Life With Father - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Life With Father Reviews

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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 30, 2012
Absolutely wonderful. Powell is brilliant.
February 25, 2012
A wonderful classic. They just don't make them like this anymore.
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.
December 5, 2011
Own it, would watch again, very young Elizabeth Taylor & plot about baptism!
November 19, 2011
Own it, would watch again, very young Elizabeth Taylor & plot about baptism!
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...
½ December 21, 2010
I adore Irene Dunne and it was well-acted and all, but not my cup of tea.
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
October 24, 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 :)
½ July 11, 2010
"Life with Father" is a mild comedy of manners surrounding an Irish-American New York family and their often indignant father who responds poorly to unexpected changes in his deeply carved routines. William Powell hams it up as father, and a young Elizabeth Taylor is gleefully flirtatious as an out-of-town visitor who takes a fancy to father's son. As a retrospective on the old fashioned values such as religion and the place of women in society, "Life with Father" is a kicker of a time capsule. As a film that attempts to make us laugh, it doesn't leave much of a lasting impression.
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 30, 2010
Just a classic and very funny. Me and my mother watched again the other night, and its such a dear film. I love Father ( Clarence) and his tantrums. Elizabeth Taylor is just a doll in this film.. Many famous Actors and very innocent.

A Charming film for the Whole family.

Oh ps. I think it so funny how irene Dunne handles and talks about Credit and family money affairs. Too funny
July 8, 2009
Based on Clarence Day Jr.'s memoirs about growing up with his semi-tyrannical father, this wonderful comedy is truly one of the classics. William Powell stars as Father, a Wall Street broker who likes... to think he rules the roost. But when a small crisis over his religious upbringing causes havoc, it becomes clear that it's really his adoring wife (Irene Dunne) and their enterprising children who pull the strings.
March 18, 2009
My favorite William Powell movie.
½ March 9, 2009
The always likeable William Powell does a wonderful job in this charming little comedy about a cantankerous father who refuses to save his soul if it means he has to get baptized.
February 21, 2009
When I was younger I thought this movie was so stupid, now it's one of my favorites!
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