Taped in performance during the production's Broadway run. See more »
Don't the graduates get to say anything, Grandpa?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhof:
Oh no, they just sit there in their cap and nightgown, have a diploma handed to them and along 40 years from now suddenly say 'where am I?'
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Jason Robards, at this point in his career, seemed to specialize in patriarch roles, such as in "All the President's Men", "Max Dugan Returns", and "You Can't Take it With You". And in this case, those of us who never saw him on the stage get a big treat, because this was a taped Broadway production. He dominates every scene, but in his natural "Grandpa" way, and only within the character. This is an ensemble play, which is why it's good for high school and community groups. But every actor has the chance to shine and does. Old television watchers will spot veteran actors Bill McCutcheon and Jack Dodson. I want to single out Elizabeth Wilson as the Mother, who exudes warmth and love, though in a contextually "loopy" way. Oddly bland are the romantic leads, although their characters put them at a disadvantage, since every one else is over the top. I enjoy the Frank Capra film, but he gets preachy in the second half (which has nothing to do with Kaufman/Hart), and it is an entirely different animal. This is a case where less is more. I guarantee you'll get misty eyed when Grandpa leads them in the blessing of the meal.
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