7.6/10
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The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)

Trailer
3:15 | Trailer
When acerbic critic Sheridan Whiteside slips on the front steps of a provincial Ohio businessman's home and breaks his hip, he and his entourage take over the house indefinitely.

Director:

William Keighley

Writers:

Julius J. Epstein (screen play), Philip G. Epstein (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bette Davis ... Maggie Cutler
Ann Sheridan ... Lorraine Sheldon
Monty Woolley ... Sheridan Whiteside
Richard Travis ... Bert Jefferson
Jimmy Durante ... Banjo
Billie Burke ... Mrs. Ernest W. Stanley aka Daisy
Reginald Gardiner ... Beverly Carlton
Elisabeth Fraser ... June Stanley
Grant Mitchell ... Mr. Ernest W. Stanley
George Barbier ... Dr. Bradley
Mary Wickes ... Miss Preen
Russell Arms ... Richard Stanley
Ruth Vivian Ruth Vivian ... Harriet Stanley
Edwin Stanley Edwin Stanley ... John
Betty Roadman Betty Roadman ... Sarah
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Storyline

Lecturer Sheridan Whiteside slips on the ice on his way into the home of a prominent Ohio family. The local doctor says Whiteside must remain confined having broken his leg. He begins to meddle with the lives of everyone in the household and, once his plots are underway, learns there is nothing wrong with his leg. He bribes the doctor and resumes control of the household. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Warner Bros. Happiest Hit. (Lobby cards). See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

24 January 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Came to Dinner See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,050,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Banjo is based on Harpo Marx. Sheridan Whiteside is based on noted theatre critic and personality Alexander Woollcott. See more »

Goofs

At one point in the film, Maggie Cutler goes to the window and comments on the snow falling outside. The falling snow is clearly visible outside the window. Then the camera goes to a medium shot, with all the windows visible, but from this angle, no snow is seen to be falling whatsoever. See more »

Quotes

Sheridan Whiteside: Stand back please... I have several contagious diseases.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Too Much, Too Soon (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(1818) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
Sung by a boys' choir
See more »

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User Reviews

Groucho-like Insults Worth Memorizing
13 December 2004 | by mrzeppoSee all my reviews

George S. Kaufman co-wrote this play-turned-film based on the real-life characters with whom he regularly associated. Alexander Woolcott, the famed Broadway critic was the inspiration for Sheridan Whiteside, a publicly loved figure who's private, curmudgeonly demeanor was less than idyllic. Kaufman even went so far as to have Whiteside occasionally sing jibberish with a child's speech impediment, which was a practice of Woolcott's.

Monty Wooley brilliantly delivers the Groucho-like insults penned with supreme wit by the Marxian play and film write. Kaufman, of course, co-wrote many of the Marx's best works and was a good friend of Harpo, upon whom the character "Banjo" is based.

The entire cast is brilliant save for Richard Travis who, while not distractingly bad, is somewhat outclassed by the likes of Bette Davis, Billie Burke, Mary Wickes, and Reginald Gardiner.

All in all, this is solid comedy that bears repeated seasonal viewing. I can't figure out why it's not on DVD. That's not true. I CAN figure it out. I doubt it would sell large numbers of copies given movie audiences' limited awareness of the film. What I meant was, I wish it were available on DVD.


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