays. The overbearing, self-centered celebrity soon comes to dominate the lives of the residents and everyone else who enters the household. He encourages young adults Richard (Russell Arms) and June (Elisabeth Fraser) Stanley to pursue their dreams, much to the dismay of their conventional father Ernest. Meanwhile, Whiteside's spinster assistant Maggie Cutler (Bette Davis) finds herself attracted to local newspaperman Bert Jefferson (Richard Travis). When she reads Bert's play, she is so impressed she asks Whiteside to show it to his contacts and then announces she will quit his employment and marry Bert. However, her boss is loath to lose such an efficient aide and does his best to sabotage the blossoming romance. He also exaggerates the effects of his injuries to be able to stay in the house. He suggests actress Lorraine Sheldon (Ann Sheridan) would be perfect for one of the leading roles, intending to have her steal Bert away from Maggie. Lorraine convinces Bert to spend time with her to fix up the play. When Maggie realizes Whiteside is behind the underhanded scheme, she quits. Somewhat chastened, Whiteside concocts a plan to get Lorraine out of the way, with the help of his friend Banjo (Jimmy Durante). They trap Lorraine in an Egyptian sarcophagus, and Banjo ships her off to Nova Scotia. Finally fed up with Whiteside's shenanigans, insults, and unbearable personality, and realizing that he has been "faking" his injuries for quite some time, Mr. Stanley orders him to leave. Before he does, Whiteside blackmails him into allowing his children to do as they please by threatening to reveal Stanley's sister Harriet's past as an infamous axe murderess. As Whiteside departs, he falls on the icy steps again and is carried back inside, much to Stanley's consternation.

Cast[edit] Bette Davis as Maggie Cutler Ann Sheridan as Lorraine Sheldon Monty Woolley as Sheridan Whiteside            Richard Travis as Bert Jefferson Jimmy Durante as Banjo Billie Burke as Mrs. Ernest Stanley (Daisy) Reginald Gardiner as Beverly Carlton Elisabeth Fraser as June Stanley Grant Mitchell as Mr. Ernest Stanley George Barbier as Dr. Bradley Mary Wickes as Miss Preen Russell Arms as Richard Stanley Ruth Vivian as Harriet Edwin Stanley as John Betty Roadman as Sarah Charles Drake as Sandy Nanette Vallon as Cosette John Ridgely as Radio Man Uncredited (in order of appearance) Dudley Dickerson...Porter at Train Station Patrick McVey...Harry, the Baggage Clerk Roland Drew...Reporter Ernie Adams...Michaelson Leslie Brooks...Hollywood Blonde Georgia Carroll...Hollywood Blonde Bess Flowers...Fan at Train Station Florence Wix...Fan at Train Station Leah Baird...Fan at Train Station Lottie Williams...Fan at Train Station Sol Gorss...Chauffeur Beal Wong...Chinese Guest Kam Tong...Chinese Guest Creighton Hale...Radio Man Hank Mann...Expressman Eddy Chandler...Guard Fred Kelsey...Detective Frank Mayo...Plainclothesman Jack Mower...Plainclothesman Alix Talton...Chorus Girl Frank Moran...Haggerty Cast notes Monty Woolley, Ruth Vivian, and Mary Wickes reprised their roles from the original Broadway production.[4] In an uncredited bit part, a nearly unseen Gig Young, in his distinctive voice, has one line, "How's the ice?", in the after-skating scene, about 26 minutes into the film.[5] Mary Wickes, who reprised her role from the stage, was making her screen debut in this film.[6] Also making his screen debut was Russell Arms.[6]

Production[edit] Bette Davis in the film's trailer Four of the leading characters are based on real-life personalities. Sheridan Whiteside was inspired by celebrated critic and Algonquin Round Table member Alexander Woollcott, who eventually played the role on stage; Lorraine Sheldon, by musical stage actress Gertrude Lawrence; Beverly Carlton, by playwright and renowned wit Noël Coward; and Banjo, by Harpo Marx.[7][8] When Bette Davis saw the Broadway production of The Man Who Came to Dinner, she decided the role of Maggie Cutler would be a refreshing change of pace following her heavily dramatic role in The Little Foxes. She urged Jack L. Warner to purchase the screen rights for herself and John Barrymore. He tested for the role of Whiteside but was deemed unsuitable when, as a result of his heavy drinking, he had difficulty delivering the complicated, fast-paced dialogue, even with his lines posted on cue cards throughout the set.[7] Both Charles Laughton and Orson Welles, who wanted to direct the film, campaigned for the role, and Laird Cregar and Robert Benchley made screen tests; but executive producer Hal B. Wallis thought the former was "overblown and extravagant" and the latter "too mild mannered." Warner suggested Cary Grant, but Wallis felt he was "far too young and attractive." Although Monty Woolley, who had created the role on the Broadway stage, was not familiar to movie audiences, Wallis finally cast him in the role, despite Warner's concern that the actor's homosexuality would be obvious on screen.[8] Orson Welles played the role many years later in a television adaptation of the play. Bette Davis was unhappy with the casting of Woolley. In later years, she observed, "I felt the film was not directed in a very imaginative way. For me, it was not a happy film to make; that it was a success, of course, did make me happy. I guess I never got over my disappointment in not working with the great John Barrymore."[7]

