The favorite film:
You Can’t Take It With You, a 1938 romantic comedy directed by Frank Capra
When Alice and Tony fall in love and decide to marry, in-law introductions bring trouble, as the eccentric Sycamores clash with the wealthy and refined Kirbys.
- Jean Arthur as Alice Sycamore
- Jimmy Stewart as Tony Kirby
- Lionel Barrymore as Martin Vanderhof
- Spring Byington as Penny Sycamore
- Ann Miller as Essie
- Edward Arnold as Mr. Kirby
- Mary Forbes as Mrs. Kirby
- Donald Meek as Poppins
- (and many more!)
- This was the first of three films directed by Frank Capra to star Jimmy Stewart. The follow-ups: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It’s a Wonderful Life, also enduring classics!
- Frank Capra won an Academy Award for this film — his third Best Director trophy. TCM also notes that this was the sixth straight Capra film to be a big hit at the box office.
- In addition to Capra’s win as director, the film also took home the Oscar for Best Picture, and was nominated for five more!
- The play on which the film is based ran for 838 performances on Broadway in its original two-year run. The play was actually still running when the film was released! And it was a Pulitzer Prize winner, so the film clearly wasn’t the only critically and commercially successful telling of this tale.
- Capra was a big fan of Jean Arthur as an actress, having previously worked with her on Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. She was his first choice for the role of Alice.
- Ann Miller was just fifteen years old when she appeared in this film.
- “Why, a war wouldn’t be possible anywhere without us!”
- “Now, don’t tell me you’ve forgotten the slingshot market!”
- “I make up things.”
“No, just… things.”
- Ann Miller!
- I just adore the quirky Sycamores.
- Cute kitten bonus!
- “A young gentleman is calling for me.”
“Oh, is that all, Alice?”
- “You can’t even talk about him, can you?”
- Grandpa’s sweet story about Grandma, and why he can’t bring himself to move out of the house they shared. Waterworks!
- The opportunistic dance teacher conveniently showing up just in time for dinner
- Jimmy and Jean are SO. CUTE.
- “That’s against the law, you know.”
- Alice screaming in a crowded restaurant… and Tony making up a story about rats to cover for her!
- “Oooh, it’s my painting of you as a discus thrower! Look, grandpa!”
- “I’m in time for dinner, no?” (Again!)
- The prototype of awkward in-law meetings! Complete with Alice sliding down the staircase rail for her grand entrance. “WEEEEEE! Without holding!”
- The enormous lighter Essie brings out for Mr. Kirby’s cigar (and the look on Mrs. Kirby’s face when she sees it)
- “Oh, J-men!”
- The jailhouse song and dance party
- “Oh, why don’t you go out and get yourself a pulpit somewhere?”
- Harry Davenport as the judge!
- “Quite an array of talent for a misdemeanor.”
- Alice standing up for her family
- Newspaper montage!
- Alice’s letter: “Mrs. Kirby was right. I should have stayed in my own backyard.” HEARTBREAKING.
- “Of course I sold the house! I got tired of it, that’s all.”
- Tony and Alice arguing. “Scream your head off and see what it gets you now!”
- Such a sweet ending! So many hugs, so much joy.