Archive for the ‘Ronald Coleman’ Category

The Talk Of The Town

10 Jul


The Talk Of The Town – directed by George Stevens. Comedy Of Justice. An escaped prisoner hides out in the summer home of a famous law professor, and both fall for their landlady. 118 minutes Black and White 1942.


I laughed a lot and I loved it. Grant is really good as a lower class type  (which is what he was), a rabble-rouser, a trouble-maker, and general bad boy from the other side of the tracks. He is sly and outspoken and not a gent – but bright and seeking justice. The great matinee idol Ronald Coleman plays the academic legal wizard in whose house he takes secret refuge. And Jean Arthur is the befuddled landlady. She’s just wonderful – exasperation was her comic specialty. As a comedy, like all comedies, the script has a serious center (for a dramatic version of the story see Lang’s Fury), and the legal eagle and the con become friends and expatiate on the law. The film is beautifully shot and the supporting people are first class: the great Glenda Farrell once again as the town floozy, Edgar Buchanan as the foghorn voiced lawyer pal of Grant, Charles Dingle as the contriving factory owner. The themes continue on into A Place In The Sun and Shane. It is, as are most of Stevens’ films, a story of values – not American values, but values in a broader sense, such as, in this case, fairness in love and law. But all this Stevens is able to weave back and capture us by a small town American flavor, the familiar collisions of Main Street, the flimsy bias of free people, the barking of dogs on a hot summer night under the elms. He had a genius for it. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards.

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