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The Awful Truth

  • Directed by Leo McCarey
  • United States, 1937, 91 mins., English

Produced in the same year that McCarey directed Make Way for Tomorrow, The Awful Truth is the opposite of that tearjerker, throwing Cary Grant and Irene Dunne into a delightful, screwball scenario as a husband and wife headed towards splitsville, despite the fact that neither one of them really wants out of their marriage. While The Awful Truth scored McCarey his first of two Best Director Oscars, he maintained that the other film he made in 1937 was the more deserving work. Regardless, The Awful Truth remains one of the most popular, enduring, and clever romantic comedies of the silver screen era. “What elevates McCarey’s masterpiece—what makes it arguably the greatest of its genre—is its unobtrusive depth of feeling. Never sappy, the movie is at once light on its feet and grounded at heart.”—Elbert Ventura, Popmatters.

Genres: screwball comedy

Other Films by Leo McCarey

Duck Soup

Despite its relative box-office failure upon initial release (a fact that remains shocking to this day), Duck Soup has become one of the best-loved comedies in cinema history and perhaps the preeminent Marx Brothers film—in addition to the most cinematic, foregoing the asides and interludes normally characteristic of their work and due in part to

The Bells of St. Mary’s

In one of her most radiant roles, Ingrid Bergman stars as good-natured Sister Mary Benedict, a Catholic nun at the dilapidated St. Mary’s school, which faces abrupt closure. Enter newcomer Father Chuck O’Malley (Bing Crosby), with whom Sister Mary immediately strikes up a friendly rivalry. The two must band together, however, to find a new