7.2/10
4,588
58 user 22 critic

Life with Father (1947)

Passed | | Comedy | 13 September 1947 (USA)
Trailer
2:26 | Trailer
A straitlaced turn-of-the-century father presides over a family of boys and the mother who really rules the roost.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Clarence Day (memoir "Life with Father"), Donald Ogden Stewart (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Powell ... Clarence Day - Father
Irene Dunne ... Vinnie Day - Mother
Elizabeth Taylor ... Mary Skinner
Edmund Gwenn ... Rev. Dr. Lloyd
Zasu Pitts ... Cora Cartwright
Jimmy Lydon ... Clarence Day Jr.
Emma Dunn ... Margaret - the Cook
Moroni Olsen ... Dr. Humphries
Elisabeth Risdon ... Mrs. Whitehead
Derek Scott Derek Scott ... Harlan Day
Johnny Calkins ... Whitney Day
Martin Milner ... John Day
Heather Wilde Heather Wilde ... Annie - the Maid
Monte Blue ... The Policeman
Mary Field ... Nora
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Storyline

In late nineteenth century New York City, 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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot 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:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As of Father's Day (June 21) 2020, 97 year-old Jimmy Lydon, who played the eldest Day son, is the lone surviving starring cast member. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scenes, as the boys come down the stairs the maid appears to be among those who believe in one of the superstitions involving red-heads. But she didn't seem to notice that both adults are also red-heads. See more »

Quotes

Vinnie: Is that suit of your father's too tight for you?
Clarence Day: No, it's not too tight.
Vinnie: Well, what is it?
Clarence Day: Mother, very peculiar things have happened since I started to wear this suit. I can't seem to make these clothes do anything Father wouldn't do.
Vinnie: Oh, that's nonsense. And not to kneel in church is a sacrilege.
Clarence Day: Making Father's trousers kneel seemed like more of a sacrilege.
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

Spin-off Life with Father (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Ye Servants of God
(hymn tune "Hanover") (1708) (uncredited)
Music attributed to William Croft
Lyrics by Charles Wesley
Played on violin by Clarence Jr. and piano by Mary Skinner
See more »

User Reviews

A charming picture...
15 October 1999 | by Profplum-3See all my reviews

Life With Father, the story of an eccentric, excitable 1880s gentleman and his continually exasperating family is the perfect showcase for the under-appreciated talents of William Powell. Powell, best know for his work with Myrna Loy in the "Thin Man" series of films. Powell uses every second of this plum role to display his charming style and verbal acuity.

The story is simple: Powell and his wife, played by Irene Dunne, face a series of calamities, some serious and some ridiculous, mostly brought on by their four rambunctious, red-headed sons. After a visiting cousin brings along fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Taylor, events are put into motion which threaten to turn Powell's neatly-ordered world upside down.

The performances are uniformly fine, and Powell and Dunne are absolutely sterling. A supporting cast that includes Zasu Pitts, Edmund Gwenn and early appearances from Martin Milner and Elizabeth Taylor round out the picture quite well. If there is anything to detract from the complete enjoyment of the film, it is Taylor's performance, which can get grating, but hey, she's just a kid, and when you look at her, you can already see the amazing beauty still to come. The exceptional visual style of the film makes you long for the day when people rode in horse-carts to Delmonico's for dinner.

Watch for some classic dialogue between Powell and Dunne over the cost of a new coffee pot, between Powell and his son about "the facts of life where women are concerned," and the nonsensical wordplay over the return of a Porcelain Pug-Dog.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

13 September 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Life with Father See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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