No Time For Comedy

  • 1940
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy

An excellent adaptation by the Epstein brothers makes this Behrman Broadway play come to life on screen. It starred Katherine Cornell on New York stage, although Russell more than fills Kit's shoes. Stewart is a Minnesota journalist who writes a New York play despite the fact that he's never been near the city. The play is taken for production and will...read more

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An excellent adaptation by the Epstein brothers makes this Behrman Broadway play come to life on screen. It starred Katherine Cornell on New York stage, although Russell more than fills Kit's shoes. Stewart is a Minnesota journalist who writes a New York play despite the fact that he's

never been near the city. The play is taken for production and will star Russell. They send for Stewart to come in and make revisions and he takes the long way around, via the Grand Canyon, just because he's never been there. He's a stammering, likable guy and a breath of fresh air for Russell,

who has been accustomed to the smart-aleck types, like her director, Joslyn. Stewart and Russell meet, fall in love, and he takes up residence in New York where he becomes the 1930s version of Neil Simon (or, actually, Moss Hart) and pens four smash comedies in as many years. Soon, the hayseed is

fancying himself as a Manhattan sophisticate and much of his charm has been replaced by a snobbish kind of cynicism. Tobin enters the scene. She's a married matron (to Ruggles) who thinks that Stewart is wasting his talent and time on such folderol as comedy and that he should strive for something

deeper, like the Great American Tragedy. Stewart doffs his fool's cap and dons his Chekhovian coat to write what the New York critics think may be the worst drama ever to play that city. Stewart, at the same time, thinks he may have fallen for Tobin, and Russell, desperate to hold their marriage

together, fakes an affair with Ruggles. Finally Stewart realizes that Russell and comedy are both what he needs. The same twist was used by Preston Sturges in SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS. In that film, a great comedy director wants to make a film tragedy and comes to the conclusion that what the world

needs now is laughs. That was the truth then and remains the truth to this day.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: An excellent adaptation by the Epstein brothers makes this Behrman Broadway play come to life on screen. It starred Katherine Cornell on New York stage, although Russell more than fills Kit's shoes. Stewart is a Minnesota journalist who writes a New York p… (more)

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