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3 - The Awful Truth (1937)

Unconventionally opening with the break-up of mutually devious married couple Jerry and Lucy Warriner (Cary Grant and Irene Dunne), we're soon in court as they argue for custody of the dog, then on the bitter road to divorce. However, neither is taking it lying down, both stubbornly attempting to prove to the other that they're moving on with their lives, even though it's clear to everyone in their path that they're still head over heels in love. 

Lucy snags herself a rebound relationship in the shape of Ralph Bellamy's lunkhead tycoon, Dan Leeson, whilst Jerry opts for the haughty arms of heiress, Barbara Vance (Moly Lamont), but it's not long before they both turn their attention to sabotaging each other's chances at finding love again.

Winning Leo McCarey the Oscar for Best Director, this groundbreaking comedy established Grant as the romantic lead of his day, and contains some of the funniest scenes in 1930's comedy: Ralph Bellamy's lumbering dance moves, Grant crashing through a chair, Dunne pretending to be Grant's alcoholic sister at a family gathering, it's scintillating stuff from beginning to end.

Magic Moment: Grant slipping the orchestra a few dollars to have them play again, then relaxing back into his ringside seat to watch Dunne being dragged around the dance-floor by Bellamy's southern palooka.

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The Awful Truth [DVD] (1937) [2003]
£4.40
Starring Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy, Alexander D'Arcy, Cecil Cunningham