Dinner at Eight

Synopsis: Millicent Jordan is pre-occupied with the plans she is making for a high-class dinner party. Her husband Oliver is in failing health, and he is also worried because someone is trying to buy up the stock in his shipping business - even his old friend Carlotta wants to sell her stock. Hoping to get help from businessman Dan Packard, he persuades Millicent, against her wishes, to invite Packard and his wife to the dinner. As Oliver's problems get worse, Millicent is increasingly quick-tempered because the plans for the party are not going smoothly. As the time for the dinner approaches, it appears that the hosts and the guests will all have plenty on their minds.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): George Cukor
Rotten Tomatoes:
111 min

Darling, I've got Lord and Lady Ferncliffe.

They'll come to dinner next Friday.

I just had a radio from them on the boat.

Wasn't that brilliant of me,

getting the Ferncliffes?

Yes, that was very brilliant of you,

if you want the Ferncliffes.

But I do. You remember them, darling.

They entertained us in London.

I remember them well,

and very dull it was, too.

Australian mutton...

and a lot of people

who'd been buried for years...

and got up just to eat that mutton.

You don't realize

how important it is, Oliver.

Everybody will be after them.

I thought you and Ferncliffe

had lots in common.

Isn't he interested in shipping, too?

Mr. Oliver Jordan accepts.

Of course, it's terribly short notice.

Thank you, Gustave.

Let's see. Lord and Lady Ferncliffe...

the Talbots:
The Doctor and Lucy.

I saw that your precious Carlotta Vance

arrived on the Europa yesterday.

Carlotta? Fine, let's have her.

Of course, she goes with a different crowd

than the Ferncliffes over there.

All those impossible fast people.

At her age, too.

Nonsense. Carlotta has no age.

Oliver, just because she was once

your favorite actress.

Dad, I thought you'd gone.

Well, if it isn't her ladyship.

Don't look at me, I'm a sight.

Didn't sleep a wink.

I thought I heard you moving around

in your room.

Couldn't you sleep, either?

- Nerves?

- I don't know. I suppose so.

Say, pips,

there isn't anything really wrong, is there?

Now, how can the shipping business go on

if the owner's tie isn't straight?

Paula, I'll want you and Ernest

for dinner next Friday.

When does his boat land?

I don't know, Mother.

You don't know?

Aren't you being awfully vague

about your fianc?

I certainly hope Ernest is more excited

about this wedding than you seem to be.

And don't forget,

we're going shopping this afternoon.

I can't this afternoon, Mother. I'm sorry.

But you've got to. You've simply got to.

Do you realize you're being married

in a month...

and you haven't got a stitch of trousseau?

Why can't you go shopping with me

this afternoon?

- I've an engagement.

- What engagement?

I'm going to a concert.

A concert. That reminds me.

When Cousin Hattie comes in

this morning...

I want to give her our Philharmonic seats

for Thursday.

Whom are you going to the concert with?

Hello. Dr. Talbot's residence?

Mrs. Talbot, please.

Mrs. Oliver Jordan calling.

Paula, what concert...

Lucy? How are you, my dear? Listen, Lucy.

Lord and Lady Ferncliffe

arrive from London tomorrow...

and I want you and Wayne

a week from tonight.

Yes, dinner at 8:00.

- Mr. Jordan's late.

- He probably stopped at the dock.

- Where'd you put those invoices?

- What invoices?

For the Castilian.

What's the hurry?

She's not sailing till tomorrow.

Good morning, Mr. Jordan.

Good morning. It's cold outside.

- Why, I thought it was real pleasant.

- Not down on the dock.

- Cold down there, all right.

- Yes.

Just a minute.

The Castilian isn't going to sail tomorrow.

- What?

- Not sailing?

No use sending a boat out

without enough cargo in her...

to keep her down in the water.

My, my.

No Jordan boat has missed a trip

in 60 years.

I know that.

Will the Santa Clara sail next week?

Cheer up, Fosdick.

It's just as good a line as it ever was.

The best in the world.

Right you are.

Some other people think so, too.

Wish I knew who it was

that's trying to buy up our stock.

You're not going to lose

control of the line, Mr. Jordan.

Mr. Jordan, your father, your grandfather...

No. Of course not.

And we're going to put up a fight

they wouldn't be ashamed of, either.

And the first step in that.

Did you get ahold of Mr. Packard?

- He's coming in this morning.

- Good.

Mr. Jordan,

Miss Carlotta Vance is here to see you.

Carlotta? Here? Outside?

Oliver! Ducky!

I never was so glad to see anyone

in all my life.

Carlotta, this is a surprise.

Why, you look marvelous.

Do I? I do, don't I?


Oliver, actually,

you're looking handsomer than ever.

- A little gray.

- Gray? Nonsense!


Come on over and sit down.

- Oliver...

- Let me look at you.

What are you doing over here?

Trying to mend my shattered fortune.

You picked a nice day for it.

In the right part of town, too.

There are our financiers

sitting on those benches out there.

Now, come along, Carlotta.

Who did you come down to the Battery

to see? Not me.

No, sir. I'll not deceive you.

I came down here to see

the United States Customs Inspector.

Isador J. Greenbaum, the son of a...

Say, why shouldn't I own six fur coats?

Why not, indeed? It's perfectly reasonable.

And when I was standing

in the Customs office, what did I sight?

"Jordan Line. "

Says I to myself, says I,

"Maybe the old gentleman is in. "

And here you are.

I'm very grateful to Mr. Greenbaum.

Oliver, I'm as flat as a millpond.

I haven't got a sou.

Carlotta, go along with you.

What about all those gilt-edged securities

and your theater?

That alone ought to bring you

enough to live on.

My chief reason for coming to

this country is to get rid of that rattrap.

What's the matter with it?

For six months,

they haven't taken the lock off the door.

It's now known as

the "spiders' rendezvous. "

Can't collect rent from them.

When old Starfield gave me that theater...

I thought it was very magnificent

of the old boy.

Now I wish I'd taken a sandwich.

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Frances Marion

Frances Marion (born Marion Benson Owens, November 18, 1888 – May 12, 1973) was an American journalist, author, film director and screenwriter often cited as the most renowned female screenwriter of the 20th century alongside June Mathis and Anita Loos. She was the first writer to win two Academy Awards. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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