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The Awful Truth

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this before. But… not quite sure?

Heh heh. This is most amusing.

Now that’s some hat.

Heh heh heh.

Yeah, that’s right!

Oh oh oh. I remember this thing. Did I watch this movie in my childhood or something?


The basic plot of this movie is, of course, something that’s been done a lot around this time, and several times by Cary Grant himself. (I.e., they’re divorcing, but… perhaps not!??!!) But it doesn’t follow the expected beats, and it ends with the Dunne character plotting to get them together in the most absurd way. It’s a very funny screwball comedy, and it’s so charming and odd.


McCarey’s improvisational style was deeply unsettling to Grant, and at the end of the first week Grant sent Cohn an eight-page memorandum titled “What’s Wrong With This Picture”. Grant asked Cohn to let him out of the film, offering to do one or more pictures for free and even saying he’d reimburse Cohn $5,000 if he were released. McCarey was so angry at Grant that he stopped speaking to him and told Cohn he’d kick in another $5,000 to get Grant off the film.

The movie didn’t really have a script!

His working method was to ask his cast to improvise the scene, creating their own dialogue and blocking their own action before allowing cameras to roll. If a problem arose with a scene, McCarey would sit at a piano on the set and pick out tunes and sing until a solution came to him.

Sounds like quite a character, and that explains the lack of… well… plot. I mean, there’s a plot, but these things usually have a clockwork plot of fun things, while this movie is basically just a handful of funny scenes.

Anyway, it’s great.

The Awful Truth. Leo McCarey. 1937.

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