“One day in Hollywood, I read a script in which the character was described as ‘charming but dull — a typical Ralph Bellamy type.’ I promptly headed for New York to find a part with guts.” — Ralph Bellamy
“I always tell the producers, if I can’t get the girl at the end of the picture, at least give me more money.” — Ralph Bellamy
The script for The Awful Truth (1937) had been rewritten numerous times, eventually being discarded the day before principal photography was to begin. However, the film was rushed into production anyway due to Irene Dunne‘s contractual commitment. So, to make up for an existing story but an almost non-existing screenplay, director Leo McCarey and the cast relied largely on improvisation, making the behind the scenes antics almost as screwball as the ones onscreen. Due to the strength of McCarey’s direction, Dunne, Cary Grant and Ralph Bellamy, et al, this film turned out to be a classic, nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and, believe it or not, Best Screenplay. McCarey took home the only Oscar.