Best Picture Winners Part 11 (of 87): You Can’t Take It With You


Title: You Can’t Take it With You
Year: 1938
Starring: Lionel Barrymore, Jimmy Stewart, Jean Arthur
Director: Frank Capra
Runtime: 2 hr 6 mins

Is It Any Good?: It’s a bit schmaltzy, but otherwise enjoyable film. Lionel Barrymore steals the show here as  “Grandpa” Martin Vanderhof, a man so disenfranchised with the corporate game he quits it all together. His family is the family on the block that everyone knows! They’re charitable, giving and always trying to do the right thing, not just for themselves, but for their neighbors. When grandpa’s only single granddaughter Alice falls for the man she works with, Mr. Tony Kirby Jr. there’s only one problem with their possible love story…Tony’s family! You see while Alice’s are more excepting of everyone the Kirby’s are rather snobbish, particularly Tony’s bourgeois mother. At the same time, Mr. Kirby is in the midst of a huge conglomeration, one he doesn’t know is being held up by Grandpa and his band of misfits.

Memorable Quote:  Grandpa Martin Vanderhof: Lincoln said, “With malice toward none, with the charity to all.” Nowadays they say, “Think the way I do or I’ll bomb the daylights outta you.”

Competition: Not so stiff, not much here. You have the all-time great fare in Boys Town and Jezebel but most everything else here is truly forgettable. Indeed Le Grand Illusion, The Adventures of Robin Hood & Four Daughters are good films, but noting compared to the previously mentioned two pictures. You Can’t Take it With You isn’t Capra or Jimmy Stewart’s finest hour, especially together but it wasn’t an awful winner. Clark Gable starred alongside Myrna Loy in the forgettable Test Pilot an overwrought, overlong piece of a film only thought of fondly as Loy’s favorite performances of hers. Don’t worry about Gable his finest hour is still to come.
Next on our list is an all-time classic, one that beat out some other classics. A sweeping epic of a film with a historical impact to be made within it. Get ready for one of cinemas finest years…1939!
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