Awful Truth [1937]

One of the top five screwball comedies of the '30s, this helped to cement a genre that waxed golden until the end of WWII. Director Leo McCarey won an Oscar for Best Director for this 1937 romantic comedy--one of the most successful films of his career. Irene Dunne and Cary Grant are a squabbling couple who separate because of supposed infidelities on both sides. They part but cannot really keep away from each other. Grant finds himself hooked up with a socialite, Dunne becomes engaged to a millionaire hick played by the hapless Ralph Bellamy (as if he ever stood a chance as the "other" man!). When not dating others or baiting one another in a verbal war, Grant and Dunne wage a custody battle over their pathetic pooch. Gags, double entendre, witty remarks, snide comments, and fast-paced dialogue helped this to garner six Academy Award nominations. The Awful Truth was awfully good to Dunne and Grant, as both were breaking out of much more serious molds and this secured their positions. --Rochelle O'Gorman

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