The Talk of the Town ★★★★

One of the last pair of bright films George Stevens made before the war darkened his view of the world. It’s a play on the escaped convict home invasion trope. You get the falsely accused and cheeky Cary Grant instead of a guilty and psychopathic Humphrey Bogart. Steven’s explores legal puritanism vs. judiciousness with an ambiguously equilateral love triangle keeps us guessing.

Jean Arthur and and Carey Grant are back together again from Only Angels Have Wings” in another mix of light comedy with real stakes. One minute Cary is cracking jokes and the next minute cops are trying to shoot him in the back. If Northern towns were trying to to lynch someone who looks like Cary Grant, imagine how bad it must have been for a black man in the Jim Crow south.

Thought experiment: picture a remake of this film with Brett Kavanaugh instead of Ronald Coleman as the Supreme Court nominee

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