Share

Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

People Will Talk Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

People Will Talk was less a movie than a conduit for the genteel liberalism of screenwriter/director Joseph M. Mankiewicz. Cary Grant plays Dr. Praetorius, an unorthodox medical professor at a sedate midwestern college who seems more interested in the human soul than in the cold facts of the human body. Praetorius' nemesis is a conservative rival doctor (Hume Cronyn) who presses for an investigation of our hero's clouded past--with special emphasis given the mysterious old man (Finlay Currie) who lives with Praetorius and waits on him hand and foot. In the course of the film, Praetorius falls in love with one of his students, an unmarried pregnant girl (Jeanne Crain). At the climactic hearing concerning Praetorius' fitness, the presiding judge (Basil Ruysdael) decides that Praetorius' "modern" methods are more worthwhile than the pragmatic, cut-and-dried theories of his enemies. Based on a German play by Curt Goetz, People Will Talk is a bit too proud of its own cleverness, with Mankiewicz' political planks being wedged in at all the inappropriate times (while conversing with the father of the pregnant girl, Praetorius launches on a gratuitous attack against farm subsidies!) Still, the film is ten times more intelligent than most of Hollywood's 1951 output, and contains one of Cary Grant's best and subtlest seriocomic performances. Bonus: In the first scene of People Will Talk, the snoopy lady who brings Praetorius' "shady" past to the attention of Hume Cronyn is played by an uncredited Margaret ("Wicked Witch of the West") Hamilton. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast

Cary Grant
as Dr. Noah Praetorius
Jeanne Crain
as Debbie Higgins
Finlay Currie
as Shunderson
Hume Cronyn
as Prof. Elwell
Walter Slezak
as Prof. Barker
Sidney Blackmer, Sr.
as Arthur Higgins
Basil Ruysdael
as Dean Lyman Brockwell
Will Wright
as John Higgins
Margaret Hamilton
as Miss Pickett
Esther Somers
as Mrs. Pegwhistle
Carleton Young
as Technician
Ray Montgomery
as Doctor
Joe Gilbert
as Nurse
Ann Morrison
as Dietician
Julia Dean
as Old Lady
Gail Bonney
as Secretary
Adele Longmire
as Mabel
Billy House
as Coonan
Al Murphy
as Photographer
Parley Baer
as Toy Salesman
Irene Seidner
as Cook
Joyce MacKenzie
as Gussie
Maude Wallace
as Night Matron
Lawrence Dobkin
as Business Manager
Billy Mauch
Stuart Holmes
as Board Member
Jack Kelly

Crew

Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Director
Darryl F. Zanuck
Producer
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Screenwriter
Milton Krasner
Cinematographer
Johannes Brahms
Featured Music
Alfred Newman
Musical Direction/Supervision
Alfred Newman
Composer (Music Score)
Lyle Wheeler
Art Director
George W. Davis
Art Director
Walter Scott
Set Designer
Charles LeMaire
Costume Designer
Roger Heman
Sound/Sound Designer
Fred Sersen
Special Effects
Advertisement