8.3/10
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65 user 75 critic

Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 7 October 1937 (France)
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) | 2 more credits »
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2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Anita Cooper
...
George Cooper
...
Harvey Chase
...
Maurice Moscovitch ...
...
Cora Payne
...
Nellie Chase
Ray Mayer ...
Robert Cooper
Ralph Remley ...
Bill Payne
...
Mamie
...
Doctor
...
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:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | 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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Orson Welles was quoted as saying that the film "would make a stone cry". 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?
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Connections

References Souls at Sea (1937) 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
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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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