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The Awful Truth film image; couple side-eyeing each other

Madcap Marriages: The Awful Truth

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When it comes to marriages in the world of screwball, there is no “settling down”. These are sex comedies made under the lid of the censorship of the time, constraints that inspired some of the best writing of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Michael van den Bos pulls back the wedding veil for a look at manic marriages and delirious divorces in the screwball comedy.

Michael’s 25-minute talk will be followed by a screening of The Awful Truth (1937), directed by Leo McCarey, starring Irene Dunne and Cary Grant as divorcing sophisticates who won’t abide by their partner’s (suspected or projected) infidelity… but who also love each other more deeply than they can say. McCarey brought emotional truth and subtlety to this assignment, and in the process unearthed a more interesting Cary Grant than had been seen before.


Please note that these films from nine decades ago sometimes reflect attitudes and assumptions that are considered offensive today, in particular in regards to their treatment of racial and ethnic difference, as well as towards sexuality and gender. VIFF invites audiences to view these films through a historical lens and with the critical distance that time provides for us.


10:30 am


11:00 am


Michael van den Bos


Leo McCarey


Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy, Molly Lamont

Country of Origin






150 min

Book Tickets

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