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The Man Who Came to Dinner

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  4,466 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
The Man Who Came to Dinner...and stayed and stayed and stayed! Sheridan Whiteside, the man who came to dinner, throws out insults with a voluminous precision volley. Maggie Cutler, his secretary, is described by Whiteside as an aging debutante supporting her two-headed brother.
Hailed by critics as one of the funniest plays to ever hit Broadway, The Man Who Came to Dinner i
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Paperback, 102 pages
Published January 1942 by Pocket Books (first published 1939)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Katy Noyes
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A work of comic genius!
One of my favourite play-to-film adaptations and a riot of a play with some eminently quotable lines.

Sheridan Whiteside, celebrity speaker has slipped on ice outside the smalltown home of a family he had deigned to visit (for a fee) and has now taken over their house, rooms, telephone with his requests, guests and gifts.

Querulous, sharp-tongued and used to his own way, 'Sherry' causes friction in the family, stirs up trouble between his secretary and her new beau, and gene
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Toni King
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays-theatre, comedy
This has got to be one of my favorite comedies of all time! Whiteside is absolutely hilarious! He's so mean - it's fantastic! I love that the characters in the play are very closely modeled after real-life celebrities of the 1930s. I'm such a fan of the era that adding the impeccable timing and comedy in with the fashion makes this play one of the best ever. I cannot wait to direct this show at our theatre this Christmas! Auditions are in September!
Carol
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: playfull
Fun fun fun!!! Such drama and comedy! Laughing out loud in the subway all the way. Maggie: pg144 Lorraine: pg177,193
Jeff
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is certainly not my first time through this play, but a project had swung it back into view, and it always a pleasure to spend time with this comedic gem.
Shawn Ruth
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another funny play! I directed this during my student teaching and it is hilarious! (Plus we won a One-Act competition with this play so it will always hold a place in my heart!)
Sean Boyd
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant script!
Matt
May 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play-hunt
This is a play that I loved reading every moment of. The writing was top notch making it a timeless play that just so happens to take place in a certain time period.
Lauren (likes literature)
Subtly funny, slightly raunchy, insidiously clever.
Sketchbook
Camp comedy of insult & bitchery. Well-crafted burp that delights amateur theatre groups in the stix.
Kristen Lo
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Classic big cast comedy. Practically every character has his/her moment. Even though so many of the names are unrecognizable (takes place in the 1930's--and I don't know half of the celebrities) its humor still holds.
Meg
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fast-paced witty comedy. In places dated due to sexual banter and gendered comments (also, telegraph!). Otherwise it plays well to a modern era.
Shelly
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This remains one of my favorite plays. Freshman year in high school I read Moss Hart's autobiography, Act I. Then the school put on this play and I went to see it. I was hooked. I never missed a play or musical at the school after that. I rediscovered the story a few years ago when the movie version came up On Demand. I loved it all over again (and could distinctly remember some of the actors from my high school). It's a fun and funny story and one to enjoy over and over again.
Jim Leckband
Kanye and Kim were relaxing with me in my conversation pit when our talk fell, as it always does, to "fame". K & K (as they like me to call them) could care less about fame for itself - I mean whoever heard of someone being famous for being famous?!!! No, they were concerned about their legacy - what the world seventy years from now will think of their magnificent achievements. I said there will be no doubt that Kanye West's musical compositions will reside comfortably with "Yesterday" or "O ...more
Alexander Davidson
Good enough for being written in 1939. I liked the many moving parts of this play. There was a lot of ins and outs, and a lot of characters having multiple side plots and shenanigans. While the play generally was entertaining, I gave this two stars instead of three because so much of the humor was reliant on cultural references that are out-dated for today. I understood them but still. While Sheridan Whiteside is a crazy eccentric radio personality, there are moments in the play that simply add ...more
Ashley Lambert-Maberly
I first read this when I was eleven. I don't think I quite understood everything, but I knew a good read when I saw it!

Years later I was able to attend the revival with Nathan Lane & Jean Smart (and a slightly miscast Harriet Harris)--what a delight to see these masters bringing the words to life. But this is one of those wonderful plays which read very, very well indeed. It's no doubt better with Nathan Lane, but just imagine Nathan Lane in your head and you will have a marvelous time readi
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Maddy Martinelli
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am involved in my school production of this play, and have now read it at least 7 times through, and each time the jokes are still hilarious. Kaufman and Moss really let the audience/reader into the inner thoughts of all of the characters, and I really enjoyed how well they created Mr. Whiteside and his sense of humor. The jokes are fantastic and will certainly leave you out of breath, as well as the progression of all of the shenanigans that occur during this play. I highly recommend this pla ...more
Elisabeth
Dec 16, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, plays, christmas
1.5 stars. This is one case where the Hollywood Production Code deserves a vote of thanks for making a halfway decent movie out of the play. While a lot of the situations and the biting wit are undeniably funny, the nastiness and vulgarity of so much of its humor makes it hard to read and not worth the time.
Summer
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was a little bit confused with it. I think it would have been better if there hadn't been so much going on. It seemed as if 10 things were happening at once and it was crazy. Also, there were too many people and I couldn't always keep them straight. I didn't really understand the point of the play and it just left me lost in the end.
Lynn Demsky
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, clasic
This is just another great classic that's a thoroughly enjoyable read! I chuckled so many times, made me happy - but as I was reading it I could see parts of the film rolling along in my head with the words I was reading! Most entertaining.....
Letty
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very entertaining play satirizing the budding entertainment industry with its whimsical actresses and equally whimsical critics who make this little world go round... or awry!
Now I can't wait to see the movie adaptation with Bette Davis.
Kj
Sep 28, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, plays
A great and witty play. I even remembered my three lines!
Kderry
Jun 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining, little usable material though
J.
Jul 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This play was really funny, and well written. I saw the movie first, it is excellent also, i think it is from 1943.
Mike Jensen
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A comic masterpiece.
Kerrie
Aug 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this play well enough. It didn't really start getting interesting until near the end though.
Fishface
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, drama
Funny, funny story that also serves as a cautionary tale against letting your front stoop get too icy. Get that salt sprinkled pronto, or next thing you know you'll be accused of white slavery...
Mike Jensen
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A rare play that gets away with wearing its heart on its sleeve, aided by the fact that its heart is in the right place.
Rachel Gatti
Nov 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Love, love, love this play. I was fortunate enough to see it performed with Nathan Lane as Sheridan Whiteside. The film version is a Christmas favorite. Great read.
Miranda
Maggie Cutler, 2013
Mark Valentine
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Faced-paced, tight comedy; dated, yes, but not a flaw, merely the child of its age; and Whiteside's verbal arrows are classic. I was fortunate enough to play Mr. Stanley in a local production.
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Moss Hart was an American playwright and director of plays and musical theater. Hart recalled his youth, early career and rise to fame in his autobiography, Act One, adapted to film in 1963, with George Hamilton portraying Hart.

Hart grew up at 74 East 105th Street in Manhattan, "a neighborhood not of carriages and hansom cabs, but of dray wagons, pushcarts, and immigrants" (Bach 1). Early on he ha
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More about Moss Hart...

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