You Can't Take It with You

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Overview

DVD viewers can be forgiven for not being as familiar with Frank Capra's You Can't Take It With You as they might be with, say, It Happened One Night, It's a Wonderful Life, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Meet John Doe, or Arsenic and Old Lace. Those movies have been shown on television (at times to excess) for decades, and have also long been available on home video. You Can't Take It With You -- which won the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director in 1938 -- by contrast, was ...
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Overview

DVD viewers can be forgiven for not being as familiar with Frank Capra's You Can't Take It With You as they might be with, say, It Happened One Night, It's a Wonderful Life, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Meet John Doe, or Arsenic and Old Lace. Those movies have been shown on television (at times to excess) for decades, and have also long been available on home video. You Can't Take It With You -- which won the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director in 1938 -- by contrast, was out of distribution for most of the 1970s and '80s, and didn't come to home video until the early '90s. Columbia Pictures' rights to the George S. Kaufman/Moss Hart play from which Capra's movie had been adapted had lapsed, and also had never included home-video distribution of the film. It was only in the late '80s that the studio got around to negotiating the rights to re-release and extend distribution of the movie; as a result, it's available now on DVD, but arrives in that format without having had the decades of television exposure needed to build its audience and reputation with a new generation (or two) of viewers. This is ironic, since, with its story of a free-spirited, iconoclastic family (led by Lionel Barrymore) battling bureaucrats, ham-fisted cops, and greedy businessmen in order to keep living as they do, and the seemingly mismatched marriage (for true love) between Jean Arthur's and James Stewart's characters, the movie was a natural for '60s and early '70s audiences. The movie holds up well over 60 years on; despite a 126-minute running time, Capra's pacing perfectly balances lyrical, romantic sections and rapid-fire screwball comedy. The source print is in very good condition, though a bit short of perfect, as there is a fair bit of grain and some minor loss of detail in the tougher-to-transfer scenes. Nothing looks substandard, but one wishes the movie had been preserved perfectly. The audio is a match for the video and perhaps even in a little better condition; the second half of the movie may look very slightly better overall than the first half, but, otherwise, the transfer is very smoothly done and constitutes the best presentation that this movie has received in decades, and is superior to the laserdisc edition in overall contrast and sharpness. The movie has been given a generous 28 chapters that are well labeled and well chosen. The disc opens on a simple two-layer menu with the "play" option in the default position and includes chapter and subtitle selections (English, French, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish) plus trailers to a handful of additional Columbia TriStar titles. The only real complaint is regarding what is not here. Other, much more familiar Capra films have appeared on DVD with commentary tracks by the director's son, Frank Capra Jr. Perhaps the least well known of Capra's major titles because of its later distribution problems, You Can't Take It With You, which offers a rich potential canvas (with a well-known play as its basis and several performers at the outset of their careers -- including Ann Miller, who was still around at the time of this DVD's release, and Dub Taylor, who passed away only a relatively short time before -- as well as a ton of Capra veterans and familiar faces), could have used a commentary track as well. It well might have justified contributions by Capra Jr., Miller, Moss Hart's widow Kitty Carlisle Hart, and perhaps a theater historian, among others. Considering that this is a movie that the studio had to make a special effort not too many years ago to release on home video, one might think that on that basis alone, a little extra effort on this end would have seemed justified.
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Special Features

