"- 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.Concerning "The Awful Truth", I must say that I feared even worse, because at least some portions of the movie are crisp and clean, but many others are very grainy, bad quality, faded, etc, so one wonders about the "digitally mastered" and the "remastered in high definition", as said on the back of the dvd case. It's one of dvd's I own, and I have almost 200, with the most "uneven" image quality I ever saw.It's really a pity that Sony-Columbia Classics, didn't treat this classics, the way they had treated the first classics they released on dvd, of which I own many, so I know waht I'm talking about: "It Happened One Night", "His Girl Friday", "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town", "Gilda", "Only Angels Have Wings", "Angels Over Broadway", "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington"......especially considering the price of their editions....we all know, Warner releases are cheaper, and until today, their editions are of very good quality, indeed.So boooohhh for the people who released this editions, so unrespectfully to us classic film buffs, and for charging between U$ 25- 30, for something that shouldn't cost more than 11 bucks.Still I wonder: The laserdisc editions of these three classics, were as bad as the dvd editions? I don't believe so, 'cos most of the laserdisc editions of classics were of very high definition and quality....so, what happened with the dvd editions? How can it be that one Amazon customer says that the VHS editions of some of this films are better than the dvd ones? I remember watching a TV showing of "You Can't Take It with You"...and its quality was excellent....maybe the laserdisc was the source? Or those excellent copies belong to some other company?.Sony-Columbia owes an apology to its thousands of customers, and even more, they should release these three classic films, in the way they deserve, as their first aforementioned releases, and give the customers who had the bad luck of buying these bad quality dvd's, the right to exchange them for the really remastered-restored editions.Until then, we'll have to stick to these editions, 'cos it's all we have, besides recording a better version on TV."
Great Movie. Lousy DVD.
C. Leidig | Akron, Ohio United States | 02/08/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"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."
BAD, BUT NOT AWFUL TRANSFER OF THIS SCREWBALL CLASSIC!
Nix Pix | Windsor, Ontario, Canada | 03/11/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"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!
*Aside: There are no extras and although the print claims to be remastered in hi-def, this is a mute point since the original camera negative is badly worn, hence the over all quality will not be improved by hi-def mastering. Do not base your decision to buy this disc by what you read from the back of Columbia's packaging! You'll be bitterly disappointed."
LOVELY FILM - DREADFUL DVD TRANSFER
C. Leidig | 03/20/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Wonderful movie, completely misrepresented by Columbia as being digitally mastered and remastered in high definition.The print is dreadful - wandering back and forth, almost incessantly, from bad to worse.Avoid this.
Hold the studios accountable.
And wait for someone to release a decent print."
A Screwball Gem
C. Leidig | 08/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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 withGrant 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. Dunne inexplicably lost Best Actress to Luise Rainer for The Good Earth; maybe she should have lost it to Garbo for Camille, but not to Rainer. And this is probably the first of the many years in which Grant gave a great comic performance, only to be forgotten when the Oscar nominations were announced. Sure Grant was always identifiable as himself in comedy-after-comedy, but notice the difference between his performance here and the following year's Holiday, and you can better measure his genuine versatility."