Life With Father Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ April 24, 2008
Irene Dunn and William Powell radiate likeable charm like a bakery throws out smells good from a block away in this slice-o-life family drama depicting "the good ol'days". There's a way things should be done, a way a family should be raised, there's the moral fiber of a family, and these considerations are on the table of a loving couple who nonetheless disagree about the answers to these thoughts and battle the whole movie for their own point of view, and battle each in their own way. Its a fun contest.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
An interesting, intelligent, and realistic family drama with a great cast. I really liked it, although it was a bit boring at times.
Super Reviewer
August 23, 2010
i'd forgotten all about this charming film based on a long running broadway play. william powell is hilarious as the always exasperated father of a red-headed brood in late 19th century new york. the wonderful irene dunne keeps the family on course. 15 yr old elizabeth taylor has a small part. delightful :)
Super Reviewer
December 19, 2006
Wow, Elizabeth Taylor gets top billing for this one -- here at flixster. That's very interesting. Question: Do you ever ride public transportation? The bus? The subway? I do. I ride the bus that runs right outside my home from time to time. And you know what? The driver doesn't know me, and I do not know him. Why? Possibly because I don't ride the bus regularly. Possibly, because the driver doesn't care. I don't know. I do notice that he always says hello to only a very few people. And these are not extraordinary people. It always appears to be a random selection of individuals. Know what? If I were a rich guy, I wonder if my bus driver would say hello to me every time I rode his bus . . . If my buddy Karen were to see this movie, I can guarantee you that she would say it was a total waste of time. She despises movies where the subject matter is the upper-class. She always says that stories about the rich are stories about people for whom she has no feeling. This definitely is a story about the upper-class. Sorry, Karen, but we don't all feel that Marx, or someone like Marx, may have been right. We are not all Marxist socialists, Karen. Truly, this movie is a lot of fun, Karen, and even though it may focus on the upper-class, it does that, I think, to poke a little fun at the rich. I love this movie. Back to Elizabeth Taylor. You know, flixsters, she will probably never make my favorite actor list, but, when she was young, Taylor really lit up the screen. For a humorous poke at the upper-class, and for a great look at a young Elizabeth Taylor, this is well-worth the time spent watching. Mahalo nui loa to my buddy Jamie for the recommendation.
Super Reviewer
½ November 25, 2013
It's a silly little family story but one that is not without charm. It probably didn't take much effort to produce this ditty but there are worse things to do on a Sunday afternoon.
February 11, 2012
Quite the unique show -- all about Mr. Day (William Powell) and his demanding, irreverent way of running his life and family. Mrs. Day (Irene Dunne) tries to get him into heaven, and his son discovers to his great scare that he's becoming like his dad when he wears his father's old suit. Elizabeth Taylor is the girl who fascinates Day's eldest, prompting Mr. Day to go on a monologue on the way to deal with women -- which we realize even he has not got figured out when Mrs. Day comes on. A resolution that wasn't overly sentimental or too much -- but just right for the characters involved. A unique comedy -- my dad was cracking up!!
½ October 4, 2011
A classic in every sense of the word. William Powell nailed his role, and it was fun seeing Elizabeth Taylor in one of her earlier roles.
November 29, 2010
I was surprised to finally find a William Powell film that didn't completely win me over, which I sort of chalk up to the source material.

I'm not familiar with the memoirs that the film is based on, so maybe learning more about the work of Clarence Day Sr. and Jr. would sell me further on this film, but for now it left me a bit cold.

Worth a look.
½ June 20, 2010
While really good, it didn't seem to have that "raising the stakes" tone that I felt it needed. What it was, was that the film appeared to have reached it's climax a couple of times only to go on for another 20 minutes. Definitely a stage play, and I think I would love it much much more had I seen it on the boards. Now with all that said, I will proclaim my love for William Powell. Simply the best and I can't imagine anyone else playing that part. "GAHD!"
January 18, 2007
i love tihs movie william powell is good. its a play. it was so expensive. its like a play too. if u had to change things they couldnt. the play was baesd on the book. some ppl think its dumb tho.
December 30, 2006
Someone needs to digitally remaster this shit because it's a fun film that deserves nice treatment. But it was a box office flop, so no one cares.
½ April 22, 2014
Life with Father is an excellent film. It is about a financier from New York who rules his numerous family, consisting of his wife and his four sons, with the meticulousity of a bookkeeper. William Powell and Irene Dunne give fantastic performances. The screenplay is well written. Michael Curtiz did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the humor. Life with Father is a must see.
July 8, 2013
I'm not sure if I like this one as much as My Man Godfrey, but it's still a great movie. The acting is pretty good all around. William Powell is hysterically funny and brings his character to life in amazing ways. Irene Dunne is also marvelous as Powell's overemotional yet very sly wife. While I did find the religious fixation on baptism to be more than just a little preachy at times, it's still handled in a funny way, and I guess you can blame it on being a byproduct of its time . (By the way, I don't know why, but the way that the actors say "bap-TIZED" instead of just "baptized" made me laugh.)
Overall, it's a great little story about life with pompous but well-intentioned father with odd quirks. There's no villain, no twists, no contrivences, and none of those things are needed. Sometimes just a story with interesting characters is all you really need. If you haven't seen this one already, I'd definitely recommend it.
November 30, 2012
One of the best movies. Watch it over and over.
November 26, 2012
A fun family flick with some good comedy, entertaining performances, and enough of an undertone to accompany its depth of what life really is like with father.
September 2, 2012
A period film set in the late 19th century, NYC, which has Irene Dunne as the wife and William Powell as Father. The family has four sons, a dog, and at least two maids. With four sons the topic at the morning table is about baseball and religion with Father oblivious to everything that goes on around him. Powell plays Father as the business minded husband who thinks he knows what is right and how to run a house but in reality it is his Wife who runs the house. Things get turned around when relatives show up, including a winsome Elizabeth Taylor who as a friend of the Day's cousin gets the eye of the oldest Day son. It is funny and it is not that a play written in the 30's about the time in the 1880's should revolve around politics and religion, the old saying of the more things change the more they stay the same. With the play based on the premise of Father knows best much of the comedy is that tried formula of battle of the sexes.
At this point it has to be pointed out that when Elizabeth Taylor walks down the stairs in her pink sweater all male hearts skip a beat. As we find out about all married couples it is about an equal give and take and this movie shows us that part of the love is that each knows what makes the other tick and how to push their buttons without going over the limit. Both knows what the other are doing, they let them do it, and react as if it it's the opposite of what they want. It's a game but they both are playing it and both like it. Good to hear Henry Travers from It's a Wonderful Life. It is great to see both Dunne and Powell in color, especially Dunne who is one of the rare beauties who became better looking with age.
½ June 19, 2011
Not a favorite of mine, but it has it's charming / comedic moments. Irene Dunne is very good, but I find William Powell's performance to be cloying and bellicose...I'm probably just missing his comedic approach here, but I find his character actually boring...
½ March 14, 2006
Charming little comedy, with an excellent portrayal by William Powell. Film gets a little dull in places, but if you're patient it's worth the watch.
June 29, 2004
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