Talk of the Town (1942)

with Jean ArthurIn an opening sequence worthy of any dark murder mystery, Talk of the Town sets its skillful blend of social commentary, romance, and very funny comedy.

A factory goes up in flames, a foreman is missing and presumed dead. The owner of the factory (and political boss of the town) accuses Leopold Dilg (Cary Grant), local radical and free thinker, of arson and murder. Dilg is arrested, tried, and sentenced to hang. On a stormy night Dilg overpowers his guard and escapes. A badly sprained ankle slows him down - when he reaches the country cottage of Nora Shelley (Jean Arthur) Dilg can go no further.

Nora is readying Sweetbrook cottage for a summertime tenant due to arrive the next day. She is upset to find Dilg the fugitive in the house and unable to walk - but the situation gets immeasurably worse when there is a knock at the door. Nora manages to get Dilg up to the attic, and upon opening the front door she finds her new tenant has arrived 24 hours early. Professor Michael Lightcap (Colman), Dean of Commonwealth Law School and the number one legal brain in the state is cold, wet, tired and not at all pleased to find his house not ready for him. To say nothing of what happens to his umbrella.


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