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More the Merrier
     

The More the Merrier

5.0 4
Director: George Stevens, Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn

Cast: George Stevens, Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn

 

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To fully appreciate The More the Merrier, it is important to know that, during WW2, there was an acute housing shortage in Washington DC. This is why elderly Benjamin Dingle (Charles Coburn) is obliged to share a tiny DC apartment with pretty Connie Milligan (Jean Arthur) and handsome Joe Carter (Joel McCrea). After nearly two reels of misunderstandings, the

Overview

To fully appreciate The More the Merrier, it is important to know that, during WW2, there was an acute housing shortage in Washington DC. This is why elderly Benjamin Dingle (Charles Coburn) is obliged to share a tiny DC apartment with pretty Connie Milligan (Jean Arthur) and handsome Joe Carter (Joel McCrea). After nearly two reels of misunderstandings, the trio becomes accustomed to their curious living arrangement. Joe takes a platonic liking to Connie, but she's engaged to stuffy bureaucrat Charles J. Pendergast (Richard Gaines). Sizing up the situation, foxy Benjamin contrives to bring Connie and Joe together, in spite of themselves. Things get dicey when Joe endeavors to complete a top-secret mission for the Air Force, which leads to all sorts of comic complications and misguided remonstrations. Throughout the film, director George Stevens and the four-man screenwriting staff deliberately tweak the noses of the Hays Office, getting by with any number of censorable offenses by deftly and tastefully sidestepping the obvious. Especially potent is the scene in which Joe tries to seduce Connie by talking about everything except seduction: it's also fun to watch Dingle robustly repeat the word "Damn" over and over, getting away with this breach of censorship because he's quoting Admiral "Damn the Torpedoes" Farragut. An Academy Award went to Charles Coburn, while nominations were bestowed upon Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, George Stevens, the screenwriters, and the film itself. The More the Merrier was remade in 1966 as Walk Don't Run, with Cary Grant, Jim Hutton and Samantha Eggar.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
World War II provided fodder for a wide range of films, either directly or indirectly. The More the Merrier uses the war-related housing crunch in Washington DC to set up its somewhat incredible premise, but the credibility problem never really threatens to become an issue, thanks to director George Stevens' fast-clipped pacing, a witty and amusing screenplay and a set of engaging performances from its trio of stars. Joel McCrea and Charles Coburn are excellent; McCrea's work in the seduction scene is beautiful, and Coburn is a delight throughout. However, it's Jean Arthur's performance that makes the picture. With a voice that sounds something like a beautiful songbird nursing a sore throat, Jean Arthur is utterly charming and captivating. An expert comedienne, Arthur has more than her share of moments here, such as her toothpaste-filled scream when discovering Coburn outside her window and a wonderful doubletake upon first seeing McCrea. Arthur and McCrea also have an enviable chemistry, and they work up considerable heat together -- heat that is all the more effective for being subdued. And their separate-but-together rhumba sequence is delightful. The unique Arthur would make only three more films, retiring after the classic Shane.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/02/2004
UPC:
0043396051768
Original Release:
1943
Rating:
NR
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:44:00
Sales rank:
1,489

Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jean Arthur Connie Milligan
Joel McCrea Joe Carter
Charles Coburn Benjamin Dingle
Richard Gaines Charles J. Pendergast
Bruce Bennett Evans
Ann Doran Miss Bilby
Ann Savage Miss Dalton
Frank Sully Pike
Clyde Fillmore Sen. Noonan
Stanley Clements Morton Rodakiewicz
Donald Douglas Harding
Don Barclay Actor
Gladys Blake Barmaid
Harry C. Bradley Minister
Jack Carr Taxi Driver
Eddy Chandler Police Captain
Sugar Geise Dancer
Hal Gerard 2nd Statistician
Harrison Greene Texan
Robert E. Hill Head Waiter
Helen Holmes Dumpy Woman
Frank LaRue Actor
Kay Linaker Miss Allen
Kitty McHugh Taxi Driver
Bob McKenzie Southerner
Shirley Patterson Girl
Lon Poff Character
Victor Potel Cattleman
George H. Reed Caretaker
Henry Roquemore Reporter
Marshall Ruth Fat Statistician
Byron Shores Air Corps Captain
Douglas Wood Senator
Jean Stevens Dancer
Chester Clute Hotel Clerk
Grady Sutton Waiter
Mary Treen Waitress
David Ward Waiter

Technical Credits
George Stevens Director,Producer
C. Fay Babcock Set Decoration/Design
Lionel Banks Art Director
Norman Deming Asst. Director
Richard Flournoy Screenwriter
Lewis R. Foster Screenwriter
Fred Guiol Associate Producer
Leigh Harline Score Composer
Otto Meyer Editor
Frank Ross Screenwriter
Robert Russell Screenwriter
Rudolph Sternad Art Director
Morris W. Stoloff Musical Direction/Supervision
Ted Tetzlaff Cinematographer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [8:13]
2. Facts & Figures [13:01]
3. Joe Carter [4:24]
4. Three's Company [9:04]
5. Clean Cut [10:32]
6. Evicted [12:15]
7. Morton [4:34]
8. Charles S. Pendergast [7:54]
9. First Kiss [10:48]
10. F.B.I. [8:47]
11. Scandal [5:34]
12. Mr. & Mrs. Sgt. Carter [8:57]

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The More the Merrier 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
stellar70 More than 1 year ago
1943 More The Merrier was a pleasant surprise. Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea are thrown together by Charles Coburn in a housing shortage because of the Washington DC housing shortage during World War II. If you have seen Walk Don't Run you'll realize where that movie took its story line. This was a really fun movie to watch, has some very funny scenes and the parady between Coburn and McCrea is the best I've seen in years.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Despite the excellent pedigree of writers, director and cast, this film remains somewhat obscure. This film manages the neat trick of balancing slapstick comedy with palpable romance & seduction. Joel McCrea & Jean Arthur acquit themselves beautifully as star-crossed lovers navigating the housing shortage in Washington DC, right at the conclusion of WWII. If you are a fan of "Ninotchka" "The Lady Eve" or the any films with Katharine Hepburn & Cary Grant, this is a welcome edition to that pantheon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my all time favorite movies. It's super funny, sweet, romantic, historically interesting...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago