During World War II, retired millionaire Benjamin Dingle (Charles Coburn) arrives in Washington, D.C. as an adviser on the housing shortage and finds that his hotel suite will not be available for two days. He sees an ad for a roommate and talks the reluctant young woman, Connie Milligan (Jean Arthur), who’s doing her part to ease the housing shortage, into letting him sublet half of her apartment.

Dingle then runs into Sergeant Joe Carter (Joel McCrea), who has no place to stay while he waits to be shipped overseas. And he generously rents him half of his half. When Connie finds out about the new arrangement, she orders them both to leave, but is forced to relent because she has already spent their rent money.

Even though Connie has been engaged to bureaucrat Charles J. Pendergast (Richard Gaines) for 22 months, she begins falling in love with Joe. Dingle sees that the two are falling in love with each other, and after meeting Pendergast at a business luncheon, decides that Joe would be a better match for Connie. So he plans to bring the two of them together.

One day, Dingle is caught reading to Joe from Connie's diary. When she catches him, Connie demands they both leave the next day. When Dingle accepts full blame for the incident, Connie allows Joe to stay the few more days before he is to ship out overseas.

Due to a nosy teenage neighbor, Morton (Stanley Clements), Joe is taken in for questioning as a suspected spy for the Japanese, and Connie is brought along as well. When Dingle and Pendergast show up to vouch for them, it comes out that Joe and Connie are living in the same apartment. They are eventually released, but the story reaches a reporter. Dingle advises the young couple to get married to avoid a scandal and then have it annulled later. They follow his advice and wed. However (as Dingle had foreseen), Connie's attraction to Joe overcomes her prudence.

Oscar
6 Nominations
1 Award
Best Supporting Actor

Golden Globes
0 Nominations
0 Awards
This movie was nominated for 6 Academy Award including Best Picture, Actress, Supporting Actor, Director, Screenplay and Original Story. Unfortunately it won only 1, the Best Supporting Actor for Charles Coburn’s performance. “Casablanca” took home the most awards that year for picture and director, but George Stevens’ direction was definitely worthy of the nomination. The award for best actress went to Jennifer Jones for “The Song of Bernadette”. Jean Arthur was never nominated for another Academy Award, which is sad, because this woman was one of the best actress’ of her generation. I defy anyone not to like a movie of hers.

This movie brings to life the war torn era of WWII, while still having a sense of humor about the trouble it brought into our country. I definitely credit George Stevens. He was a phenomenal director who directed so many Oscar worthy pictures. Jean Arthur, who worked with on numerous occasions, said: “George started out as a cameraman with Laurel and Hardy, and he learned so many wonderful tricks, like having us walk forward while looking backward and then bumping into something. George was a darling man, so great with comedy. It's too bad he got serious.”

Charles Coburn, who won the Oscar, is nothing short of fantastic,stealing scene after scene as Benjamin Dingle. He was the glue hat kept the movie together, with his overly nosy and seemingly forgetful demeanor. It was Coburn's second movie comedy with Jean Arthur, the first was “The Devil and Miss Jones”, and the certainly play well against each other. One of the writers on the film was Garson Kanin, who went completely uncredited. There are so many of his touches in the movie, it’s easy to see his hand in it.

This film was remade in 1966 and called “Walk, Don’t Run” with Cary Grant, Jim Hutton and Samantha Eggar with Grant playing Charles Coburn’s role. “Walk, Don’t Run” was set in Japan, which is ironic due to the fact that in the original movie, Joel McRae’s character was questioned by the F.B.I. for being a possible Japanese spy. While I liked “Walk, Don’t Run”, nothing compares to “The More The Merrier”.