Directed by William Keighley
USA 1942

 

After a string of high-powered, emotional performances, Bette Davis took a rare back seat to another performer with the uncharacteristic role of an unflappable secretary in The Man Who Came to Dinner. Monty Woolley reprised his George S. Kaufman/Moss Hart Broadway triumph as the imperious "Sheridan Whiteside" in this delightful, lightning-paced farce. The Man Who Came to Dinner focuses on famed author Whiteside (Woolley), an esteemed critic who possesses a sharp mind and an acid tongue. While on a lecture tour in Ohio, Whiteside slips on some ice and is confined to the home of a bourgeois couple (Billie Burke & Grant Mitchell). He proceeds to plunge the household into complete chaos, ruling the place like a czar and meddling in everyone's love life. Davis's star wattage was seriously rivaled by Hollywood's "Oomph Girl," Ann Sheridan, who had one of the best roles of her career as a Broadway star (a thinly-veiled caricature of Gertrude Lawrence). In fact, the film was a veritable roman-a-clef, with Woolley's character a dead ringer for critic Alexander Woollcott, "The Great Schnozola" Jimmy Durante as "Banjo" (an on-the-mark takeoff of Harpo Marx) and Reginald Gardiner as "Beverly Carlton" (spoofing Noel Coward).

VHS Cover

Theatrical Release: January 1st, 1942

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

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Also available in The Bette Davis Collection, Vol. 2 with Marked Woman / Jezebel / The Man Who Came to Dinner / Old Acquaintance and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Two-Disc Special Edition:
Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
Runtime 1:52:24 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.84 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• New featurette: The Man Who Came to Dinner: Inside a Classic Comedy
• Vintage Joe McDoakes comedy short: So You Think You Need Glasses
• Classic cartoon: Six Hits and a Miss
• Theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: May 30th, 2006

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Chapters: 25

 

 

Comments:

For a film almost 65 years old this looks quite incredible. Black levels are deep and rich and detail is very strong. We see a bit of the faux-grain which also tends to support the image to some degree. Audio is clear and clean. The comedy short is cute, as is the cartoon and the featurette is more of the same. Fun film and we recommend the DVD.

Gary W. Tooze

 





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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Also available in The Bette Davis Collection, Vol. 2 with Marked Woman / Jezebel / The Man Who Came to Dinner / Old Acquaintance and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Two-Disc Special Edition:
Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC




 

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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

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