- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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"What's the government going to do with it?"
- Jeff Boston
I love that line by Republican Barrymore, whose character continues raising the ire of the IRS agent with "I wouldn't mind paying for something sensible." Back then plenty knew of Washington waste, too, in this Oscar winning picture involving fellow Republicans Stewart, Arnold, and Capra, who won Best Director here for the 3rd time in 5 years. It would've been 4 of 6 if "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" (of which Capra, Arnold, and Stewart teamed with Arthur again) did not have the stiffest competition in the history of Hollywood. It was nice seeing the two scenes with Barrymore at the head of the dinner table thanking God and leaving all "up to you."
You can't Take it with You
- Dashiell Barnes
The Best Picture winner if '38 is magnificently helmed by Capra. Fine ensemble from Arthur, Stewart & Barrymore, Byington was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy award. Not as engaging or memorable as other Capra vehicles, but nonetheless this is very funny & entertaining. This is a good, overlooked film from the late '30's. I give it a 4/5.
This is one of those contrast-types-collide kind of pictures. The romance of a young couple brings two quite disparate families together, with a lot of madcap happenings and not a little umbrage. You've got your moneyed, stiff upper crust on the guy's side and a beehive of a lower income family -- plus whoever happens in, on the girl's. Of course, you know who changes. The uptights learn a lesson in unbending and enjoying life. The wild family group provide quite a romp as it goes along, guaranteed to unbend the viewer as well. There is an array of stars, some of them on their way up, which is always interesting. It's a charmer for sure.
I love this film and I always have. One comment here said a remake may be in order to make it current and I so disagree! No film, save "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." is more current today than this one. With all of us railing against the Wall Street and corporate greed today, this film illustrates in spades how these moguls think about the 99% of us who don't have their money. Every actor, young and old, in this film does one heck of a job in their roles. The very young Ann Miller playing a ditz is such fun to watch. Lionel Barrymore is terrific as the patriarch of the motley crew he views as family. The delightful Spring Byington turns in a perfect performance. I'm a sucker for character actors and Mischa Auer is a gem as the Russian-born actor in the "family." You can't go wrong when Moss Hart and George Kaufman are the writers and they certainly don't disappoint here. This film won the Academy Award for Best Picture back in the day when it meant something and there was unbelievable competition for the Oscar. It's competition was: Boy's Town, Jezebel, Four Daughters, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Test Pilot, Grand Illusion, Pygmalion. Quite a formidable field to win against! Please see this film! You will love it as much as many of us do!
You can't take it with you
Wonderful plot. Supurb acting. Feel good movie. My favorite movie of all time
What Life is All About
- Joseph Giampapa
This is an American classic not only because of the superb Direction and cast, but the subject matter is the essence of "What Life is All About". This should be made a part of American education curriculum. A "REMAKE" might be in order, only to bring it current.
A fine film
- Mr. Blandings
Perhaps not as strong as Capra's other entries, this is a fine film with a lot of meaning and heart. And what a cast! Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, Edward Arnold, Spring Byington, H.B. Warner, Charles Lane ... fantastic!
soapy, sentimental. and a little silly. But great
You Can't Take It with You
- Mark Sutch
Don't Pass This One Over
I watched this picture for the first time this morning ... It was great! True classic comedy with a great story and an under lying life lesson we could all take to heart. Take the time to watch this truly classic movie. Thanks TCM for showing this timeless movie. Lionel Barrymore at his best!
one of the best ever
Simply one of the funniest beautifully timed family madcap romantic comedies ever. A pure delight.
Madcap Jean Arthur
I agree with Brian and Gary that Jean Arthur is one of the best ever. Great commedienne and great timing as an actress. Also the most unique voice in Hollywood films. She deserves to be right up there with the greats. What a gem! This is a good fun movie and I always enjoy watching it.
A Must See Movie
I just love this movie. This work is funny, silly and heart warming. Classic Capra. After viewing it numerous times I still laugh out loud while Ann Miller is ballet dancing in the livingroom and you see Donald and Rheba in the background doing the boogie woogie in the kitchen! Edward Arnold is wonderful in this role!
