Awful Truth, The (1937)

The Awful Truth (1937), directed by Leo McCarey.

A feuding couple file for divorce, then each makes strenuous efforts to spoil the other's budding romances. The awful truth is they are meant for each other and are still in love. They make their way up to the traditional north woods cabin and stumble into sex in the final moments before the divorce is final. Which must make it Code compliant, by seconds.

A great screwball comedy with Irene Dunne and Cary Grant both showing impeccable wit and timing. Grant invents a persona he would often use in the future. Tall, handsome, clever and funny: you don't often get that combination so well assembled.

Ralph Bellamy does his trademark rich but boisterous and unappealing country rube. Let's not forget Skippy, better known as "Asta", the hardest-working terrier of the 1930s, featured in The Thin Man (1934) and other movies. He has his own fan site.

Rich costumes and locations: Depression audiences wanted shiny fantasy. They say each day's shooting was pretty much improvised.

Photographed by Joseph Walker.

My DVD is of pretty rough quality; I hope elements exist for a restoration.

[Later: available on Blu-ray from Criterion].