People Will Talk

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A bracingly bilious and loquacious Mankiewicz film that turns a highly esteemed gynaecologist (Grant) into a mouthpiece for the director's State of the Union address. The US of A is in a terrible state, and Grant's treatment of an unmarried mother (Crain) is heavily symbolic: her apparent immorality (Mankiewicz was amazed that the Hays Office approved the script) is set against the darker crimes and hypocrisies of American society. The man who made Crain pregnant dies in Korea; a university professor (Cronyn) stands in for Senator McCarthy; and there are pungent swipes at tax evasion and the crass materialism of the postwar boom. The fact that Mankiewicz can contain all this within the context of a romantic comedy testifies to his immense sophistication, and Grant's performance is one of his very best.

By: ATu

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