You Can’t Take it with You
Directed by Frank Capra. US. 1938. NR. 2 hours 6 minutes. Sony. Digital.
Sun., December 10, 2017
This fast-moving screwball comedy about an eccentric family, based on a Pulitzer prize-winning play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, easily won 1938’s Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director. It boasts a sterling cast, including James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore, Edward Arnold, and Spring Byington, all at their peak of comic inventiveness. The plot is a simple one: Barrymore, the patriarch of the family, has long ago made his fortune, retired from the rat race of life, and has fostered a household of quite unconventional young adults, all involved in bizarre “artistic” pursuits. Into this odd-ball mix comes James Stewart, a lad from a quite conservative, well-to-do family, who is in love with Barrymore’s “nearly normal” daughter, Jean Arthur. Needless to say, when Stewart’s stuffy family is invited to dinner, uproarious complications result.