In this farce, an urban couple buys a farmhouse reputed to have housed a former U.S. president.
In George Washington Slept Here (1942), an antiques collector (Ann Sheridan) convinces her husband (Jack Benny) that they need a famous, dilapidated New England farmhouse in their lives. The husband is skeptical. The wife busily sets up house, while everything threatens to make the husband suffer - weak floors that he falls through, rude neighbors, livestock in the house.
Based on a Play with Mixed Reviews
|Kaufman and Hart|
The farcical George Washington Slept Here started as a Broadway play written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart in 1940. The pair had written many plays together, including, You Can't Take it With You and The Man Who Came to Dinner - successful plays that became hit films.
From those plays and films, audiences had come to expect something erudite, witty and unexpectedly probing. In this comedy about a farmhouse, audiences received exactly what the story seemed to be - a comedy about a farmhouse. Nothing deeper.
"The wellsprings of creativity had obviously run dry with George Washington Slept Here," says the author of Moss Hart: A Prince of the Theatre, Jared Brown. "Every other play written by Kaufman and Hart had been adventurous, an attempt to explore new territory.
"George Washington Slept Here, on the other hand, was little more than formulaic, warmed-over material...."