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Life with Father (1947)

Approved  |   |  Comedy  |  13 September 1947 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 3,039 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 14 critic

A financier from New York rules his numerous family, consisting of his wife and his four sons, with the meticulousity of a bookkeeper.

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(memoir "Life with Father"), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: Life with Father (1947)

Life with Father (1947) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Vinnie
...
...
Rev. Dr. Lloyd
...
Cora
Jimmy Lydon ...
Clarence
Emma Dunn ...
Margaret
Moroni Olsen ...
Dr. Humphries
Elisabeth Risdon ...
Mrs. Whitehead
Derek Scott ...
Harlan
Johnny Calkins ...
Whitney
...
John
Heather Wilde ...
Annie
Monte Blue ...
The Policeman
Mary Field ...
Nora
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Storyline

In late nineteenth century New York a Wall Street broker likes to think his house runs his way, but finds himself constantly bemused at how much of what happens is down to his wife. His children are also stretching their wings, discovering girls and making money out of patent medicine selling. When it comes to light he has never been baptized and everyone starts insisting he must do so, it all starts to get a bit too much. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Here for all!! All the happiness of the play that ran longer, the laughs that were louder than any known before!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 September 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vivir con papá  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play's writers, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, and Clarence Day's widow were on the set and were given veto power on all aspects of the film. According to author David Chierichetti, Mrs. Day approved Irene Dunne's characterization and even lent some jewelry that belonged to the real Vinnie. See more »

Goofs

The movie opens "NEW YORK 1883". Later, Father rails at Mayor "Honest" Hugh Grant. Grant was NYC mayor from 1889-1892. Franklin Edson was mayor in 1883. See more »

Quotes

Vinnie: I do the best I can to keep down expenses. You know yourself Cousin Phoebe spends twice as much as we do.
Father: Don't talk to me about your cousin Phoebe.
Vinnie: You talk about your own relatives enough.
Vinnie: That's not fair, Vinnie. When I talk about my relatives, I criticize them.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are superimposed on scenes of old New York, viewed as if through an old-fashioned stereopticon. See more »

Connections

Referenced in M*A*S*H: Life with Father (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

The Treasure Waltz
(uncredited)
from 'The Gypsy Baron'" (1885)
Music by Johann Strauß
See more »

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User Reviews

 
William Powell's Baptism
25 April 2010 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

In 1883 New York, bombastic Madison Avenue patriarch William Powell (as Clarence "Clare" Day) scares off a succession of servants chosen by his sweet-natured wife, Irene Dunne (as Vinnie). Mr. Powell directs Ms. Dunne to run the house like a business, but his bark is worse than his bite. The couple is raising four red-haired sons - violinist Jimmy Lydon (as Clarence Jr.) is getting ready for Yale, girl-conscious Martin Milner (as John) dabbles with electricity, baseball fan Johnny Calkins (as Whitney) is practicing for his confirmation, and youngest Derek Scott (as Harlan) is confused about his dog's gender.

Dunne gets the home ready for a visit from favorite cousin Zasu Pitts (as Cora Cartwright) and her beautiful teenage ward, Elizabeth Taylor (as Mary Skinner). Ms. Taylor becomes a romantic interest for Mr. Lydon, who wasn't sure he liked girls before her arrival. But, the cute young couple may be compromised by religion - Lydon is Episcopalian while Taylor is Methodist.

Additionally, Powell, who dislikes house-guests, reveals a family secret - he was never baptized. Dunne wants the situation remedied, fearing God may deny her husband entry to Heaven. But, Powell believes God would make an exception in his case.

The above cast, including Edmund Gwenn (as Reverend Lloyd), play their Christian manners and customs beautifully, under expert direction from Michael Curtiz. Powell was "Oscar" nominated for "Best Actor" of the year and won the "New York Film Critics" award (with his then current "The Senator Was Indiscreet" mentioned as a secondary concern). In the "Film Daily" poll, Mr. Curtiz' direction was the year's sixth best. Producer Robert Buckner, Dunne, Lyndon, debuting Milner, musician Max Steiner, and the set decoration are also award-worthy. Writer Donald Ogden Stewart adapted the long-running stage play well.

"Life with Father" was once more highly regarded, and may yet come back into favor. Its datedness, often stated as a deterrent, is entirely appropriate. And, it does seem to go on just a little too long, but it's still a classic period piece.

Unfortunately, (Powell as) Day's famous line, "I'm going to be baptized, damn it!" was bastardized to simply "I'm going to be baptized." With modern technology being what it is, the stinging "…damn it!" should be digitally reinstated.

********* Life with Father (8/14/47) Michael Curtiz ~ William Powell, Irene Dunne, Jimmy Lydon, Elizabeth Taylor


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