Who were the kids in the park playing music/ dancing for a dime?? Such a fun scene! One of many in this crazy, feel good movie with such a great cast under the direction of one of Hollywood's best!! I just wondered if these kids were a group like the Dead End Kids or just random actors cast n the part. I hope someone can provide the answer!
xtreme movie buff
In response to Mary, I agree!
Another Frank Capra Winner!!
If you are looking for a feel good movie, this is it. No matter how many times I see it, I never want it to end. The character's are so endearing, starting with Lional Barrymore. I alway's think, how nice it would be to grow up in a family where you are encouraged to follow your own dreams...no matter how "out there" those dreams may seem to others. If I were ever lucky enough to pick 3 of my favorite movie's for an evening with TCM..."You Can't Take It With You" would make the list!
What an extremely entertaining picture! One of Capra's most heartwarming film and his funniest, next to It Happened One Night. James Stewart in a wonderful film debut that prepares us for his future career. This is also a film with great timing from the whole cast. Winner of oscar for best picture 1938.
Good lessons in life
A happy natured and make you feel good film that shows that not all important things can be bought with money. A pleasure watching the beautiful star Jean Arthur at work. Lionel Barrymore does a good job portraying a down to earth,know what's important type of guy. Great scene showing Edward Arnold comming to the realization that he has become obsessed with business and money instead of putting time into enjoyment of life,true freindships,and his son's happiness.
- Brian Sniatkowski
I've long thought that this offbeat comedy was Capra's most underrated and unappreciated. Barrymore is outstanding as the patriarch of the eccentric Vanderhof clan. He shows his range, playing the polar opposite of his evil Mr. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life". Barrymore steals the show as a man who has dropped out of the rat race and whose only goal in life is happiness - his and that of everyone around him. Though both they have given better performances, Jean Arthur and Jimmy Stewart are solid as always. Arthur never seems to get her due when great actresses are discussed, but she certainly deserves to be mentioned along with the greats. Edward Arnold is excellent as the humorless, money hungry businessman who is trying to buy out the Vanderhof's home for his latest business venture. The cast of free spirits who live in, or regularly visit the Vanderhof home make the movie. Poppins, Kolenkhov, Penny and the rest are a hilarious bunch who create a continuous cacophony of joy that greets any visitor to the Vanderhof home. In typical Capra style things hit rock bottom for the Vanderhof clan before a warm, uplifting end that can't help but bring a smile to your face.
This was a lost classic for years
- Mary Jane Stone
This film was not seen for many years because it was ln litigation. I believe that it had something to do with the estate of one the playwrights (Kauffman and Hart). It suddenly appeard on a local UHF station sometime in the 1980's and I was delighted. This could be a reason why it escaped notice for a long time while other films from frank Capra's varied directing career were recognized. I particulary enjoy Lionel Barrymore's performance as the grandfather/patriarch character. His physical disability (a leg injured when he fell over his drawing table--he was also an artist) is explained by a line where he says he was sliding down the banister with his grandaughter. And it fits into the story with total believability. The scenes where he prays convey the character's aggreable eccentricity with ideal Barrymore charm also. I was brought up by a mother on whom this film made a lasting impression. I love it as much as she does. Jean Arthur--what a voice!
Jean Arthur is Terrific
Although I always prided myself on my knowledge of classic movies and movie stars, Jean Arthur always slipped beneath my radar. But now I think of her as one of the best female comedians of her generation. Yet, she is still underrated by the mass of movie fans. In this movie, she is great as the sane (mostly) member of a family of eccentrics. And Jimmy Stewart is Jimmy Stewart, which is all one needs to say. The restaurant scene is as good as the one in "Bringing Up Baby" or "Arthur". Why this movie is not mentioned more is beyond me. I now consider it one of my favorites.
With all of the other great films in the Frank Capra canon this one has gotten overlooked. But in its day it was one of his most popular and critically acclaimed movies. Just shows you how the winds of opinion can blow. But it is well worth checking out. Filled with a number of good performances especially Jimmy Stewart and Edward Arnold. It is also a thought provoking movie though not as troubling as Meet John Doe.