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Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

Passed  -  Drama | Romance  -  7 October 1937 (France)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 3,743 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 61 critic

An elderly couple are forced to separate when they lose their house and none of their five children will take both parents in.

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Writers:

(screen play), (based on a novel by), 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Victor Moore ...
Barkley Cooper
...
Lucy Cooper
Fay Bainter ...
Anita Cooper
...
George Cooper
Porter Hall ...
Harvey Chase
Barbara Read ...
Rhoda Cooper
Maurice Moscovitch ...
Max Rubens
Elisabeth Risdon ...
Cora Payne
Minna Gombell ...
Nellie Chase
Ray Mayer ...
Robert Cooper
Ralph Remley ...
Bill Payne
Louise Beavers ...
Mamie
Louis Jean Heydt ...
Doctor
Gene Morgan ...
Carlton Gorman
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Storyline

At a family reunion, the Cooper clan find that their parents' home is being foreclosed. "Temporarily," Ma moves in with son George's family, Pa with daughter Cora. But the parents are like sand in the gears of their middle-aged children's well regulated households. Can the old folks take matters into their own hands? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 October 1937 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Years Are So Long  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paramount boss Adolph Zukor reportedly pressured Leo McCarey to alter the film's downbeat ending, but the director resisted, and his contract with the studio was not renewed. See more »

Goofs

Position of George and Anita's hands change when talking about Rhoda getting her own apartment. See more »

Quotes

Rhoda Cooper: Why don't you face facts, Grandma?
Lucy Cooper: Oh, Rhoda!
[Pats her hand]
Lucy Cooper: When you're seventeen and the world's beautiful, facing facts is just as slick fun as dancing or going to partis, but when you're seventy... well, you don't care about dancing, you don't think about parties anymore, and about the only fun you have left is pretending that there ain't any facts to face, so would you mind if I just went on pretending?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rebel Rabbit (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

When a St. Louis Woman Comes Down to New Orleans
(1934) (uncredited)
Written by Arthur Johnston, Sam Coslow and Gene Austin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hard to find classic now on DVD from Criterion
28 February 2010 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

It took me a while to get into this one. It's kind of awkward and uncomfortable, but it turns out that's largely the point. The story is about an elderly married couple (Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi) who lose their house to the bank. None of their five children has enough room for both of them, so they end up breaking up, supposedly temporarily, to live in the homes of two of their children. Moore goes with his daughter (Minna Gombell) and Bondi goes with her son (Thomas Mitchell). Much of the movie focuses on Bondi living with her son's family (Fay Bainter is Mitchell's wife and Barbara Read his daughter). It's Hell for all of them. Bondi's old fashioned ways are annoying to the family. She herself feels out of place and confused, having lived with her husband for 50 years. Meanwhile, Moore is having just as awful a time at his daughter's place. The whole picture finds its way to one of the most satisfying and powerful final acts I've seen, where the old couple finally reunites. It's pretty much the first time in the film we see them spend a significant amount of time together, and these two people who seemed so awkward apart feel like a whole together. We see their love, we feel for what they've lost. It's absolutely gorgeous. The very end of the film is a killer. I've never quite seen a film like this (well, Tokyo Story is obviously in part based on this). On a rewatch, I think it may be a lot stronger, but I liked it a heck of a lot this time around.


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