No Time for Comedy

No Time for Comedy

Director: William Keighley

Cast: James Stewart, Rosalind Russell, Genevieve Tobin

     
 
S.N. Behrman's hit Broadway show about a guy who writes hit Broadway shows comes to the screen in this comedy. Gaylord Esterbrook (James Stewart) is a reporter from Minnesota who writes a play about life in New York City -- a place he's never visited. To his surprise, a Big Apple producer wants to stage Gaylord's show and asks him to come to New York immediately.

Overview

S.N. Behrman's hit Broadway show about a guy who writes hit Broadway shows comes to the screen in this comedy. Gaylord Esterbrook (James Stewart) is a reporter from Minnesota who writes a play about life in New York City -- a place he's never visited. To his surprise, a Big Apple producer wants to stage Gaylord's show and asks him to come to New York immediately. While Gaylord hardly seems like a Big City sophisticate, his regular-guy charm makes a big impression on leading lady Linda (Rosalind Russell), who is tired of jaded braggarts like her director, Morgan (Allyn Joslyn). Gaylord and Linda get married, and he becomes one of the most successful playwrights in town, but his new popularity goes to his head, and Linda wonders what happened to the man she married. However, Gaylord's career takes a turn for the worse when he meets Amanda (Genevieve Tobin), a snooty high society type who convinces him that he ought to be writing the Great American Tragedy instead of crowd-pleasing comedies.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
No Time for Comedy brings together James Stewart and Rosalind Russell and then has no idea what to do with them. This seems to be a classic example of casting a "name" player, in this case Stewart, simply because he is a name and not because he is right for the part in question. Stewart, as a matter of fact, was so far off that the character was substantially rewritten. A new beginning was added that gave a backstory to the character -- simple, innocent guy from the midwest conquers Broadway with sophisticated comedy -- that is appropriate to Stewart but louses up the feel of the material. It makes the audience feel at ease with Stewart, the down-home, reg'lar fella -- and thus makes the audience feel uncomfortable and at sea when Stewart begins behaving like an ass (and one that drinks too much, to boot). Comedy creates a war between what the audience expects and what it gets; if that had been the intention, it could have made for an interesting, exciting and incisive picture, rather than one that just feels confused. Russell doesn't have the same problem with her part that Stewart does with his, but she doesn't bring the fire and flair to the part that she could have. She's a little stiff, and while this doesn't damage the film terribly, it is a bit disappointing. Charlie Ruggles and Allyn Joslyn are quite good. Louise Beavers does very well in an embarrassing role, while Genevieve Tobin is far too mannered and artificial in a role that requires much more skillful playing. Much of the wit from the original play remains, and there are quite a few scenes that are very effective. These prove that No Time for Comedy could have been a superior film, rather than a muddled one which manages to be only moderately entertaining.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/24/2013
UPC:
0883316812716
Original Release:
1940
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
52,994

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Stewart Gaylord Esterbrook
Rosalind Russell Linda Esterbrook
Genevieve Tobin Amanda Swift
Charlie Ruggles Philo Swift
Allyn Joslyn Morgan Carrel
Louise Beavers Clementine
Clarence Kolb Richard Bensen
J.M. Kerrigan Jim
Robert Greig Robert
Frank Faylen Cab Driver
Lawrence Grossmith Frank
Herbert Anderson Actor
James Burke Sergeant
Edgar Dearing Sweeney
Herbert Heywood Doorman
Arthur Houseman Drunk Wanting Directions
Olaf Hytten Swift's Butler
Selmar Jackson First-Nighter
Robert E. O'Connor Desk Sergeant
John Ridgely Cashier
Nella Walker Theatregoer
Pierre Watkin Theatregoer

Technical Credits
William Keighley Director
Julius J. Epstein Screenwriter
Philip G. Epstein Screenwriter
Leo F. Forbstein Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Ernest Haller Cinematographer
Robert Lord Associate Producer
Owen Marks Editor
Orry-Kelly Costumes/Costume Designer
Heinz Roemheld Score Composer
Hal B. Wallis Producer
Jack L. Warner Producer

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >