Monday, October 26, 2009

You Can't Take it With You

I recently watched You Can't Take it With You and can't believe I had not seen this classic before.

The movie was released in 1938 and directed by the legend Frank Capra.

Lionel Barrymore plays Grandpa Vanderhof, the humble homeowner who refuses to sell out to a large corporate interest.

His eccentric family includes Jean Arthur as his granddaugher Alice, Ann Miller as his granddaugher Essie, Spring Byington as his daughter Penny, and Samuel Hinds as his son in law, Paul. Also living in the house are Essie's husband Ed played by Dub Taylor and a few friends and servants. Eddie Rochester Anderson is a riot as the house boy Donald.

The cast also includes many hilarious supporting characters as Donald Meek as Poppins, Mischa Auer as Boris Kolenkho, and Mr. DePinna (Halliwell Hobbes), an iceman who showed up at the Sycamore doorstep one day and never left.

The movie also contains a classic scene with the wonderful Charles Lane as an IRS Agent. I laughed so hard watching Charles Lane and Lionel Barrymore discuss taxes.

Alice is in love with the son of Anthony Kirby (played by Ward Bond) who is president of the big corporation who wants to buy the house. James Stewart plays Tony, Alice's love interest. Mary Forbes plays Mrs. Anthony Kirby, a snob who thinks the eccentric family is beneath her. James Stewart and Jean Arthur are magical together. This is one of my favorite films featuring them together.

It is a heartwarming story filled with laughs and watching the transformation of Anthony Kirby Sr. (Warren Bond) is one of the best features of this film.

You Can't Take it With You is is a joyful celebration of good-natured people and unconventional lifestyles.

If you haven't seen this film, I highly recommend it. You will not be disappointed.

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