138. Let's Do It Again (1953)
Leonard Maltin's Rating :
Should be :
IMDB Rating : 5.9
Rotten Tomatoes Rating : 75% (with audience)
In his review Leonard says: "Musical remake of The Awful Truth with Milland in Cary Grant's role, Wyman in Irene Dunne's, and Ray in Ralph Bellamy's. Songs add to spicy plot, but no classic like original '37 film."
Leonard was right in saying that this was nothing like the '37 classic. If you've seen the original it is very hard to watch this very mediocre remake.
In particular the movie suffers when you compare the stars. Cary Grant was tremendous as the devilish Jerry Warriner in The Awful Truth. He was a slick and probably a womanizer, but somehow you still end up cheering for him. On the other hand, Ray Milland was a good dramatic actor, but comedy was obviously not his thing. In the remake I was hoping that the divorce would go through.
Irenne Dunne was a really good comedic actress as she showed in The Awful Truth, and the similarly themed My Favorite Wife (also with Cary Grant). She was nominated for Best Actress for her performance in The Awful Truth, and she would have been a worthy winner. Jane Wyman was a good dramatic actress, and a good singer, but she was no match for Irene Dunne when it came to comedy.
Ralph Bellamy was really, really good in The Awful Truth as the rejected suitor. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. Aldo Ray was in the remake but really didn't help the movie in any way.
Some classic scenes like the ones with Asta (changed to a piano?), the hat scene and the introduction to the parents were painfully ruined in the remake.
The Awful Truth won Leo McCaray a Best Director Oscar. It was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Writing Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.
So is it because of the original that I disliked the remake so much? It may have something to do with it, but it was a really weak movie on it's own merits.
It's kind of ridiculous that Leonard gave The Awful Truth 3 1/2 stars and the really weak Let's Do It Again 3 stars. They really are so far apart in every way.