7.4/10
1,020
42 user 5 critic

Merrily We Live (1938)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 4 March 1938 (USA)
Dizzy society matron Emily Kilbourne has a habit of hiring ex-cons and hobos as servants. Her latest find is a handsome "tramp" who shows up at her doorstep and soon ends up in a ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 5 Oscars. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Thrown out of the Riviera, a family of grifters meets a lonely, vulnerable rich old woman and insinuate themselves into her life while they sponge off her.

Directors: Richard Wallace, Lewis Milestone, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Roland Young
Topper (1937)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A fun-loving couple, finding that they died and are now ghosts, decide to shake up the stuffy lifestyle of a friend of theirs.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Cary Grant, Constance Bennett, Roland Young
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The author of a scandalously racy best-selling book tries to hide her celebrity from her provincial small town neighbors who'd be scandalized if they knew.

Director: Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Irene Dunne, Melvyn Douglas, Thomas Mitchell
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Three working girls in Budapest pool their resources to get a better apartment and impress their dates. One dates a nobleman and, learning of her rejection by him, considers poison. Another... See full summary »

Director: Edward H. Griffith
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Loretta Young, Constance Bennett
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Helen and Ken are a pretty strange couple. She is a pathological liar, and he is a scrupulously honest (and therefore unsuccessful) lawyer. Helen starts a new job, and when her employer is ... See full summary »

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, John Barrymore
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young turn-of-the-century newspaper man finds he can get hold of the next day's paper. This brings more problems than fortune, especially as his new girlfriend is part of a phony clairvoyant act.

Director: René Clair
Stars: Dick Powell, Linda Darnell, Jack Oakie
These Three (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two school teachers and the man they both love face ruin when a malicious student cooks up a lie.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Merle Oberon, Joel McCrea
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The tragic life of Marie Antoinette, who became queen of France in her late teens.

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, Julien Duvivier
Stars: Norma Shearer, Tyrone Power, John Barrymore
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Dowdy Sylvia accepts her boss' marriage proposal, even though he only asked her to avoid marriage to another woman. As a wealthy wife, Sylvia changes from ugly duckling to uninhibited swan ... See full summary »

Director: Paul L. Stein
Stars: Constance Bennett, Kenneth MacKenna, Basil Rathbone
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Mrs. Topper's friend Mrs. Parkhurst has convinced Mrs. Topper to file for a divorce from Cosmo, due to the strange circumstances of his trip with ghost Marion Kirby. Marion comes back from ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Constance Bennett, Roland Young, Billie Burke
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When the murdered body discovered by beautiful, vivacious socialite Melsa Manton disappears, police and press label her a prankster until she proves them wrong.

Director: Leigh Jason
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Sam Levene
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A woman reporter tries to prove she's just as good as any man, but runs into trouble along the way.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Bette Davis, George Brent, Roscoe Karns
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Grosvenor - Butler
...
...
Etta
...
Minerva Harlan
...
Clarence Kolb ...
...
...
Mrs. Harlan
Phillip Reed ...
Herbert Wheeler
Willie Best ...
George
Sidney Bracey ...
2nd Butler
Paul Everton ...
Senator Harlan
Marjorie Kane ...
Rosa
Edit

Storyline

Dizzy society matron Emily Kilbourne has a habit of hiring ex-cons and hobos as servants. Her latest find is a handsome "tramp" who shows up at her doorstep and soon ends up in a chauffeur's uniform. He also catches the eye of her pretty Geraldine. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tramp | servant | hobo | chauffeur | wealth | See All (55) »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 March 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Madame et son clochard  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was first telecast in New York City Saturday 11 September 1948 on WPIX (Channel 11), as part of their newly acquired series of three dozen Hal Roach feature film productions, originally theatrically released between 1931 and 1943, and now being syndicated for television broadcast by Regal Television Pictures. Its earliest documented telecast in Los Angeles took place Sunday 17 July 1949 on KTLA (Channel 5). See more »

Quotes

Jerry Kilbourne: Maybe he didn't have a father.
Mrs. Emily Kilbourne: Oh darling, everyone has a father, that's one of nature's unwritten laws.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Behind the opening credits, the cast walks arm in arm up the driveway towards the camera. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 56th Annual Academy Awards (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Merrily We Live
(1938)
Music by Phil Charig
Lyrics by Arthur Quenzer
Sung by an offscreen chorus during the opening and closing credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Very Merry Movie
26 May 2004 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

A highly intelligent ‘tramp' is hired to become chauffeur for an eccentric, wealthy family.

MERRILY WE LIVE is a prime example of a tremendously funny screwball comedy which has become undeservedly obscure with the passage of time. Bright & breezy, with snappy dialogue and some wonderful performances, it is a complete delight. The production values are excellent and the film's free spirit is perfectly encapsulated by the opening shot in which the principal cast marches arm-in-arm along the estate's long driveway while the credits and title song role.

Suave, sophisticated and just a wee bit naughty, British Brian Aherne is the perfect match for crisply cool blonde Constance Bennett. Their growing attraction to each other, hidden behind a rivalry for intellectual dominance, is great fun to watch. This ‘hobo' has much to teach the rich girl about life & love.

A very fine supporting cast offers much to the film's enjoyment. In one of her best roles, dithering Billie Burke, as Miss Bennett's utterly out-of-touch mother, is a complete joy. Alan Mowbray plays the proper English butler who experiences frequent bouts of emotional distress. Ensconced in the kitchen, tough-talking Patsy Kelly is the family's cook with a strong yen to stir-up some romance with handsome Aherne.

Impressively agile Clarence Kolb is Miss Burke's grumpy husband. Tom Brown & Bonita Granville are their two younger, spoiled children. Philip Reed plays a bullying society Lothario interested in Miss Bennett. Ann Dvorak is a senator's headstrong daughter who usually gets what she wants and what she wants now is Aherne.

Even the smaller character roles can be fun: watch for Sidney Bracey as a sour-faced temporary butler & Willie Best as a very frightened country store janitor.


40 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Predictable as are most of the 30's movie comedies foster1-2
Brian Aherne-Errol Flynn? cttwireless
Clarence Kolb dilmano
In what make of roaster did Wade first drive Jerry? phadair
Merrily We Live......Please bring to DVD vic7077
Dogs' names practicepiano
Discuss Merrily We Live (1938) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?