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. 'The Awful Truth' was the first of three film pairings co-starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, followed by My Favorite Wife (1940) and Penny Serenade (1941). Jerry Warriner (Cary Grant) tells his wife he is going on vacation to Florida, but instead spends the week at his sports club in New York City. He returns home to find that his wife, Lucy (Irene Dunne), spent the night in the company of her handsome music teacher, Armand Duvalle (Alexander D'Arcy). Lucy claims his car broke down unexpectedly. Lucy discovers that Jerry did not actually go to Florida. Their mutual suspicion results in divorce proceedings, with Lucy winning custody of their dog. The judge orders the divorce finalized in 90 days. Lucy moves into an apartment with her Aunt Patsy (Cecil Cunningham). Her neighbor is amiable but rustic Oklahoma oilman Dan Leeson (Ralph Bellamy), whose mother (Esther Dale) does not approve of Lucy. Jerry subtly ridicules Dan in front of Lucy, which causes Lucy to tie herself more closely to Dan. Jerry begins dating sweet-natured but simple singer Dixie Belle Lee (Joyce Compton), unaware that she performs an embarrassing, sexually suggestive act at a local nightclub. Convinced that Lucy is still having an affair with Duvalle, Jerry bursts into Duvalle's apartment only to discover that Lucy is a legitimate vocal student of Duvalle and is giving her first recital. Realizing he may still love Lucy, Jerry undermines Lucy's character with Mrs. Leeson even as Dan and Lucy agree to marry. When Jerry attempts to reconcile with Lucy afterward, he discovers Duvalle hiding in Lucy's apartment and they have a fistfight while Dan and his mother apologize for assuming the worst about Lucy. When Jerry chases Armand out the door, Dan breaks off his engagement to Lucy and he and his mother return to Oklahoma. Source -> Wikipedia:

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