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 <email@example.com>
Leo McCarey spent almost a year making the film. He worked for a greatly reduced salary, refused to cast any stars and ignored Paramount chief Adolph Zukor's pleas for a happy ending. See more »
The position of Mr. Rubens' arm changes when telling Bark that kids are ashamed of parents. See more »
Why don't you face facts, Grandma?
[Pats her hand]
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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An elderly couple lose their home and their grown children don't want them around, so where can they turn? After a creaky start, this thoughtful film becomes absorbing and very touching. It thankfully never resorts to feel-good measures: the oldsters are not painted as saints (in fact, Beulah Bondi's "Ma" is realistically nagging and nosy) and their kids are completely selfish (which is entirely believable). The picture has one of the most haunting endings that I can recall, and it's even more powerful to consider how timely it all is (and how this situation still rears its ugly head today). An emotionally gripping, wistful, memorable movie. ***1/2 from ****
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