The Awful Truth

( 7 )

Overview

Leo McCarey directed this classic screwball comedy in which Cary Grant and Irene Dunne play Jerry and Lucy Warriner, a couple whose marriage is starting to fall apart. Jerry informs Lucy that his doctor has ordered him to go to Florida to get some rest; instead, he holes up with his buddies and plays poker for a week (while sitting under a sun lamp so he'll have an appropriate tan). Lucy finds out that Jerry was never in Florida just as Jerry discovers that Lucy was spending her time with Armand Duvalle (Alex ...
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Overview

Leo McCarey directed this classic screwball comedy in which Cary Grant and Irene Dunne play Jerry and Lucy Warriner, a couple whose marriage is starting to fall apart. Jerry informs Lucy that his doctor has ordered him to go to Florida to get some rest; instead, he holes up with his buddies and plays poker for a week (while sitting under a sun lamp so he'll have an appropriate tan). Lucy finds out that Jerry was never in Florida just as Jerry discovers that Lucy was spending her time with Armand Duvalle (Alex D'Arcy), a handsome voice teacher. Both Jerry and Lucy believe the other was unfaithful, so they agree to a trial divorce, with a bitter battle fought over custody of Mr. Smith, the dog (Lucy gets the dog, but Jerry has visitation rights). Determined to make Jerry jealous, Lucy continues keeping company with Armand while also dating Daniel Leeson (Ralph Bellamy), a wealthy oil man from Texas. Convinced that turnabout is fair play, Jerry starts going out with Dixie Belle Lee (Joyce Compton), a brassy nightclub singer, as well as socialite Barbara Vance (Molly Lamont). However, Lucy has belatedly decided that she wants Jerry back, and she hatches a plan to win him back by making a spectacle of herself at a party. The Awful Truth was based on a play which had been filmed twice before, but McCarey gave his superb comic cast free reign to improvise and add new business, and the results were splendid; you haven't lived until you've heard Irene Dunne attempt to sing "Home on the Range."
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Digitally mastered audio & video; Full screen presentation; Remastered in high definition; Audio: English; Subtitles: English, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish; Bonus trailers; Interactive menus; Scene selections
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
One of the greatest screwball comedies of the thirties, The Awful Truth is arguably the archetypal example of this influential genre. The plot -- in which a gorgeous, sophisticated couple played by Cary Grant and Irene Dunne divorce, dabble with various Mr. and Miss Wrongs, and get back together again -- is the screwball formula distilled to its essence. Also exemplary are the film's opulent sets and costumes, and Grant's and Dunne's fabulously witty dialogue. Like the featured couple in most screwball comedies, Jerry and Lucy Warriner are made for each other, a fact reinforced mostly by their sublime bickering and the supporting characters' futile attempts to keep up with them. Based on a stage play by Arthur Richman that had been filmed twice before, Vina Delmar's script ably supplies the two stars with choice barbs, and Leo McCarey's confident direction keeps the action moving from set piece to hilarious set piece. Grant and Dunne are, unsurprisingly, brilliant as the warring Warriners, though special mention must also be made of some of the actors playing their hapless suitors: Ralph Bellamy as the hayseed Dan Leeson Bellamy would later play nearly the same role in Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday; Alexander d'Arcy as the hilariously insipid Armand Duvalle; and Joyce Compton as the incomparable Dixie Belle Lee. Nominated for six Oscars in 1938, the film walked away with only one, for McCarey. Mark Pittillo
All Movie Guide
One of the greatest screwball comedies of the thirties, The Awful Truth is arguably the archetypal example of this influential genre. The plot -- in which a gorgeous, sophisticated couple (played by Cary Grant and Irene Dunne) divorce, dabble with various Mr. and Miss Wrongs, and get back together again -- is the screwball formula distilled to its essence. Also exemplary are the film's opulent sets and costumes, and Grant's and Dunne's fabulously witty dialogue. Like the featured couple in most screwball comedies, Jerry and Lucy Warriner are made for each other, a fact reinforced mostly by their sublime bickering (and the supporting characters' futile attempts to keep up with them). Based on a stage play by Arthur Richman that had been filmed twice before, Vina Delmar's script ably supplies the two stars with choice barbs, and Leo McCarey's confident direction keeps the action moving from set piece to hilarious set piece. Grant and Dunne are, unsurprisingly, brilliant as the warring Warriners, though special mention must also be made of some of the actors playing their hapless suitors: Ralph Bellamy as the hayseed Dan Leeson (Bellamy would later play nearly the same role in Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday); Alexander d'Arcy as the hilariously insipid Armand Duvalle; and Joyce Compton as the incomparable Dixie Belle Lee. Nominated for six Oscars in 1938, the film walked away with only one, for McCarey.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/11/2003
  • UPC: 043396077638
  • Original Release: 1937
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:30:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 527

