George Stevens' Talk of the Town is a quick-witted comedy driven by wonderful performances by Cary Grant, Ronald Colman and Jean Arthur. Michael Lightcap (Colman) is a stuffy law professor in line to a Supreme Court appointment, who is spending the summer at the house of schoolteacher Nora Shelley (Arthur). But Lightcap is not the only guest at the house. Shelley has also let Leopold Dilg (Grant)--a man who had recently escaped from prison, where he was serving a sentence for false accusations of immolating a local factory--stay at the house, telling Lightcap that he is a gardener. In addition to striking up a friendship, Lightcap and Dilg also compete for the affections of Shelley. Eventually, the professor learns of Dilg's true identity, finding out that Leopold was framed by a crooked government, led by the foreman of the factory, who supposedly died in the fire. When Dilg is captured by the police, Lightcap comes to his defense, bringing the still-alive foreman out of hiding and, in the process, clearing Leopold of all the charges. Talk of the Town received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Original Story, Best Score, Best Editing, and Best Interior Decoration, yet it lost in all of the categories.
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine synopsis