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The Awful Truth

179 customer reviews

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(Mar 11, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Director Leo McCarey won an Oscar(r) and star Irene Dunne was nominated (one of her five Best Actressnominations) for THE AWFUL TRUTH, one of the most captivating screwball comedies ever made. A comicbattlefield presided over by two superbly-matched sparring partners, THE AWFUL TRUTH also stars Cary Grant as the other half of a couple facing divorce and fighting over custody of their beloved dog,Mr. Smith. Somewhere before the final divorce decree, however, Jerry decides he wants Lucy back, only to learn that she's marrying a country bumpkin (hilariously played by Ralph Bellamy). Jerry counters with an engagement to the aristocratic Molly Lamont, sparking a sexy, sophisticated battle of wits that ranks among the wackiest comedies in screen history.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Ralph Bellamy, Mary Forbes, Joyce Compton, Molly Lamont, Esther Dale
  • Directors: Leo McCarey
  • Producers: No Producer Credited
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 11, 2003
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000085EFE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,622 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Awful Truth" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

142 of 145 people found the following review helpful By Fernando Silva on April 9, 2003
Format: DVD
- The five stars are for the film itself not the dvd edition-
This is one of those landmark films that really lives up to its well deserved fame, when one finally has the opportunity to watch it.
Irene Dunne and Cary Grant, are perfectly matched as the ever-quarreling wife and husband, who, in spite of loving each other, for rather childish reasons, are granted a divorce, but before it's final, they have the chance to think it over one last time.
Really hilarious scenes by the two leads and by the excellent supporting cast, especially Ralph Bellamy as Dunne's suitor, Cecil Cunnigham as the wisecracking Aunt Patsy and Esther Dale as Bellamy's mother. Nice bit by Joyce Compton too, as an "air-head" southern-accented, singer, who gives a very peculiar singing-act.
Perfectly paced, at 91 minutes running time, there's no time left to breathe between scenes, so expertly tied to each other, that it's hard to believe it was filmed, as it was told by the actors, mostly unaware of what was going on. Apparently the only one who knew was master of comedy, director Leo McCarey, who won one an Academy Award for it.
Now about the quality of the dvd edition, I must say that I bought this movie along with the dvd editions of "Talk of the Town" and "You Can't Take it with You", completely unaware of the absolutely negative customer reviews here at Amazon. As matter of fact, having watched this movie just last night, and still having not watched the other two, I was absolutely frightened of what I'd see (and what I still have to suffer!), upon reading all those negative reviews by Amazon customers, concerning these three classic films.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Nix Pix on March 11, 2003
Format: DVD
Cary Grant and Irene Dunne are a husband and wife who divorce on a whim and then regret the decision. Neither are willing to admit this, of course. So when Dunne gets herself involved with resident screwball guy-on-the-side, Ralph Belamy, Grant does everything in his power to submarine the relationship. This is perhaps the finest, most tightly realized example of what the British call "comedic farce". We, in North America have come to affectionately know this style of film making as the "classic screwball" and in "The Awful Truth" the formula works so incredibly well, I suddenly found myself starved for more great comedies like this one.
Columbia has given us a print of the film that, although riddled with scratches, tears, duped quality master print segments and fading is, nevertheless, free of all the digital anomolies that were present on their "Talk of the Town" DVD transfer released just a few weeks before. Yes, this film is dated, and yes, there are portions of the picture in which fine detail is practically non-existant, and yes, Columbia should have done a much better job on this classic film than they have for this DVD release. But it just doesn't look quite so bad as their other recent efforts from their B&W catalogue library. And although this disc has a long way to go before it starts winning any awards, the print, if not pristine, is nevertheless represented by a generally good gray scale that does not diminish the comedic elements of the story. LET THE BUYER BEWARE: I don't think this is a great DVD or even an adequate one. It is, however, an outstanding movie!
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77 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Chris Leidig on February 8, 2004
Format: DVD
This is one of the best screwball comedies, but Columbia has released an awful print of the film. There are even frames missing from the DVD. Not only does Columbia overcharge for their products, but they release hideous looking prints. The VHS video is better quality than this DVD.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Arguably the greatest of the screwball comedies, The Awful Truth presents Irene Dunne and Cary Grant as soon-to-be-divorced wife and husband who occupy themselves with spoiling each other's prospective new romances. This is my favorite Dunne performance, probably one of Grant's top three comic performances, and the best Leo McCarey picture. This is also the film that first introduced Ralph Bellamy as the other man who always loses out in love (see His Girl Friday for a reprise). The film is chock-full of great comic scenes: my favorites are Grant, Dunne, and Bellamy watching the awful (and risque) performance of Grant's showgirl girlfriend; Grant making Dunne laugh at Bellamy's love poetry; Dunne trying to figure out how to hide another man's hat from Grant; and Dunne's pretense of being Grant's sister (doing the same number the showgirl did earlier). The film ranges from the broad slapstick of Grant becoming entangled in a chair to the subtle expressions of the threesome watching the floor show. What makes the film particularly work are the attractive performances by Grant and Dunne, who engage in skull-duggery to break up each other's love affairs, but who remain likable--partly because underneath the antics, The Awful Truth remains a love story. Even when bickering, Grant and Dunne clearly love each other; they seem to spur each other, make each other more attractive when together. Even Dunne's throw-away line on not having won any dance cups with
Grant has a sweet, nostalgic, longing tone. Grant has a comic sweetness in the final sequence, befuddled as he tries to resist his desire to return to his wife's bed. The film won Best Director for McCarey, who keeps the film on a delightfully fizzy keel and who encouraged his performers to be spontaneous.
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