Digitally mastered audio & video; Full-screen presentation; Remastered in high-definition; Bonus trailers; Interactive menus; Scene selections
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
You Can't Take It With You is a joyful celebration of good-natured people and unconventional lifestyles. In some ways, it presages the "do your own thing" philosophy of the 1960s, and it is easy to imagine free-spirited families of the '60s as creative descendants of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart's Pulitzer Prize-winning characters. The cast features some of the finest comic actors of its era. While Lionel Barrymore and James Stewart were equally adept at drama, the film also features fine performances from such humor specialists as Spring Byington, Dub Taylor, and Mischa Auer. Of special note is the presence of comic legend Eddie Anderson, who, with his supporting performance in Gone With the Wind, became the first African-American actor to appear in more than one Oscar- winning Best Picture.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/18/2003
  • UPC: 043396085688
  • Original Release: 1938
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Presentation: Subtitled
  • Time: 2:06:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jean Arthur Alice Sycamore
Lionel Barrymore Grandpa Martin Vanderhof
James Stewart Tony Kirby
Edward Arnold Anthony P. Kirby
Mischa Auer Kolenkhov
Ann Miller Essie Carmichael
Spring Byington Penny Sycamore
Samuel S. Hinds Paul Sycamore
Donald Meek Poppins
H.B. Warner Ramsey
Halliwell Hobbes Mr. DePinna
Dub Taylor Ed Carmichael
Mary Forbes Mrs. Anthony P. Kirby
Lillian Yarbo Rheba
Clarence H. Wilson John Blakely
Josef Swickard Professor
Ann Doran Maggie O'Neill
Christian Rub Schmidt
Charles Lane Henderson
Harry Davenport Judge
Stanley Andrews Attorney
William Arnold
Frank Austin
Dorothy Babbs Dance Teacher
Harry Bailey
Joe Bernard
Gladys Blake Mary
Beatrice Blinn
Joe Bordeaux Taxi Driver
Charles Brinley
Eddy Chandler G-Man, Plainclothes policeman
Wallis Clark Hughes
Nick Copeland Barber
Anne Cornwall Blakely's Secretary
Nell Craig
Beatrice Curtis
Sidney D'Albrook Trustee
Howard Davies
Lou Davis
Vernon Dent Expressman
Kay Deslys
Homer Dickinson
Bill Dill
Lester Dorr
Florence Dudley
Roland DuPree
Oliver Eckhardt
James Farley Police Sergeant
Betty Farrington
Eddie Fetherstone
Bess Flowers
Almeda Fowler
Dick French
Jack Gardner
Joe "Corky" Geil
Jack Grant
Jesse Graves
Carlton Elliott Griffin
Chuck Hamilton
Dutch Hendrian Ice Man
Harry Hollingsworth Doorman
Paul Irving Office Manager
Boyd Irwin Attorney
Eddie Kane Kirby's Attorney
Alice Keating
Louis King
Bob Kortman
Bill Lally Reporter
Margaret Mann Neighbor
Ralph McCullough
Eva McKenzie
Charles McMurphy Guard
James Millican
Frank Mills
Bruce Mitchell Policeman
Clive Morgan
Gene Morgan
Wedgewood Nowell Man
Georgia O'Dell
Dagmar Oakland
Fred Parker
Blanche Payson Matron
George C. Pearce
Lee Phelps Bailiff
Hilda Plowright Lady Melville
Ed Randolph
Doris Rankin Mrs. Leach
Frances Raymond
Dick Rush Bank Guard
Harry Semels
Al Seymour
Frank Shannon Mac
C.L. Sherwood Drunk
Ernie Shields
Edwin Stanley Executive
Bert Starkey
Eddie "Rochester" Anderson Donald
Eugene Anderson Jr. Bobby
Irving Bacon Henry
Ward Bond Detective
James Burke Detective
Chester Clute Hammond
Dick Curtis Strong arm man
Edgar Dearing Plainclothes policeman
James Flavin Jailer
Starrett Ford
Byron Foulger Kirby's Assistant
Robert Greig Diner
Kit Guard Inmate
John Hamilton Diner
Major Sam Harris Diner
Edward Hearn Court Attendant
Russell Hicks Attorney
John Ince Neighbor
Belle Johnstone
Edward Keane Board member
Pert Kelton Inmate
Stella LeSaint
Tina Marshall
Edwin Maxwell Attorney
Edward Peil Sr. Neighbor
Bruce Sidney
Harry B. Stafford Bank Clerk
Jane Tallent
Carlie Taylor
Rosemary Theby
Victor Travers
Laura Treadwell Mrs. Drake
John Tyrrell Dopey
Pearl Varvell
Dorothy Vernon
Bessie Wade
Walter Walker Mr. Leach
Pierre Watkin Attorney
Pat West Expressman
Lawrence Wheat Secretary
Bud Wiser
Ian Wolfe Kirby's Secretary
Alex Woloshin Russian General in Jail
Technical Credits
Frank Capra Director, Producer
Lionel Banks Art Director
Edward Bernds Sound Mixer
Arthur S. Black Jr. Asst. Director
Stephen Goosson Art Director
Gene Havlick Editor
Irene Costumes/Costume Designer
Bernard Newman Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Riskin Screenwriter
Morris W. Stoloff Musical Direction/Supervision
Dimitri Tiomkin Score Composer
Joseph Walker Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [:56]
2. Kirby and Company [4:33]
3. Mr. Poppins [5:28]
4. A Free-Spirited Family [6:44]
5. Ismania [1:29]
6. The VP & His Stenographer [7:27]
7. Neighborhood Meeting [3:36]
8. The Town Crier [2:07]
9. Alice & Grandpa [4:12]
10. Wilber G. Henderson, IRS [8:01]
11. Kolenkhov [1:52]
12. Family History [6:23]
13. The Big Apple [4:18]
14. Feeling a Scream Coming On [4:06]
15. Right Hour, Wrong Day [8:01]
16. A Wrestler Never Forgets [10:14]
17. Disturbing the Peace [1:55]
18. In the Drunk Tank [3:31]
19. "You're an Idiot, Mr. Kirby" [4:30]
20. Night Court [6:25]
21. A Letter From Alice [9:12]
22. Grandpa Sells Out [1:51]
23. The Kirby Munitions Merger [3:04]
24. Tony Resigns [3:26]
25. Moving Day [5:35]
26. Alice Returns [2:00]
27. "Polly Wolly Doodle" [4:32]
28. A Family Dinner [2:40]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Subtitles
      English
      Japanese
      French/Français
      Spanish/Español
      Portuguese/Português
      Subtitles Off
   Scene Selections
   Trailers
      Mr. Deeds
      Picnic
      Sense and Sensibility
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    You will fall in love with this movie.

