It's World War II and there is a severe housing shortage everywhere - especially in Washington, D.C. where Connie Milligan (Jean Arthur) rents an apartment. Believing it to be her patriotic duty, Connie offers to sublet half of her apartment, fully expecting a suitable female tenant. What she gets instead is mischievous, middle-aged Benjamin Dingle(Charles Coburn). Dingle talks her into subletting to him and then promptly sublets half of his half to young, irreverent Joe Carter(Joel McCrea) - creating a situation tailor-made for comedy and romance.
Charles Coburn won an Oscar for his scene-stealing performance; the film was nominated for best film, best director, best actress, best original story and best screenplay.
The More the Merrier was remade in 1966 as Walk Don't Run, with the Tokyo Olympics as the cause of the housing shortage. Cary Grant took the Coburn role; Samantha Eggar and Jim Hutton played the younger folks. It was Grant’s last film, as he retired to spend time with his new daughter.
The More the Merrier (Directed by George Stevens, 1943, 101 min., United States, b&w, Unrated)
“A sparkling and effervescing piece of entertainment, The More the Merrier, is one of the most spontaneous farce-comedies of the wartime era. Although Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea carry the romantic interest, Charles Coburn walks off with the honors.” Variety, December 11,1942
“Washington makes some curious bedfellows. And so does "The More the Merrier." Bosley Crowther, New York Times, May 14, 1943
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