Sunday, 6 March 2011

What's The Use If You Can't Take It With You?

I watched You Can't Take It With You (1938) yesterday and I saw it was James Stewart, Jean Arthur and Lionel Barrymore I was so exited! I also was really looking forward to another Frank Capra movie after the last one I watched, Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, disappointed me a little. This one was far from a disappointment.  By the way, I did have one comment after I asked about your preference of review layout, and they said they preferred it this way. Anyhow, here's the review.

You Can't Take It With You

The Sycamore/Vanderhof household is a family of eccentrics who do what they like to do and are loved by all the people in their neighborhood. The only nearly normal person in the family is one of the two daughters, Alice. She is a stenographer and she falls in love with her boss, Tony Kirby. They want to get married but Tony's parents are concerned about the class difference. Little do any of them know, that Tony's father is trying to make Grandpa Vanderhof sell their precious house to make a factory. Everyone in Alice's family is ecstatic about the proposed marriage, and Tony and Alice have a great evening out together (which has such a funny scene in it).

But when Tony brings over his family to Alice's house on the wrong day deliberately, Alice is furious that she couldn't at least try to make a good impression.
On top of everything, they get arrested by the police as part of a plan to scare them away from their house. While they are all (including Mr. and Mrs. Kirby) in a cell, Mr. Kirby and Grandpa Vanderhof discover their connection when Kirby's real estate agent visits the cell, and Grandpa gives Kirby a real lecture on life values.

The Vanderhof/Sycamores are fined $100 but all of the many the friends who have come to support them in court pay it off for them in small change (a bit like It's A Wonderful Life). Alice flees the town after she breaks up with Tony in the courtroom while being quoted by newspapers. In the end though, they all sort it out and eat dinner together as a double-family. Yay!
It's true this film follows the 1940s Frank Capra pattern, the good will always win and all that jazz, and I just adore it. It has really good messages, especially since we are in the economical situation we are. Everyone in this film is good, but it's really Lionel Barrymore that steals the show. He's just amazing and his prayer scenes before they all eat are great. He and Jean Arthur have some great scenes together, and they work very well together. James Stewart and Jean Arthur are always good together, and Frank Capra directed them, and the whole film superbly. He really is a great director. Look out for a 15 year-old, dancing Ann Miller!



Audrey said...

I just love this film. It's such a feel-good type of movie, and all the madcap performances are absolutely delightful. I'm so glad you liked it, too. :)

Page said...

I enjoyed this film and you can't help but smile at the end as you must with every Capra vehicle.
Nice post!

Caftan Woman said...

Edward Arnold's performance in this film is one of my all-time favourites from him, and from anyone.

I go through phases with "You Can't Take It With You". Sometimes I love it and sometimes I only like it. Of course, then I think about Edward Arnold and the scene with H.B. Warner and it's back up to love.

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