Given the fact that I have watched so many classic films, it’s often hard to still find a good one I haven’t yet seen. And whenever that happens, the pleasure is double. One such movie has almost proven to be The Talk of the Town (1942). Why almost? Because, as with so many big Hollywood studio classics, the movie would have been much better without the cheesy and politically correct, legal drama ending part. I love a comedy that leaves the serious stuff out – the law, politics, public opinion, in this case, just as much as I like seeing these issues addressed in other movies.
However, more of the first half of the movie was so good, more in the realm of a screwball comedy, that it simply deserves to be watched. Brilliant performances from Jean Arthur (she was such a good comedy actress, and here she is at her best), Ronald Colman and Cary Grant. I loved the witty dialogue and the body language of the actors that was often more hilarious than the words, like Jean running up the stairs in a skirt in a not very ladylike manner, Cary with a casual appearance, or docile look when trying to convince Nora (Jean) to pique Michael Lightcap’s (Colman) interest (“you have to thaw him”), or again Cary Grant wearing a hat – he was right in deciding to completely ditch it from one point on, both in real life and on screen. He looked funny in one.
photo credit: Columbia Pictures