Saturday, April 29, 2017

A to Z Challenge - Y is for You Can't Argue with Three Oscars in Five Years

Today's film in the A to Z Challenge is the Best Picture from 1938, the Frank Capra classic You Can't Take It With You.  As you can tell from the title of the post, it was his third Best Director in five years.  It Happened One Night in 1934 and Mr. Deed Goes to Town in 1936.  He directed this classic from the popular play and it earned seven nominations, winning two for picture and director.

Staring the great Lionel Barrymore, my personal favorite actor, a young James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold, and Spring Byington who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.  It's a heartfelt comedy and as close as you can get to a perfect film.  The acting, the comedy, everything works so well.

The main story is Lionel Barrymore's character won't sell his house and as a result a factory can't be built.  The builder is Edward Arnold who doesn't realize that his son is love with a stenographer who happens to be Lionel Barrymore's granddaughter.  And his home is a kind of art and science community where everyone does what they like.  You can guess where this is heading where the family will be kicked out of their home, but don't forget this is a Capra movie so you know it's going to be a happy ending.

This is one of my favorite Lionel Barrymore films, he is so good as Grandpa Vanderhof, he really carries this movie.  But that can be said about him in practically every film he's in.  One of the siblings of the great Barrymore acting family, Older brother to the great John Barrymore and probably the greatest actress of the twentieth century, Ethel Barrymore.  His range is complete.  From his Oscar winning role as an alcoholic attorney in A Free Soul, to the meek office worker in Grand Hotel, all the Dr. Kildare movies, and of course Mr. Potter in It's a Wonderful Life.  No matter what you see him in he always gives everything he's got into his role.

And don't forget that this was one year before the epic 1939 and as film critics have said that was pretty much the best year in Hollywood.  One year off is not going to be any less as good.  This is a classic you rarely see, so if you can catch it, watch and enjoy.


  1. So many movies, so little time!

  2. I love this film and almost picked it until I realized I could not find anyone who was in the film that had a name starting with the letter Y. My favourite actor is Jimmy Stewart and I love Jean Arthur. Barrymore was excellent in this and so many others and MGM was actually kind in letting him stay on contract all the way through even when he was crippled from arthritis and in a wheelchair-the pain he must have had. I even enjoy the young Ann Miller in this