The Talk of the Town

The Talk of the Town ★★★

It seems I'm on a roll with movies about this kind of bizarre love triangle (which is my favourite New Order song, thanks for asking). (No wait, that would be "Temptation", actually.)

I've already established that George Stevens is a Nice Person™️, so I'll go easy on him. First of all, this movie is too damn long. It could have played out perfectly in half the time.
Unlike the other George Stevens movie about two men and a women forced to share a living space (the wonderful The More the Merrier), it's not a screwball comedy. It's a drama/comedy genre blend, and it lends a unique tone which I like. Some of the jokes are as silly as you'd expect, others are more subtle, like the woman winking at Ronald Colman in the beauty parlour, or a close-up of the servant shedding a tear when (minor spoiler?) Colman shaves off his beard.
Jean Arthur is so adorable. Cary Grant's character, a socialist (if not communist) factory worker who the bureaucratic fatcats try to get rid of by branding him as a left-wing agitator, is funny as well.

HEAVY homosexual subtext. From the start, it's implied that Colman's character is gay (though towards the end, they try to bend it to "cultured"?), and once he lays his eyes on Grant, he's being hit on quite shamelessly.
That, and the political themes (discussions about the nature of law, small town corruption, a kangaroo court) seem risky, but of course they're being tamed by a heterosexual ending and, ultimately, a glorification of the American justice system.

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