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cary Grant Jerry Warriner
Irene Dunne Lucy Warriner
Ralph Bellamy Daniel Leeson
Robert (Tex) Allen Frank Randall
Cecil Cunningham Aunt Patsy
Mary Forbes Mrs. Vance
Alex D'Arcy Armand Duvalle
Molly Lamont Barbara Vance
Esther Dale Mrs. Leeson
Joyce Compton Dixie Belle Lee
Claud Allister Lord Fabian
Zita Moulton Lady Fabian
Marguerite Churchill Barbara Vance
Bess Flowers Viola Heath
Ed Mortimer Lucy's Attorney
Edward Peil Sr. Bailiff
John Tyrrell Hank
Miki Morita Japanese Servant
Robert Warwick Mr. Vance
Edgar Dearing Motor Cop
Scott Colton Mr. Barnsley
Wyn Cahoon Mrs. Barnsley
Paul Stanton Judge
Al Bridge Motor Cop
Leonard Carey Butler
Byron Foulger Secretary
Bobby Watson Hotel Clerk
Frank Wilson M.C.
Mitchell Harris Jerry's Attorney
Vernon Dent Police Sergeant
George C. Pearce Caretaker
Technical Credits
Leo McCarey Director, Producer
Lionel Banks Art Director
Al Clark Editor
Vina Delmar Screenwriter
Milton Drake Songwriter
Stephen Goosson Art Director
Babs Johnstone Set Decoration/Design
Robert Kalloch Costumes/Costume Designer
Ben Oakland Score Composer, Songwriter
Everett J. Riskin Associate Producer
Morris W. Stoloff Musical Direction/Supervision
Joseph Walker Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [:59]
2. A Deep Florida Fan [1:26]
3. Yesterday's Mail [2:23]
4. "Armand's Car Broke Down" [4:40]
5. Great Offense Is A Great Defense [2:14]
6. Lucy's Divorce Lawyer [1:02]
7. Chancery Court [5:03]
8. Daniel Lesson, Stranger in Town [2:26]
9. Visiting Day [3:31]
10. Silly About Each Other [2:33]
11. Pardon His Intrusion [2:22]
12. Oklahoma Envy [1:41]
13. "My Dreams Are Gone With the Wind" [2:51]
14. Oklahoma Stomp [2:01]
15. "Home on the Range" [1:21]
16. A Little Business Proposition [1:34]
17. A Silly Story [2:44]
18. Jerry's Swell Reference [3:49]
19. A Poem for Lucy [3:21]
20. Crashing Lucy's Recital [1:55]
21. Daniel's Diploma [3:19]
22. Mr. Smith's Hat Trick [4:13]
23. Armand Hammered [2:14]
24. Barbara Vance, Madcap Heiress [5:19]
25. Crossed Wires [3:52]
26. Miss Lola Warriner [9:06]
27. "What Else Can Happen to Us?" [4:19]
28. An Innocent Night in the Country [8:05]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Subtitles
      English
      Japanese
      French/Français
      Spanish/Español
      Portuguese/Português
      Subtitles Off
   Scene Selections
   Trailers
      Born Yesterday
      It Happended One Night
      His Girl Friday
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Good!

    Cary Grant and Irene Dunne made I think about three movies together. My favorite is My Favorite Wife but my second favorite is The Awful Truth and I think it is very amusing and I loved the witty dalogue. Grant and Dunne had great chemistry together!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    At their best

    Fantastically funny duo that set the standard of comedic timing! A must have for all Grant/Dunn fans!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Lots of fun!

    A light and fluffy way to spend a couple of hours. A combination of wit and slapstick, the film appeals to the funny bone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Comedies just don't get any better than this

    Of course, I'm biased, Cary Grant and Irene Dunne are my favorite Hollywood pairing. All that aside, this is one of their best, either together or separate. It retains its ability to make one laugh out loud even after 6 decades.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Funny Flick

    If you are a fan of Carey Grant and/or Irene Dunne you should enjoy this movie. They play a married couple who break up and meet and date other people but realize they really want to be together. My favorite part is when Irene crashes a family get together which Carey's snooty girlfriend is having. Irene pretends to be Carey's sister. The high class family is shocked and appalled at Carey's "sister" who is flashy, outspoken and in their view LOW class. She talks non-stop, drinks like a fish and then entertains them with a musical number called "Gone With The Wind". She explains to them that when she does it at the club her dress blows up on the chorus! Meanwhile Carey goes from being upset to trying not to laugh and of course they wind up back together in the end.

    I have always loved Irene Dunne. She was one of the best actresses of her generation.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews