Life With Father Reviews

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July 31, 2014
An intelligent and observant screenplay, a fine cast led by William Powell as the patriach and sensitive direction by Michael Curtiz result in a very entertaining comedy.
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.
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.
September 20, 2013
I found nothing likeable about this film at all. Pointless and boring.
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.
March 13, 2009
Despite being D.O.A. (dead on arrival) at the time of it's release this film is quite good - Powell and Dunne are in top form.
March 8, 2013
It kept me amused for a couple of hours.
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.
November 22, 2012
powell and dunne r marvolous
½ September 30, 2012
Powell is magnificent, but the story isn't.
½ September 3, 2012
If "The Magnificent Ambersons" were made into a sitcom, it would probably look a lot like this. William Powell is wonderful as always as the patriarch of a wealthy turn of the century New York family. There are little family subplots sprinkled throughout the story, one involving a teenage Elizabeth Taylor, but he main story focuses on the family learning that Powell is unbaptized and his continual refusal to do so. Based on a very popular play, the film actually cut out the play's final punchline because of censorship issues, when (SPOILER ALTER) father finally relents and agrees to be baptized. On his way to church a police officer asks him where he's going, to which father replies "I'm going to be baptized, dammit!"
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.
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!!
January 24, 2012
A solid drama comedy by Michael Curtiz.
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.
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...
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.
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 :)
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