Every Saturday afternoon, join fellow film aficionados of the Village for an in-depth discussion of films new and old, led by Village member Mel Washburn. Watch the selected film any time–or enjoy the discussion and be persuaded to view it after!
This week’s film is The Awful Truth (1937)
The Awful Truth is a 1937 American screwball comedy film directed by Leo McCarey and starring Irene Dunne and Cary Grant. Based on the 1923 play The Awful Truth by Arthur Richman, the film recounts how a distrustful rich couple begins divorce proceedings, only to interfere with one another’s romances. This was McCarey’s first film for Columbia Pictures with the dialogue and comic elements being largely improvised by the director and actors. It was Dunne’s second comedy following Theodora Goes Wild (1936), for which she was also nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award. Her costumes were designed by Robert Kalloch. Although Grant tried to leave the production due to McCarey’s directorial style, The Awful Truth saw his emergence as an A-list star and proponent of on-the-set improvisation.
The film was a box office hit. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actor. McCarey won for Best Director. The Awful Truth was selected in 1996 for preservation in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.