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The stenographer Alice Sycamore is in love with her boss Tony Kirby, who is the vice-president of the powerful company owned by his greedy father Anthony P. Kirby. Kirby Sr. is dealing a monopoly in the trade of weapons, and needs to buy one last house in a twelve block area owned by Alice's grandparent Martin Vanderhof. However, Martin is the patriarch of an anarchic and eccentric family where the members do not care for money but for having fun and making friends. When Tony proposes Alice, she states that it would be mandatory to introduce her simple and lunatic family to the snobbish Kirbys, and Tone decides to visit Alice with his parents one day before the scheduled. There is an inevitable clash of classes and lifestyles, the Kirbys spurn the Sycamores and Alice breaks with Tony, changing the lives of the Kirby family. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Among all the enthusiastic reviews for this movie, it is hard to find a sufficiency of praise for the work of Edward Arnold. A familiar face on the screen in the thirties and forties, with his round face, solid body, and trademark pince-nez, Arnold surpasses himself in this film
Too often type-cast as a plutocrat, Arnold nevertheless demonstrates nuance and sensitivity as a man who, despite many flaws and faults, is redeemed by his love for his son. Arnold is seldom credited with the subtlety and poignancy of his characterizations, probably because he generally played greedy capitalists in a time when greedy capitalists were even more frightening than they are (and properly so) now, but this is an omission that should be corrected. His characterization in this comedy is a powerful performance, and grossly under-appreciated. He was one of the masters of American cinematic acting, with never a false note on his performances, and it is shameful that he is not so acknowledged.
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