You Can't Take It With You (1938)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: It's predictably uplifting fare from Frank Capra, perhaps the most consciously uplifting of all great American directors -- but thanks to immensely appealing performances and a nimble script, You Can't Take It With You is hard not to love.


Movie Info

This film focuses on the zany Sycamore household. At the Sycamores, everyone does just what he or she pleases. The one normal member of the household, Alice Sycamore, is in love with Tony Kirby. Naturally, when the stuffy Kirbys come to the Sycamores for dinner, the event is a disaster.

Rating: G
Genre: Romance, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Robert Riskin
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 18, 2003
Runtime:
Columbia Pictures

Cast


as Alice Sycamore

as Martin Vanderhof

as Tony Kirby

as Anthony P. Kirby

as Kolenkhov

as Essie Carmichael

as Paul Sycamore

as Penny Sycamore

as Poppins

as Ramsey

as Ed Carmichael

as Mrs. Anthony Kirby

as John Blakely

as John Blakely

as Professor

as Maggie O'Neill

as Schmidt

as Mrs. Schmidt

as Henderson

as Attorney

as Attorney

as Attorney

as Kirby's Assistant

as Dance Teacher

as Jailer

as Kirby's Secretary

as Inmate

as Detective

as Detective

as Court Attendant

as Board member

as Strong arm man

as Office Manager

as Kirby's Attorney

as Reporter

as Reporter

as Reporter

as Reporter

as Reporter

as Reporter

as Attorney

as Mr. Leach

as Lord Melville

as Executive

as Bank Manager

as Attorney

as Expressman

as Capt. Drake

as Mrs. Drake

as Mrs. Leach

as Lady Melville

as Police Sergeant

as Bailiff

as Policeman

as Policeman

as Policeman

as Policeman

as Expressman

as Neighbor

as Blakely's Secretary

as Secretary

as Trustee

as Russian General in J...

as Bank Guard

as Bank Porter

as Bank Clerk

as Bank Clerk

as Bank Clerk

as Elevator Boy

as Taxi Driver

as Accordion Player

as Plainclothes policem...

as Diner

as Neighbor

as Neighbor

as Secretary

as Woman

as Woman

as Police Sergeant
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for You Can't Take It With You

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (7)

The comedy moves smoothly and briskly under Capra's canny method of direction.

Full Review… | February 18, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

It's a grand picture.

Full Review… | January 13, 2014
New York Times
Top Critic

Easily the No. 1 cinema comedy of 1938.

Full Review… | February 17, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

The tempo is generally fast and there are no sudden spurts or sharp letdowns.

Full Review… | February 20, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

The cast is appealing, particularly Stewart and Arthur, but it's not enough.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Please see this one. Heck, see any Frank Capra movie.

Full Review… | February 18, 2015

Audience Reviews for You Can't Take It With You

½

A son of a business magnate proposes to a lower class girl whose eccentric family stands in the way of business's progress.
Frank Capra is a legendary director, and everybody loves him. But I don't. I didn't like It's a Wonderful Life mostly because it isn't. I didn't like Mr Smith Goes to Washington mostly because it was overly simplistic. And "You Can't Take It with You is so remarkably preachy that I found myself rolling my eyes so often I soon developed a headache. I'm essentially politically aligned with Capra's left-wing compassion, but the characters seem more motivated by the director's political arguments than they are motivated by specific characterizations or the story's demands.
I also found the antics of the Sycamore household ridiculous. The ballet dancer, the Russian, the fireworks -- all of it just seems so off the wall that I had trouble suspending my disbelief, and once again, I rolled my eyes.
Overall, I'm aware that I'm in the minority with my dislike for Capra, but I still think this film is great if you want to roll your eyes a lot

hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

The well-born Tony Kirby (James Stewart) falls in love with Alice (Jean Arthur), whose family, the Sycamores, are eccentric, to say the least. Her maternal grandfather (Lionel Barrymore) supports a cast of inventors and dancers and always has one more place at his table for guests, no matter where they come from, while on the Kirby side, it's not acceptable to associate with anyone not of the upper crust. What else could this setup provide other than a lesson about the worth of one's name and reputation versus that of one's money? To this fable add some wacky comedy and some stirring speeches, and what you get is another working class classic from Frank Capra that's not to be missed.

danperry17
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

½

This is Frank Capra's Oscar winning adaptation of a play about a family who helps show a wealthy financier that there's much more to life than money.

Alice Sycamore (Jean Arthur) is the only person in her eccentric family who seems rather normal. She falls in love with a nice young guy (James Stewart) whose parents are incredibly wealthy and don't approve of his relationship to Alice, nor his desire to marry her. Alice tries to change Tony's parents's minds by inviting the mto dinner, but, thanks to her family, things don't go as planned.

All in all, this is typical Capra schmaltz: sentimental, charming, hard to really hate, and very populist. I enjoyed the film, but it's overrated, and maybe not necessarily deserving of Best Picture. The problem is not the message or the acting from an excellent cast (which includes a delightful Lionel Barrymore), but the execution. The first half is slow, meandering, and thigns don't really pick up or get interesting until the latter half. Even then, the film is predicatble, and doesn't really do anything new or groundbreaking.

However, it is still pretty entertaining, well-meaning, and humorous, so, despite it's flaws, it's an old fashioned feel-good film worthy of a watch.

cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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