This is Frank Capra's adaptation of Kaufman and Hart's Pulitzer Prize winning 1936 play. It won Best Picture in 1938, one of the few comedies to ever win Best Picture. It's also one of the most delightful movies ever with an absolutely wonderful message.
Edward Arnold plays Anthony P. Kirby, the big tycoon banker of Wall Street. Naturally, because he's a big tycoon, he suffers from indigestion.
Lionel Barrymore plays Grandpa Vanderhof, who could have been a rich man thirty years ago, but he wasn't having any fun at business and wasn't enjoying life, so he quit. Now he collects stamps, goes to the zoo, plays the harmonica and throws darts. This is the last movie Lionel Barrymore made before he needed to use a wheelchair, which is why he's on crutches.
Tony Kirby is unhappy at being a vice president in Daddy's company, but he loves his secretary Alice Sycamore, who's the only "normal" member of Grandpa's family. I love Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur together, they're so adorable and really work well together.
If you haven't seen the movie (and I'd be shocked if you haven't) I'm not going to summarize the movie like I normally do, since to do that would ruin Capra's message. Instead I'll just include some random shots. If you have seen the movie before, enjoy the caps then go watch it again or just do the Big Apple.
That's the character actor H. B. Warner playing Ol' Twitch Face. Almost everyone in this movie has been in other Frank Capra movies as well. Warner was also in Mr. Deeds and It's A Wonderful Life.
Spring Byington playing Penny Sycamore, her hobby is writing plays and using a kitten as a paper weight.
Yes, Ann Miller really was fifteen when she played Essie and she wore pointe shoes throughout the movie, which must have been tough.
That's the only full length shot I could get of Jean Arthur's gown.
Remember when kids used to go out into the park and play instead of sitting at home all day playing video games?
Mischa Auer as Kolenkhov the White Russian ballet teacher.
I love her suspenders!
If there was one movie family that I would want to live with, it would be the Sycamores and their philosophy of not doing anything that you wouldn't enjoy doing. Besides, all of the really interesting people have to be at least slightly eccentric.
Look, a fur wrap with a bow in the back!
"You're an idiot Mr. Kirby" is a terrific speech, but I couldn't find a clip of it.
I had no idea anyone could have that many friends. Of course, this was back when cities had neighbourhoods and everyone knew everyone and there were small shops on the street and around the corner. I blame the suburbs and supermarkets.
I also had no idea that anyone needed that many lawyers for a misdemeanour
You Can't Take It With You is on DVD (both individually and as part of various Frank Capra collections) in Regions 1, 2 and I think 4. It will also be on TCM next month and at the moment is on YouTube in 12 parts.
This is the famous income tax scene: