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Life with Father

( 10 )

Overview

The longest-running non-musical play in Broadway history, Life With Father was faithfully filmed by Warner Bros. in 1947. William Powell is a tower of comic strength as Clarence Day, the benevolent despot of his 1880s New York City household. Irene Dunne co-stars as Day's wife Vinnie, who outwardly has no more common sense than a butterfly but who is the real head of the household. The anecdotal story, encompassing such details as the eldest Day son's (James Lydon) romance with pretty out-of-towner Mary ...
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Overview

The longest-running non-musical play in Broadway history, Life With Father was faithfully filmed by Warner Bros. in 1947. William Powell is a tower of comic strength as Clarence Day, the benevolent despot of his 1880s New York City household. Irene Dunne co-stars as Day's wife Vinnie, who outwardly has no more common sense than a butterfly but who is the real head of the household. The anecdotal story, encompassing such details as the eldest Day son's (James Lydon) romance with pretty out-of-towner Mary (Elizabeth Taylor), is tied together by Vinnie's tireless efforts to get her headstrong husband baptized, else he'll never be able to enter the Kingdom of God. Each scene is a little gem of comedy and pathos, as the formidable Mr. Day tries to bring a stern businesslike attitude to everyday household activities, including explaining the facts of life to his impressionable son. Donald Ogden Stewart based his screenplay upon the play by Howard Lindsey (who played Mr. Day in the original production) and Russell Crouse; the play in turn was inspired by a series of articles written by Clarence Day Jr., shortly before his death in 1933. Due to a legal tangle with the Day estate, Life With Father was withdrawn from circulation after its first run; it re-emerged on the Public Domain market in 1975.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
Life With Father is yet another well-made film from the versatile Michael Curtiz, who probably directed more types of films well than anyone else in screen history. This is another "family values" film from the post-WWII era, with William Powell as the loving patriarch and Irene Dunne as the wife who understands her duties to gender traditions. One of the best reasons to watch is to see a young Elizabeth Taylor in an important supporting role. The film does not so much evoke the values of a bygone era as advocate them, and current-day audiences may have difficulty relating to its simplistic world view. As with nearly all of Curtiz' studio efforts, the production is first-rate, the performances strong, and the events fast-moving. The film is perhaps better remembered by reputation than by re-viewing, but it was one of Warner Bros.' top films of the era, and it remains a well-constructed piece of commercial filmmaking.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/4/2002
  • UPC: 089218316295
  • Original Release: 1947
  • Rating:

  • Source: Alpha Video
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:58:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 3,387

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
William Powell Clarence Day
Irene Dunne Vinnie Day
Monte Blue Policeman
ZaSu Pitts Cora
Clara Blandick Mrs. Wiggins
Johnny Calkins Whitney
Emma Dunn Margaret
Edmund Gwenn Rev. Dr. Lloyd
Elizabeth Taylor Mary Skinner
Nancy Evans Delia
Mary Field Nora
Frank Elliott Dr. Somers
Queenie Leonard Maggie
Moroni Olsen Dr. Humphries
Jimmy Lydon Clarence
Elizabeth Risdon Mrs. Whitehead
Derek Scott Harlan
Heather Wilde Annie
Martin Milner John
Joe Bernard Cashier
Lois Bridge Corsetierre
David Cavendish
Arlene Dahl Girl in Delmonico's
Hallene Hill
Henry Sylvester
Laura Treadwell Churchgoers
Gertrude Valerie
James Metcalfe Customer
Lucille Shamburger Nursemaid
Clara Reid Cleaning Woman
Philo McCullough Milkman
Douglas Kennedy Mr. Morley
George Meader Salesman
Philip Van Zandt Clerk
Russell Arms Stock Quotation Operator
Faith Kruger Hilda
Jean del Val Francois
Michael Mineo One of Twin Boys
Creighton Hale Father of Twins
Jean Andren Mother of Twins
Elaine Lange Ellen
John Beck Perkins the Clerk
Jack Martin Chef
Technical Credits
Michael Curtiz Director
George J. Amy Editor
Milo Anderson Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Buckner Producer
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
Ray Foster Special Effects
Robert M. Haas Production Designer
George James Hopkins Set Decoration/Design
J. Peverell Marley Cinematographer
William McGann Special Effects
William Skall Cinematographer
Max Steiner Score Composer
Donald Ogden Stewart Screenwriter
Perc Westmore Makeup
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
2. Chapter 1 [24:58]
3. Chapter 2 [26:27]
4. Chapter 3 [27:21]
5. Chapter 4 [13:15]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Index
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Horrible DVD recording

    Movie's fantastic, of course, but the recording quality is aweful. When I first purchased, I immediately took it back B&N because I thought something was wrong with it! Exchanged for another, but it's bad too. Distorted sound, pauses in the audio, horrible picture. Sound almost makes this DVD unwatchable. B&N needs to stop selling this DVD.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Movie-Terrible DVD edition

    An enjoyable classic film. Unfortunately this DVD edition has very poor video quality--it looks like they copied off an old VHS. The Audio is the real problem. Possibly the most distorted audio track I've heard on a DVD, even for an old film. It's very hard to understand the words of the actors and the distortion, especially on the upper frequencies of the voice, is downright fatiguing. My kids really like this type of film but they couldn't get past the sound to enjoy this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fabulous, hilarious film but crummy DVD

    Avoid the Madacy Entertainment Group DVD which has terrible sound. Wait 'til it's done properly. trivia: Elizabeth Taylor was only 15 when this was filmed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2012

    Rediculously terrible quality sound and picture, story is good,

    Rediculously terrible quality sound and picture, story is good, wait until it comes out on a better dvd

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  • Posted July 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Family Fun.

    *Good wholesome family-centered entertainment.
    *Enjoyable tale of the relationships within a family.
    *Plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2010

    5-Star Movie***** Unintelligible Soundtrack (no close captioning).

    "Life with Father" (1947) is a BEST movie! But bummer this DVD does not have closed captioning for the hard of hearing. Baby boomer film buffs ain't gettin' any younger, and the soundtrack on this DVD is old and crummy with impossible-to-hear dialog. C'mon, I'd pay a lotta money for an updated DVD version of this flick with closed captioning. Please!! Director Michael Curtiz is at the top of his game here, with this tale's late 19th Century New York City family portrayed charmingly and comedically. Brilliant casting with wonderful William Powell as the patriarch, Clarence Day, beautiful Irene Dunn as his loving wife, Vinnie (mother of their three young, red-headed sons), Elizabeth Taylor, Martin Milner, et al.... "Mother, what's falderal"? Perfect!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    5 stars not enough!!

    Having seen this movie every Father's day as a kid, I'm so very glad to be able to add this to my collection. William Powell is one of my favorite actors, and this is one fun(and funny)movie. TV Land watchers will be happy to see a young Martin Milner(Adam 12)as the 3rd Day son.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Best Family Film

    Indeed LIFE WITH FATHERHAS is definitely the bestfamily films! Having seen it on television and now in my video collection this is a film I highly recommend for those starting a video collection of old movies. William Powell is tops and he is great in his role as Father, strict, loving and dedicated! Irene Dunne is outstanding as a wonderful mother and an exzcellent wife. Elizabeth Taylor is marvellous and does a great job as Mary Skinner. The other cast memers do an excellent job. It's a great story of family life in 1880's New York City, about growing up, family values and dealing with the opposite sex. One scene I liked was Father's advise to Clarence Day Junior on how to deal with the opposite sex and he was right about being firm. I also liked the scenes with the family minister Dr. :;pyd and the person who played that role did a wonderful job. I liked the movie so much!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews