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Man Who Came to Dinner, The | 1942 | Bette Davis, Monty Woolley

An acidic comedy that has become a classic in the States, but less so in the rest of the world. Woolley is a sharp-tongued, intellectual radio star who breaks his hip while visiting friends and has to stay with them until he recovers. While there he manages to irritate and alienate everyone in the house with a display of bad manners and insults that’s a joy of black humour. Although not all the jokes have survived the test of time, it’s still a lovely bit of writing and ensemble playing, with Woolley, Davis, Durante and the others all managing to create fireworks.

Bette Davis as Maggie Cutler
Ann Sheridan as Lorraine Sheldon
Monty Woolley as Sheridan Whiteside
Richard Travis as Bert Jefferson
Jimmy Durante as Banjo
Billie Burke as Mrs. Ernest Stanley
Reginald Gardiner as Beverly Carlton
Elisabeth Fraser as June Stanley
Grant Mitchell as Mr. Ernest Stanley
George Barbier as Dr. Bradley
Mary Wickes as Miss Preen
Russell Arms as Richard Stanley
Ruth Vivian as Harriet
Edwin Stanley as John
Betty Roadman as Sarah
Charles Drake as Sandy
Nanette Vallon as Cosette
John Ridgely as Radio Man
Gig Young as Bit Part (uncredited)
Director: William Keighley
USA | 112 minutes | 1942

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