58 user 22 critic

Life with Father (1947)

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


Michael Curtiz


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





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


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


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




Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Apparently, either because the original copyright expired and was not renewed or because this movie was never copyrighted in the first place (it's not listed in the Catalog of Copyright Entries), this movie's status as a public domain feature resulted in its finding its way into countless VHS and DVD inventories whose dealers do not usually handle copyrighted material, and who rarely have access to original negatives and prints, and these seriously inferior copies have now saturated the market. See more »


Clarence Jr. says to his brother Whitney as he reads the paper that Buck Ewing of the New York Giants hit a home run. The team in 1883, the setting of the movie, was called the New York Gothams in that year, later the team's name was changed to the Giants. See more »


Clarence Day: Jiminy, another wreck on the New Haven. That always disturbs the stock market. Father won't like that.
Vinnie: I do wish the New Haven would stop having wrecks. If they knew how much it upsets your father.
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 »


Referenced in What's Up Doc? (1950) See more »


O Come, All Ye Faithful
(c. 1743) (uncredited)
Latin Lyrics & Music by John Francis Wade
English translation by Frederick Oakeley (1841)
Sung a cappella in English by Derek Scott and Johnny Calkins
See more »

User Reviews

great adaptation of the books
18 May 2000 | by rupieSee all my reviews

I saw this film - once again on the indispensable American Movie Classics Channel - for the first time recently and it has quickly become one of my favorites. It perfectly captures the flavor of Clarence Day's books and draws us completely into the era and into this particular New York brownstone. This was my first viewing of William Powell in what was surely his quintessential role; his work is superb, as is the marvelous chemistry between him and Irene Dunne as his "dear Vinnie". The source of the movie was Clarence Day Jr's three books - "Life With Father", "Life with Mother", and "God and My Father" - which recollect his growing up in late 19th century New York in the well-to-do household of his irascible, catankerous, but ultimately loving father Clarence Sr. As the books are mere strung-together pastiches, it must have been a challenge to assemble them into a coherent whole with a story line. Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse succeeded, in the play on which the film is based, and screenwriter Donald Ogden Stewart transferred it to celluloid very nicely. A wonderful character study, and a beautiful snapshot of life in late 19th century New York. Viewers who enjoy it are well-advised to find the books on which they are based (the library is your best bet; the books have gone out of print since their best-seller days long ago). At the conclusion, one hates to have the movie end; you want to spend just another day or two in the Day household.

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Official Sites:

Official site




English | French

Release Date:

13 September 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Life with Father See more »


Box Office


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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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