    I happened to catch this movie again last night on cable. It's so heartwarming and takes you back to a simpler time in life, well maybe not so carefree, but yet you experience the love and caring of this odd collection of family and friends. Watch this once and you'll have to watch it again and again. Enjoy!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wonderfully silly film classic!

    It wonderful to know that so many film classics are released on DVD for the future generations to enjoy. This is a great comedy with an extremely talented cast (including Jimmy Stewart, Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore, Ann Miller, and Edward Arnold), to name a few, and perfect direction by the legendary Frank Capra. Jimmy Stewart plays the suitor to Jean Arthur. Stewart is a young heir to a father's fortune and falls in love with Jean Arthur, who is the member of a very eccentric family of dancers and firework makers. The two families are completely different but somehow are connected by young love.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Inspiring, Heartwarming Story!

    The first time I saw this movie I was so inspired I've since watched it many times. Jimmy Stewart is the son of a powerful banker who is being eaten alive by his quest for power. Jimmy's character breaks free of following his father's example and has dreams of his own -- dreams that resurface as he falls in love with a girl from an eccentric and lovable family. What he learns from them is that life is about more than money, prestige and power. This family is happy just doing the things they love rather than to follow how most of the rest of the world lives -- doing jobs they hate, growing old and crabby because life becomes dull and meaningless and frustrating. They pursue the things they love and were meant to do, trusting God to take care of all else. Their happiness is contagious and Grandpa, the patriarch of this family is someone his whole neighborhood loves and looks up to. This is an enjoyable, entertaining movie but also makes you reevaluate your life and priorities. Moving and inspiring and worth seeing again and again!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    You'll have to take this with you.

    Amazing story following the life of a man, Anthony P. Kirby, who thinks he's found all that's most important in life. He makes a big deal and will be a very wealthy man, but on that same day, his son, Tony (James Stewart), decides to leave him. Tony has been dating his secretary, Alice Sycamore. He meets her rather strange family--her mother writes plays, her father makes fireworks, the milkman lives with them, her sister dances, a Mr. Poppins just joined the group. Everyone does what he likes most. Grandpa (Lionel Barrymore) binds the whole group together. Through a series of mistakes and mishaps, there develops a change in Anthony Kirby, as he realizes that friends are what matter most, 'cause that's all that you can take with you in the end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not enough stars for this one

    This is a one of a kind movie.My favorite movie. All the world should be as wonderful,and all families as happy as this one. If you havent seen it you should!! I love the part with 'grandpa and the income tax guy' Its as funny as the review sounds. And a heartwarming ending, as Capra does so well. I give this movie 10 stars!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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