Critical reception[edit] Bosley Crowther of The New York Times observed, "Any one who happened to miss the original acid-throwing antic on the stage – and any one, for that matter, who happened not to have missed it – should pop around, by all means, and catch the cinematic reprise. For here, in the space of something like an hour and fifty-two minutes, is compacted what is unquestionably the most vicious but hilarious cat-clawing exhibition ever put on the screen, a deliciously wicked character portrait and a helter-skelter satire, withal." He added, "Woolley makes The Man Who Came to Dinner a rare old goat. His zest for rascality is delightful, he spouts alliterations as though he were spitting out orange seeds, and his dynamic dudgeons in a wheelchair are even mightier than those of Lionel Barrymore. A more entertaining buttinsky could hardly be conceived, and a less entertaining one would be murdered on the spot. One palm should be handed Bette Davis for accepting the secondary role of the secretary, and another palm should be handed her for playing it so moderately and well." In conclusion, he said, "The picture as a whole is a bit too long and internally complex for 100 per cent comprehension, considering the speed at which it clips. But even if you don't catch all of it, you're sure to get your money's worth. It makes laughing at famous people a most satisfying delight."[9] Variety made note of the "superb casting and nifty work by every member of the company" and thought the "only detracting angle in the entire film is [the] slowness of the first quarter. [The] portion in which the characters are being built up, before the complications of the story actually begin, is overlong."[2] Time stated, "Woolley plays Sheridan Whiteside with such vast authority and competence that it is difficult to imagine anyone else attempting it" and added, "Although there is hardly room for the rest of the cast to sandwich in much of a performance between this fattest of fat parts, Bette Davis, hair up, neuroses gone, is excellent as Woolley's lovesick secretary."[8] Time Out London said, "It's rather unimaginatively directed, but the performers savour the sharp, sparklingly cynical dialogue with glee."[10] Monty Woolley was nominated for a New York Film Critics Circle Award in 1942 for Best Actor.[11]

DVD release[edit] Warner Home Video released the Region 1 DVD on May 30, 2006. The film has an English audio track and subtitles in English, Spanish, and French. Bonus features include The Man Who Came to Dinner: Inside a Classic Comedy, the Joe McDoakes comedy short So You Think You Need Glasses, the musical short Six Hits and a Miss, and the original theatrical trailer.

References[edit] Notes ^ "101 Pix Gross in Millions" Variety 6 Jan 1943 p 58 ^ a b Variety film review; January 7, 1942, page 44. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; December 27, 1941, page 206. ^ "The Man Who Came to Dinner" on ^ ^ a b The Man Who Came to Dinner at the TCM Movie Database ^ a b c Stine, Whitney, and Davis, Bette, Mother Goddam: The Story of the Career of Bette Davis. New York: Hawthorn Books 1974. ISBN 0-8015-5184-6, pp. 153-154 ^ a b c Passafiume, Andrea. The Man Who Came to Dinner" on ^ New York Times review ^ Time Out London review ^ "".  Further reading Wallis, Hal B. and Higham, Charles, Starmaker: The Autobiography of Hal Wallis. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company 1980. ISBN 0-02-623170-0

External links[edit] Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Man Who Came to Dinner (film). The Man Who Came to Dinner at the American Film Institute Catalog The Man Who Came to Dinner on IMDb The Man Who Came to Dinner at the TCM Movie Database The Man Who Came to Dinner at AllMovie v t e Films directed by William Keighley The Match King (1932) Ladies They Talk About (1933) Easy to Love (1934) Journal of a Crime (1934) Big Hearted Herbert (1934) Kansas City Princess (1934) Dr. Monica (1934) Babbitt (1934) The Right to Live (1935) G Men (1935) Mary Jane's Pa (1935) Special Agent (1935) Stars Over Broadway (1935) The Singing Kid (1936) Bullets or Ballots (1936) The Green Pastures (1936) God's Country and the Woman (1937) The Prince and the Pauper (1937) Varsity Show (1937) The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) Valley of the Giants (1938) Secrets of an Actress (1938) Brother Rat (1938) Yes, My Darling Daughter (1939) Each Dawn I Die (1939) The Fighting 69th (1940) Torrid Zone (1940) No Time for Comedy (1940) Four Mothers (1941) The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941) The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942) George Washington Slept Here (1942) Target for Today (1944) Honeymoon (1947) The Street with No Name (1948) Rocky Mountain (1950) Close to My Heart (1951) The Master of Ballantrae (1953) Retrieved from "" Categories: 1942 filmsEnglish-language films1940s comedy filmsAmerican filmsAmerican screwball comedy filmsAmerican black-and-white filmsFilms based on playsFilms directed by William KeighleyFilms set in OhioWarner Bros. filmsScreenplays by Julius J. EpsteinScreenplays by Philip G. Epstein

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William KeighleyJerry WaldJulius J. EpsteinPhilip G. EpsteinThe Man Who Came To DinnerMoss HartGeorge S. KaufmanBette DavisAnn SheridanMonty WoolleyFriedrich HollaenderTony GaudioWarner Bros.Comedy FilmWilliam KeighleyBette DavisAnn SheridanMonty WoolleyJulius J. EpsteinPhilip G. EpsteinThe Man Who Came To DinnerMoss HartGeorge S. KaufmanJimmy DuranteBillie BurkeMonty WoolleyGrant Mitchell (actor)Billie BurkeOhioChristmasRussell ArmsElisabeth FraserBette DavisRichard Travis (actor)Ann SheridanJimmy DuranteSarcophagusNova ScotiaBette DavisAnn SheridanMonty WoolleyRichard Travis (actor)Jimmy DuranteBillie BurkeReginald GardinerElisabeth FraserGrant Mitchell (actor)George Barbier (actor)Mary WickesRussell ArmsEdwin StanleyCharles Drake (actor)John RidgelyDudley DickersonPatrick McVeyRoland DrewErnie Adams (actor)Leslie BrooksGeorgia CarrollBess FlowersFlorence WixLeah BairdLottie WilliamsSol GorssBeal WongKam TongCreighton HaleHank MannEddy ChandlerFred KelseyFrank Mayo (actor)Jack MowerAlix TaltonFrank MoranBroadway TheatreBit PartGig YoungMary WickesRussell ArmsEnlargeAlgonquin Round TableAlexander WoollcottGertrude LawrenceNoël CowardHarpo MarxBette DavisBroadway TheatreThe Little Foxes (film)Jack L. WarnerJohn BarrymoreCue CardCharles LaughtonOrson WellesLaird CregarRobert BenchleyHal B. WallisCary GrantMonty WoolleyBette DavisJohn BarrymoreBosley CrowtherThe New York TimesLionel BarrymoreVariety (magazine)Time (magazine)Time Out LondonMonty WoolleyNew York Film Critics CircleWarner Home VideoJoe McDoakesVariety Film ReviewsHarrison's Reports And Film ReviewsIBDB.comTurner Classic MoviesInternational Standard Book NumberSpecial:BookSources/0-8015-5184-6TCM.comInternational Standard Book NumberSpecial:BookSources/0-02-623170-0AFI Catalog Of Feature FilmsIMDbTurner Classic MoviesAllMovieTemplate:William KeighleyTemplate Talk:William KeighleyWilliam KeighleyThe Match KingLadies They Talk AboutEasy To Love (1934 Film)Journal Of A CrimeBig Hearted HerbertKansas City PrincessDr. MonicaBabbitt (1934 Film)The Right To Live (1935 Film)G MenMary Jane's PaSpecial Agent (1935 Film)Stars Over BroadwayThe Singing KidBullets Or BallotsThe Green Pastures (film)God's Country And The WomanThe Prince And The Pauper (1937 Film)Varsity Show (film)The Adventures Of Robin HoodValley Of The Giants (film)Secrets Of An ActressBrother RatYes, My Darling Daughter (film)Each Dawn I DieThe Fighting 69thTorrid ZoneNo Time For ComedyFour MothersThe Bride Came C.O.D.George Washington Slept HereTarget For TodayHoneymoon (1947 Film)The Street With No NameRocky Mountain (film)Close To My HeartThe Master Of Ballantrae (1953 Film)Help:CategoryCategory:1942 FilmsCategory:English-language FilmsCategory:1940s Comedy FilmsCategory:American FilmsCategory:American Screwball Comedy FilmsCategory:American Black-and-white FilmsCategory:Films Based On PlaysCategory:Films Directed By William KeighleyCategory:Films Set In OhioCategory:Warner Bros. FilmsCategory:Screenplays By Julius J. EpsteinCategory:Screenplays By Philip G. EpsteinDiscussion About Edits From This IP Address [n]A List Of Edits Made From This IP Address [y]View The Content Page [c]Discussion About The Content Page [t]Edit This Page [e]Visit The Main Page [z]Guides To Browsing WikipediaFeatured Content – The Best Of WikipediaFind Background Information On Current EventsLoad A Random Article [x]Guidance On How To Use And Edit WikipediaFind Out About WikipediaAbout The Project, What You Can Do, Where To Find ThingsA List Of Recent Changes In The Wiki [r]List Of All English Wikipedia Pages Containing Links To This Page [j]Recent Changes In Pages Linked From This Page [k]Upload Files [u]A List Of All Special Pages [q]Wikipedia:AboutWikipedia:General Disclaimer

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