|THE TALK OF THE TOWN (1942)|
|"What is the law? It's a gun pointed at somebody's head. All depends upon which end of the gun you stand, whether the law is just or not."|
|Time: 118 mins.|
Rating: Not Rated
Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction, Film Editing, Cinematography, Score, Original Screenplay and Best Picture.
SYNOPSIS: An escaped political prisoner and a stuffy law professor vie for the hand of a spirited schoolteacher, while attempting to devise a defense that will keep the escapee out of jail.
BOTTOM LINE: What makes this film different than most Cary Grant flicks is that it's about more than just a man with girl trouble. In fact, though there is a woman involved the lovely and funny Jean Arthur this film has an actual, intelligent story to tell...in addition to the love triangle subplot. Grant plays a local political activist, Leopold Dilg, who's accused of burning down the town factory. Unfortunately for him, the event also happened to kill the factory foreman. Rather than face a jury of his "objective" peers on charges of arson and murder, he escapes and holes up in the home of Nora Shelley (Arthur). Fortunately for him, her new tenant is one of the foremost legal minds in the state, Professor Lightcap, a man they know can help clear Leopold's name. The bulk of the film has Nora and Leopold, whose true identity is kept a secret, working various unusual schemes to convince Lightcap to take a stand. The film is a strange mixture of wacky antics, courtroom rhetoric and old-fashioned romance. Somehow it all works. Arthur, pulled back and forth between both men, is wonderful as the confused Nora who develops strong feelings for both. The quick, witty repartee between the leads keeps this somewhat ponderous story from getting too dry and intellectual. This film has more energy than you'd expect and ends exactly the way it should with Grant free and very available.