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Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  7 October 1937 (France)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 4,033 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 60 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 ...
...
Fay Bainter ...
Anita Cooper
...
Porter Hall ...
Harvey Chase
Barbara Read ...
Maurice Moscovitch ...
Elisabeth Risdon ...
Minna Gombell ...
Ray Mayer ...
Ralph Remley ...
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

The film's 2009 Telluride presentation - after many years in obscurity - largely came about when Alexander Payne acquired an undamaged print off eBay for only $6. 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

Quote at beginning of movie: Life flies past us so swiftly that few of us pause to consider those who have lost the tempo of today. Their laughter and their tears we do not even understand for there is no magic that will draw together in perfect understanding the aged and the young. There is a canyon between us, and the painful gap is only bridged by the ancient words of a very wise man... HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Citizen Kane (1941) 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

 
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."


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