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Make Way for Tomorrow

Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 696

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Movie Info

While not a box-office success, this drama, directed by Leo McCarey, developed a potent reputation among film critics and movie buffs for its sensitive and perceptive treatment of the problems of the elderly. When McCarey won the Oscar for Best Director the same year for The Awful Truth, he remarked that the Academy gave him the award for the wrong movie. Barkley and Lucy Cooper (Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi) are a couple in their late 60s who have fallen on hard times and have been given the


Drama, Classics

Viņa Delmar

Feb 23, 2010

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All Critics (15) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (0) | DVD (4)

The final third is an absolute miracle - one of the greatest sequences in 1930s American cinema.

March 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

The most convincing love story ever put on screen.

May 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

All of this leads to an ending that is not just the most moving thing McCarey ever fashioned, but may just be the moving thing anyone ever committed to film.

March 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Let's just say that, in calling Make Way for Tomorrow a masterpiece, we'll also call it a dear movie, a wonderful movie, a refreshing movie, or an honest movie. Maybe those terms will make it a bit more appealing.

February 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Make Way eulogizes humanity so well that it's as painful as it is beautiful.

February 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

one of the saddest, much touching, and most powerfully introspective films produced during the classical era of Hollywood cinema

February 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

[Leo] McCarey's most personal picture and his most moving drama, the rare Hollywood film to confront issues of aging head on.

February 23, 2010 Full Review Source:

An Ozu-like tear-jerker family drama.

July 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comment (1)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Hollywood melodramas do not often compare to timeless masterpieces of world cinema, but this does, largely through McCarey's sophisticated blend of tragic pathos, psychological insight, and rich, knowing humor.

March 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Filmjourney

Age and wisdom exit the stage, leaving youthful oblivion.

July 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Make Way for Tomorrow

The love story. The "chick flick". The romance. Hollywood's been churning them out for as long as there have been movies. Watching young love blossom from gentle flirting to steamy passion is almost prerequisite for all but the most jaded heart. "Make Way for Tomorrow" looks at the love story through a unique perspective. Everyone's familiar with the well worn adage of young love, but how many of us think about the love a couple still feels for one another fifty years down the road?

The Cooper family seems close-knit and doting on their elderly parents, at least until ma and pa announce the bank is foreclosing on their home and they're about to be thrown out. The kids have many excuses why the parents can't come live with them, but after much hemming and hawing they finallly arrive at an amicable solution (for the kids, that is): mother will stay with brother George and father will stay with sister Cora (that is, until further arrangements can be made). Of course, an already stressful situation only gets more strained as time passes, with the childrens' respective spouses feeling put upon to care for these elderly in-laws who are nothing but in the way all the time. It's the mother who seems to cause the most grief to her daughter-in-law and granddaughter, no matter how she bends to accommodate them, there just isn't enough room in the house for someone who isn't really wanted.

We see the kids' perspective, it can't be easy having someone feeble who's always 'there', cramping your style and embarrassing you in front of your bridge meeting. They know they should be more considerate of their parents, and they try, but they also have their own lives to lead and the situation they've been put into just isn't fair, darn it. But we also see things from the parents point of view, as their whole world becomes lost to them. Being pulled apart after fifty years of marriage... The last act of the film, when the old couple is reunited, gives a glimpse of just how much they really love and care for one another, and even in spite of circumstances, can enjoy one another's company for perhaps the last time. Even having said all this, this movie isn't some great melodrama of heartbreak. It's a story being told honestly. It's director, Leo McCarey, often considered "Make Way for Tomorrow" to be his best film. It is, at the very least, an arguable opinion.
May 16, 2012
Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

"That's the saddest picture ever made. It would make a stone cry!" -Orson Wells speaking about Leo McCarey's Make Way for Tomorrow. He wasn't far wrong.
February 16, 2012
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Beautifully acted, heartbreaking in it's honesty,
February 25, 2011
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

tokyo story in middle america; a terrific film that deserves to be better known
December 24, 2010
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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