This movie is one of our Christmas watchlist essentials, so even though it isn’t set in New York, we have to include it because the rollicking Kaufman & Hart script and the wonderful character actors. Plus it stars one of our favorite actresses, Bette Davis.
Famed radio commentator and critic Sheridan Whiteside (Monty Woolley) is visiting a small town on a lecture tour, when he falls on icy steps at a private home. With his secretary (Bette Davis), Whiteside takes up residence at the home while he recuperates from his injury and turns the household upside down. When Bette Davis falls in love with a local newspaperman and threatens to retire, Whiteside turns his manipulation to her, seeking to foil her romance. But all ends happily on Christmas Day, until …..
NEW YORK CONNECTION
Though not set in New York, there are repeated references to New York, where Whiteside lives.
The movie reaches a crescendo on Christmas Eve and concludes on Christmas Day. There are Christmas trees, choirs singing, and loads of gifts.
Monty Woolley appears in The Bishop’s Wife. Billie Burke is in The Cheaters. Jimmy Durante appears in The Great Rupert. Grant Mitchell is in It Happened on Fifth Avenue. Mary Wickes will be seen in White Christmas.
Grant Mitchell appeared on benefit bills with Fred Astaire in the 1920s. Durante appeared with Astaire in benefits in the early 1930s.
WHY WE LOVE THIS MOVIE
It’s just plain, literate fun.