The Talk of the Town

Synopsis: In suburban Lochester, New England, three people end up living together in high school teacher Nora Shelley's rental house. The first is her new tenant, renowned Harvard law professor Michael Lightcap, who has rented the house for the summer while he writes his new book. The second is Nora herself. Despite having an auspicious first meeting, Lightcap hires Nora to be his live-in cook and secretary for a week until his manservant Tilney arrives. The third is Joseph, the property's gardener, who is currently laid up with a sprained ankle. In reality, Joseph is Nora's childhood friend Leopold Dilg, who has just escaped from prison. Leopold was being tried for the arson of the factory where he worked, and for murder for the death of the factory foreman Clyde Bracken, whose body was never recovered but who is assumed to have died in the fire. Despite the danger to herself, Nora hides Leopold since she believes his story that although he, as an activist, did speak out about the dangerous con
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director(s): George Stevens
Production: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Rotten Tomatoes:
118 min


I'm convinced that this fire

was deliberately set.

But by who, Mr. Holmes?

By who?

- Dilg escaped?

- Escaped?

- Miss Shelley...

- One move and I'll brain you.

- I'd appreciate the keys to your car.

- Get out of here, Leopold Dilg.

- I'm sorry, but it's important.

- I'm warning you!

Dilg! Dilg!

Excuse me.

Dilg, what are you doing here?

You broke out of jail.

In passing, it was necessary

to hit me on the skull.

You fool, the whole police force

must be looking for you.

The whole country.

I'd like to stay here.

You can't. I'm fixing this house up

for rent. It'll be occupied tomorrow.

Why did you escape?

You've got to leave.

Come on, please.

What's the matter?

My ankle.

Oh, my gosh! How far do you expect

to get with that?

And where are you going?

I'd appreciate any suggestions.

Why didn't you think of that

in the first place?

Miss Shelley, do you believe

I could burn down a factory?

You're crying.

One day you love the whole world,

and all of a sudden, every...

No! Get upstairs, quick.


I want you to go in the attic

and keep quiet, understand?

Close that door behind you.

Good evening.

- I am Michael Lightcap.

- Michael Lightcap?

You're supposed to arrive tomorrow.

Your secretary...

My secretary is getting married.

Nothing deranges a woman's mind more.

My entire life has been in complete

confusion for the last two months.

- You must be the person we spoke with.

- Yes, Nora Shelley.

How do you do, Miss Shelley?

An excellent name.

- Yes. It's raining, isn't it?

- Definitely.

We're having an early summer.

Could we talk inside?

It's rather damp out here.

Nothing is ready. I thought tomorrow

about noon... I suggest a hotel.

I planned to spend the night here,

so I'll spend the night here.

Standing under an open umbrella inside,

bad luck. Silly superstition, isn't it?

Still, in a new, strange house,

you never know what's liable to turn up.

- I've had that umbrella 11 years.

- I'm so sorry.

You have a nervous, impulsive quality

that I find in many of my students.

- Disease of the age.

- Yes, sir.

I'll get my bags.

Get up in the attic. Didn't you hear?

That's the new tenant!

You shouldn't have

broken his umbrella.

Get up in the attic.

Do you know who he is?

He's a legal genius,

Dean of Commonwealth Law School.

He eats with the governor.

He writes to the president.

Yeah, a very cold character,

Mr. Lightcap.

He's back.

Now remember, keep quiet.

- Later, out you go.

- I wonder where.

Oh, darn.

- Hello.

- Why did you lock the door?

Did I? Why, isn't that queer?

There seems to be a strange atmosphere

hanging over this house.

Soon as I get the curtains up

it'll be all right.


You're a very sarcastic man,

aren't you?

I've just finished teaching,

for nine months...

...400 weary young men

the rudiments of law.

I drove all the way down here myself...

...because my man went to see

his ailing mother in West Virginia.

I had a long, hard trip and was looking

forward to a cheerful, bright house...

...a warm bed. And I find myself,

on a rainy night, in this shambles.

I must confess, Miss Shelley, I've never

seen such monumental inefficiency.

Why didn't you tell your secretary to

get things right before she ran off?

Is it my fault you came

barging in here 24 hours early?

If you'd come tomorrow, it would have

been efficiently whipped together.

It would've been cheerful and bright.

- Are you through?

- Yes.

There's justice in what you say,

but the violence with which...

- I'm sorry, but...

- I accept your apology. Accept mine.

Is there a bedroom in the house

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Irwin Shaw

Irwin Shaw (February 27, 1913 – May 16, 1984) was an American playwright, screenwriter, novelist, and short-story author whose written works have sold more than 14 million copies. He is best known for two of his novels: The Young Lions (1948), about the fate of three soldiers during World War II, made into a film of the same name starring Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift, and Rich Man, Poor Man (1970), about the fate of two siblings after World War II. In 1976, a popular miniseries was made into a highly popular miniseries starring Peter Strauss, Nick Nolte, and Susan Blakely. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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