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Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  7 October 1937 (France)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 4,505 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 69 critic

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



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

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Complete credited cast:
Victor Moore ...
Fay Bainter ...
Anita Cooper
Porter Hall ...
Harvey Chase
Barbara Read ...
Maurice Moscovitch ...
Elisabeth Risdon ...
Minna Gombell ...
Ray Mayer ...
Ralph Remley ...
Louise Beavers ...
Louis Jean Heydt ...
Gene Morgan ...
Carlton Gorman


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 October 1937 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Years Are So Long  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »


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


Lucy Cooper: A man and a maid stood hand in hand; bound by a tiny wedding band. Before them lay the uncertain years that promised joy and, maybe tears. "Is she afraid?" thought the man of the maid. "Darling," he said in a tender voice, "Tell me. Do you regret your choice? 'We know not where the road may wind, 'or what strange byways we may find. 'Are you afraid?" said the man to the maid. She raised her eyes and spoke at last. "My dear," she said, "the die is cast. 'The vows have been spoken. The rice has ...
See more »


Referenced in Citizen Kane (1941) See more »


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
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User Reviews

It'll make you call your mother, that's for sure
7 May 2002 | by See all my reviews

One of the few American movies to look seriously (and reasonably honestly) at old age, this 1937 melodrama won wonderful reviews, but apparently it was so sad that audiences couldn't bear to look at it. While McCarey was justly celebrated for his sensitive direction, let's start with the shrewd, shaded screenplay, where nobody's entirely good or bad: The children do mean well, but let selfishness intervene; the aged parents are victims, but they're also unavoidably inconvenient and occasionally annoying. It is, unfortunately, a timeless topic -- parents turning into dependent children, children turning into their parents' parents, and the government yammering ineffectually about the problem decade after decade.

McCarey spins the tale out with subtle humor -- just a wink from Victor Moore, a visual aside by Beulah Bondi, says more than several lines of dialogue would. Plus, this is a couple whose passion has survived the years; they can't keep their hands off each other. The notion's a bit hard to swallow, perhaps a contrivance to tilt the viewer's sympathies more in their direction and away from the thoughtless middle-aged kids. But it does work dramatically and makes the last 20 minutes or so almost unbearably poignant. And the last shot, of Bondi, is unforgettable; it's up there with Garbo in "Queen Christina."

48 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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