An idea whose time has come! Phyllis Loves Classic Movies is hosting The Cary Grant Blogathon from November 29th to December 1st: Day 1 - Day 2 - Day 3
Nora Shelley played by Jean Arthur is the prettiest little schoolteacher ever to grace a 1942 comedy/drama. Nora Shelley also owns the prettiest little out of the way cottage for rent. The renter for the summer is Professor Michael Lightcap played by Ronald Colman. Lightcap is a noted law professor who has a lot on his mind. He is writing a book and he is in line for an appointment to the Supreme Court. The professor has lived a musty life of theories and tomes. His eyes are about to be opened to what is around him. How can it not be, living in a pretty little cottage owned by a pretty little schoolteacher? A schoolteacher with a fugitive for a friend.
Leopold: "Stop saying "Leopold" like that, tenderly. It sounds funny. You can't do it with a name like Leopold."
Cary Grant plays Leopold Dilg, a natural born agitator who has been accused of arson and murder. His innocence is no matter to the business and political forces poised against him, but it does matter to Nora Shelley. She allows Dilg to stay at her cottage in the guise of a gardener. The professor and the malcontent duke it out in the fields of politics, law and romance.
Leopold: "With these indoor habits of yours, you've got the complexion of a gravel pit."
Michael: "You know, Joseph, you're no oil painting yourself."
George Stevens' The Talk of the Town was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best screenplay by Irwin Shaw and Sidney Buchman, Best Original Story by Sidney Harmon, Best Black and White Cinematography by Ted Tetzlaff, Best Art Direction, Editing and Scoring. The film won not one of those categories, but it is sure to win you as a fan if this is your first time viewing the picture.
A romantic comedy that features political discussions? How would that work? It works just fine. The ideas put forth are the timeless ideas that all generations grapple with and the actors presenting these thoughts are pure class. Cary Grant and Ronald Colman are more versatile than their images project. Grant's work with George Stevens alone is a testament to his skill. The 1939 adventure classic Gunga Din, the sentimental Christmas favourite from 1941 Penny Serenade and this outstanding feature are films to point to with pride.
Michael: "Miss Bush, I wonder if I might have the pleasure of taking you dancing tonight?"
Regina: "The pleasure! Well, say now, that's really something. I don't know what to say. It takes my breath away. Why, you're real cute. Listen, you blow your horn at seven tonight, right outside, Sonny."
The Talk of the Town features many delights in its supporting cast. Edgar Buchanan is the sly and, possibly the smartest man in the room, as Sam Yates. Rex Ingram, playing beyond his years, is the professor's devoted servant Tilney. Devotion is a difficult thing to play, but Ingram was a master of his craft. Glenda Farrell outrageously steals her scenes as a manicurist with knowledge that can save the beleaguered Dilg. The shy Professor Lightcap's attempted seduction of the lady is something worth watching over and over again.
Leopold: "Well, it's a form of self-expression. Some people write books. Some people write music. I make speeches on street corners."
Back to pretty schoolteacher Nora Shelly. She has to choose between Cary Grant and Ronald Colman. What would you do? Watch the movie and you'll spend delectable years mulling over that conundrum.