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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 3,716 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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(screen play), (based on a novel by), 3 more credits »
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Title: Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

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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

When Leo McCarey received his 1937 Best Director Oscar for "The Awful truth," he reportedly said that he got it for the wrong film, a clear reference to his fondness for "Make Way for Tomorrow." See more »

Goofs

George's position changes from erect to leaning on the table when he asks his wife about bridge and his mother. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Lucy Cooper: Bark, that's probably the prettiest speech you ever made. And in case I don't see you aga- well, for a little while. I just want to tell you, it's been lovely, every bit of it, the whole fifty years. I'd sooner have been your wife, Bark, than anyone else on Earth.
Pa: Thank you, Lucy.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Get a Life: The Big City (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Let Me Call You Sweetheart
(1910) (uncredited)
Written by Leo Friedman, Harold Rossiter and Beth Slater Whitson
Played by hotel band in ballroom and later sung by Victor Moore in cab
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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