Joy of Living (1938) - Rotten Tomatoes

Joy of Living1938

Joy of Living (1938)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Given the talent involved, The Joy of Living should have been far better than it is. Irene Dunne plays Maggie, a popular musical-comedy star saddled with a possessive, spendthrift family. Maggie would like to leave the house once in a while and experience "real life," but her parents (Alice Brady, Guy Kibbee), worried that they'll lose their meal ticket, refuse to allow her to do so. The Prince Charming who rescues Maggie from her folks is ship-owner Dan (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) As a bonus, the footloose and fancy-free Dan teaches the repressed Maggie that "it's fun to be foolish." Apparently director Tay Garnett couldn't keep the production under control, and the cost ballooned to a then-staggering $1.1 million, resulting in a huge loss for RKO Radio. Some of the film's brighter moments are provided by Lucille Ball, Billy Gilbert, Jean Dixon and Franklin Pangborn, who like Dunne and Fairbanks all deserved funnier material than this.


Irene Dunne
as Margaret 'Maggie' Garret
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
as Daniel 'Dan' Brewster
Alice Brady
as Minerva Garret
Guy Kibbee
as Dennis Garret
Jean Dixon
as Harrison
Eric Blore
as Potter
Billy Gilbert
as Cafe Owner
Frank Milan
as Bert Pine
Dorothy Steiner
as Dotsy Pine
Estelle Steiner
as Betsy Pine
Franklin Pangborn
as Radio Broadcast Orchestra Leader
Spencer Charters
as Magistrate
George Chandler
as Taxi Driver
Grady Sutton
as Florist
Charles Lane
as Dress Extra
Pat Flaherty
as Autograph Hound
Frank Moran
as Cop with Gravel Voice
Harry Woods
as Cop/Autograph Hound
Bert Roach
as German Waiter
Charles Williams
as Sideshow Barker
Fuzzy Knight
as Sideshow Piano Player
Dennis O'Keefe
as Man in Building Lobby
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Critic Reviews for Joy of Living

All Critics (2)

If Joy of Living doesn't seem quite as spontaneous as The Awful Truth, it's probably just because it came later in the cycle. On its own merits, it's lively entertainment.

April 1, 2019 | Full Review…

Tiresome musical screwball comedy.

December 23, 2007 | Rating: C | Full Review…

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