The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942) “Christmas Eve”


Philo Vance is now at work. Operator? Have there been any calls
over this phone from South Carolina
during the past half-hour? Yes, I’ll wait. Sherry, what is all this? Shh! What’s that? There have been no calls
from South Carolina at any time? Thank you. Now, will you
repeat that, please? Blossom girl. Hear it, dear? Thank you, operator.
And merry Christmas. Sherry, what is all this?
What does it mean? You’ve just played the greatest
love scene of your career with your old friend,
Beverly Carlton. That’s not true.
I was talking to Cedric. What do you mean? I mean, my blossom, that was Beverly you poured out
your girlish heart to, not Lord Bottomley. Ah, me. Who would’ve thought
five minutes ago that you would not be going
to South Carolina? Sherry,
I want this explained. Explained? You’ve heard Beverly
imitate Lord Bottomley before, haven’t you? Yes, yes, of course, but why? Why in the world would
he want to do such a thing? Why– Why, this
is the most dreadful– Oh… Oh, those telegrams. Give me the hotel,
whatever it’s called. I want the hotel! Why, the rat! I’ll pay him back for this
if it’s the last thing– Why, the skunk!
The dirty, rotten– Mansion House?
Connect me with my maid. What? Who the devil
do you think it is? Miss Sheldon, of course. Oh, if only Cosette
hasn’t sent those– Cosette. Cosette, did you send
those telegrams? Oh… Oh, now, listen, Cosette: I want you to send
another telegram to every one of those people. Tell them somebody’s
been using my name, and to disregard anything and
everything they hear from me, except this, of course. Don’t ask questions,
do as you’re told. Don’t argue with me,
you French moron! Do as you’re told and unpack!
We’re not going! SHERIDAN:
Steady, blossom, take it easy. What do you mean,
“take it easy”? Do you realize I’ll be
the laughingstock of New York? I always knew Beverly Carlton
was low, but not this low. Why? Why? Why would anyone in the world want to play a silly trick
like this? I can’t understand it.
Do you, Sherry? Do you, Maggie? Why would he walk
right out of here, go straight to a telephone booth and try to send me to South
Carolina on a fool’s errand? There must be some reason. Why would Beverly Carlton, or anyone else, for that matter,
want me to– Oh. I think I begin– Of course, of course,
that’s it! Yes, and that’s a very charming
bracelet Mr. Jefferson gave you, isn’t it, Maggie,
my dear? It makes complete sense now. And to think that I nearly– Well, wild horses couldn’t
get me out of here now, Maggie. And if I were you, I’d hang on to that charming
little bracelet, my dear. It’ll be something
to remember him by. All right, Mr. Whiteside,
it’s almost time. Hook him up, boys,
and start testing. Give us a hand
with the furniture. We want to move it. Miss Cutler,
here’s the new script. Come, Daisy. MAN:
Testing, one, two, three, four. Mary had a little lamb. One, two, three, four.
Mary had a little lamb. Here comes a Jefferson Special. Oh, have we time? Oh, I’m sure we have,
Mr. Jefferson. I’m not leaving after all.
My plans are changed. Really?
Oh, that’s good. And you can read the play
to me tonight, will you? We’ll go back to the Mansion
House right after dinner. Why, I should say so.
I’d be delighted. Maggie,
did you hear that? Say, I’ll bet you did this.
You arranged the whole thing. Well, it’s the finest Christmas
present you could’ve given me. Maggie! Maggie! Thirty seconds. Where would you like
to have this? My son has run off
on a freighter, and my daughter’s
marrying an anarchist! [ALL ARGUING INDISTINCTLY] Oh, I see he’s still busy. Stand back
from the microphone and let Mr. Whiteside broadcast,
please! [CHIRRUPING] Oh, get the heck out of here,
we’re going on the air! All right, boys,
step right this way. We’ll use the microphone
over here. Snap into it, fellas,
snap into it. Okay, New York. RADIO MAN:
Cream of Mush brings you
Sheridan Whiteside. ♪ Silent night ♪ ♪ Holy ♪ [WOMAN SCREAMS] ♪ Night ♪ A penguin bit me! ♪ All is calm… ♪ This is Whiteside speaking. On this eve of eves, when my own heart is overflowing
with peace and kindness, I think it is most fitting
to tell once again the story of that still
and lustrous night.

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Comments

  1. * "The Man Who Came to Dinner" does not deny its origins. Based on a comedy playwrights George S. Kaufman of and Moss Hart, the film is almost a filmed theater. Most of the scenes takes place on the premises of the residence of the Stanley family, where the man who came to dinner (Monty Woolley) bedevils the secretariat of life (Bette Davis) and residents.
    The early stages of the plot are very interesting, because of the personality of the renowned Sheridan Whiteside (Monty Woolley), whose arrogance is not combines with its image of beloved celebrity and admired by all. The character would have been based on Alexander Woollcott, an American critic.
    The rudeness that Whiteside shoots in all directions collide and cause laughter in the audience, but become tiresome over the 112 minutes of plot. In my view, the theatrical environment and excess dialogues end up compromising the pace of the film.
    Bette wanted to make a minor role imagining star opposite John Barrymore, but the great actor going through a period of decadence due to alcoholism and not considered appropriate to take a complex character who appears in almost all sequences of production.

  2. I have watched many performances of this movie & I love them all. One of my many favorites! I can't get enough.

  3. The filmed theater version with Nathan Lane is even funnier than this – plus it has the energy of a live audience. See it if you can!

  4. Monte Wooley owned that character on stage & in film.. Great ensemble cast including Bette Davis who pushed Warner Bros to buy the film rights. Always a gem to watch every holiday season!!

  5. I heard they had a stocking shortage during world war 2 but I never knew about the bra shortage that Ann Sheridan had to endure filming this scene…they do look lovely though…

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