Kamis, 21 Oktober 2010

William Keighley - The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)

After a string of high-powered, emotional performances, Bette Davis took a rare back seat to another performer with the uncharacteristic role of an unflappable secretary in The Man Who Came to Dinner. Monty Woolley reprised his George S. Kaufman/Moss Hart Broadway triumph as the imperious "Sheridan Whiteside" in this delightful, lightning-paced farce.

The Man Who Came to Dinner focuses on famed author Whiteside (Woolley), an esteemed critic who possesses a sharp mind and an acid tongue. While on a lecture tour in Ohio, Whiteside slips on some ice and is confined to the home of a bourgeois couple (Billie Burke & Grant Mitchell). He proceeds to plunge the household into complete chaos, ruling the place like a czar and meddling in everyone's love life. Davis's star wattage was seriously rivaled by Hollywood's "Oomph Girl," Ann Sheridan, who had one of the best roles of her career as a Broadway star (a thinly-veiled caricature of Gertrude Lawrence). In fact, the film was a veritable roman-a-clef, with Woolley's character a dead ringer for critic Alexander Woollcott, "The Great Schnozola" Jimmy Durante as "Banjo" (an on-the-mark takeoff of Harpo Marx) and Reginald Gardiner as "Beverly Carlton" (spoofing Noel Coward).

"Sherry, tienes una gran ventaja sobre el mundo. Nunca tuviste que conocer a Sheridan Whiteside." Maggie
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