It's now one of my favorite classic films to watch during the Christmas season. It's brisk, goofy, glamorous and has big stars at Warner Brothers in a yuletide comedy. The movie is 1942's THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER based on a Broadway hit in which dozens of celebrity names were dropped. Monty Woolley plays Sheridan Whiteside, the role he originated on Broadway. This volatile, meddlesome yet sentimental man in a wheelchair is loosely based on then popular theatre critic and radio personality named Alexander Woollcott. Woollcott was a member of the famed Algonquin Table. Bette Davis plays Whiteside's his long-suffering personal secretary, wrangler and friend, Maggie Cutler.
Warner Brothers' popular star Ann Sheridan was nicknamed "The Oomph Girl" as the studio strapped her with a glamour girl image.
THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER was done as a special telecast on NBC in 1972. Orson Welles took on the Sheridan Whiteside role. It wasn't very good. But Mary Wickes got to repeat her Miss Preen role yet again.
Happy Holidays. Enjoy THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER. And dig that dress.