Stars: Cary Grant, Jeanne Crain, Finlay Currie, Hume Cronyn, Walter Slezak
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 110 minutes
After winning consecutive best director Oscars (for A Letter to Three Wives and All About Eve), Joseph Mankiewicz turned his attention to this extremely curious social comedy. Cary Grant plays a famous, idealistic gynecologist whose mysterious past is questioned by a vindictive colleague (Hume Cronyn). Meanwhile, the doctor falls for a pregnant patient (Jeanne Crain), whose unmarried status is daring for a movie of 1951 vintage. The title is an all-too-apt description of Mankiewicz's chatty style, but it also carries sinister echoes of the McCarthy era--specifically, an attempted right-wing purge of the Director's Guild, I which Mankiewicz was the main target. This subtext lends interest beyond the movie's rather tame romance. The Grant character, named Doctor Praetorius (no relation to the Bride of Frankenstein wacko, one hopes), conducts a college orchestra and is prone to "twilight sadness"--it's an offbeat role for the actor, and one he clearly relishes. --Robert Horton
Professor Elwell, you're a little man. It's not that you're short. You're...little, in the mind and in the heart. Tonight, you tried to make a man little whose boots you couldn't touch if you stood on tiptoe on top of the highest mountain in the world. And as it turned out...you're even littler than you were before.