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Two American Comedy Classics

Saturday, July 7, 1979
6:20 p.m.
9:55 p.m.
The Awful Truth
Leo McCarey (USA,1937)

This is one of several first-rate comedies in which Cary Grant remarries his first wife, and leaves a cloddish suitor, played here by Ralph Bellamy, dumbfounded and deflated. Grant’s talents for this kind of fast-talking domestic farce are phenomenal and under Leo McCarey’s experienced direction, it’s given some surprising twists and a consistently stylish surface. McCarey had directed some of the best Laurel and Hardy shorts and a string of classics at Paramount (Duck Soup, Belle of the 90’s, Ruggles of Red Gap). The Awful Truth was his only film for Columbia. McCarey’s improvisational methods infuriated Harry Cohn, who crudely expressed such anger to McCarey. The Awful Truth was a huge success, but Harry Cohn could never lure McCarey back.

• Directed by Leo McCarey. With Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Ralph Bellamy. (1937, 93 mins, Print from Audio Brandon)