The Man Who Came to Dinner

The Man Who Came to Dinner

DVD - 2006
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A radio celebrity and his secretary have dinner with a Midwestern family, but his lifestyle and friends upset their lives when he breaks his hip and has to stay to recuperate.
Publisher: Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, 2006
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (113 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in
Performers: Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan, Monty Woolley, Jimmy Durante, Richard Travis.
Audience: MPAA rating: Not rated
Language Note: In English with optional English, French, or Spanish subtitles
ISBN: 1419804944
UPC: 888574432515
Call Number: DVD M


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Jul 23, 2015

Director William Keighley’s screwball comedy certainly shows its Broadway roots with characters running in and out of doors or up and down staircases while the camera remains rooted for the most part in the elegantly spacious living room where Whiteside and his secretary Maggie affectionately lock horns. Although the producers were worried about Woolley’s homosexuality being “too obvious” on the screen his evocation of the portly quick-witted old harridan is pure comedy gold—besides, Reginald Gardiner’s portrayal of Beverly Carlton, Whiteside’s personal friend and worldly bon vivant (a character based on Woolley’s real life friend Cole Porter) is not only gay as a goose but his bitchy repartee proves to be one of the film’s many highlights. And then there’s the supporting cast of Jimmy Durante, Billie Burke, and Ann Sheridan—not to mention a handful of enthusiastic penguins and a truculent octopus—which keep nudging the storyline towards one goofy tangent or another. Keighley does seem to lose the reins towards the end however as the film’s manic momentum threatens to fly right off the rails turning a madcap ending into more of a madhouse. Thankfully the preceding mountain of giggles ensures that all is forgiven.


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