Life with Father

Life with Father

3.5 10
Director: Michael Curtiz

Cast: Michael Curtiz, William Powell, Irene Dunne, Monte Blue

     
 

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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 realSee more details below

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 Due to a legal tangle with the Day estate, Life With Father was withdrawn from circulation after its first run; it re-emerged on the Public Domain market in 1975.

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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.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/04/2002
UPC:
0089218316295
Original Release:
1947
Rating:
NR
Source:
Alpha Video
Time:
1:58:00
Sales rank:
12,509

Special Features

[None specified]

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 Actor
Arlene Dahl Girl in Delmonico's
Hallene Hill Actor
Henry Sylvester Actor
Laura Treadwell Churchgoers
Gertrude Valerie Actor
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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