The Talk of the Town ★★★½

“Talk of the Town” was one of the first Hollywood male lead double-headers. But Jean Arthur walks away the true legend here, as she steals the film from both of them.

Cary Grant and Ronald Coleman amount to essentially charming side-pieces to Arthur’s  magnetic charm. Arthur seems to best grasp the odd chances afforded by an uneven screenplay that fluctuates between being serious political piece and a slapstick romcom. 

The script does hold up better in historical context, with writer Sidney Buchanan later being forced into exile after refusing to provide communist names to HUAC. Before that through, he got an Oscar nomination for “Talk,” which is a deeply empathetic portrait of a labor leader, and his own circle of supporters.

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