Friday, July 30, 2010
Classic Hollywood Reviews: You Can't Take It with You
Frank Capra has to be one of my favorite classic movie directors, and this is one of his best films. You Can't Take It with You is an adaptation of a play, and fabulous. Jean Arthur and Jimmy Stewart are the romantic leads again having also played those roles in Mr Smith Goes to Washington. Only this time they are surrounded by a rich cast of eccentric characters played by gifted character actors. It won two Oscars: one for Frank Capra for directing and the other as best film.
I've got to say, the best film Oscar is right on. This film is the story of two very different families. Two things bring them together: a growing love between the son of a very rich investment banker and the daughter of a very eccentric family. The other is the house that Alice Sycamore's family and odd collection of tag-a-longs live in. Mr. Kirby must have the home for a plant and the Sycamores won't move. Then the families meet, end up in jail, and learn that money doesn't mean as much as a rich collection of friends.
The story is rich with meaning, but what I most appreciate is the strong Christian themes. When the family prays before dinner it isn't a pro forma blessing, but a real prayer. The Sycamores live out their faith. And in doing so change the lives of the people they encounter.
And the large cast of crazy characters is a hoot. Total complete eccentricy. (Yes, that word is a Cara-ism, but it fits!) So if you're looking for a movie that will reinforce your faith and have your family laughing at the same time, this is one to rent or buy! My family adores it.