The Talk of the Town (1942)

Approved   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Romance


The Talk of the Town (1942) Poster

An escaped prisoner has to prove his innocence to a stuffy law professor with the help of a spirited school teacher.


7.5/10
7,672

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5 March 2000 | stills-6
9
| Funny, thoughtful, what more do you want?
I don't understand why this movie isn't more popular or regarded as a classic in the canon of early Hollywood movies. All the stars are wonderful in their roles, but Ronald Coleman is fantastic as an ivory tower jurist who is forced to rethink his philosophy. Maybe Claude Rains could have played this part, but without the subtly sarcastic bemusement that Coleman brings.

Maybe because it can't be categorized definitely as a screwball comedy or a "serious" movie, it has been overlooked. I found it much funnier than "Bringing Up Baby" for example, even though "Talk" is a great deal more serious and introspective.

A lot of the suspense that might have been put into the story was bled out by the philosophical approach that the movie takes. Every potentially suspenseful situation that could have been played out for at least half of the movie is extinguished within fifteen minutes at the most. But that's part of the fun! It gets rolling, and you can't quite tell where it's going all of the time. Watching Cary Grant mug suavely and Jean Arthur speak like she's ad-libbing, you just have to sit back and enjoy it. It's not interested in manipulating its audience, it's actually trying to present real characters in a compelling story. I loved it!

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