You Can't Take It with You (1938)
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Frank Capra's You Can't Take It With You is in many ways a precursor to his later It's a Wonderful Life, not just because certain scenes (passing the plate around in court, for example), but because it has the same good-hearted, values before greed, utopian community spirit of that holiday classic. In this one, Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur want to get married, but they may have problems integrating their two families. He's a banker and socialite's son, while her family is a group of loud zany artist types of all sorts (not all blood related). A clash is to be expected. The chaotic comedy is a bit loud at times, I'm afraid, but the film does such a good job of introducing its characters that it does charm quite a bit. Lionel Barrymore as Arthur's free-spirited grandfather is really the MVP of the piece, the one who carries the film's values and immense heart, and so everything will be well that ends well, lessons will be learned, and friendship will triumph over ambition. Along the way, I became quite convinced a kitten would make a good paper weight.
Am I being too British about this, or is it weird that we're meant to sympathise with a wealthy man who refuses to pay income tax?
But ultimately this adds period charm to an already charming picture.
I think it's truly hilarious.
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In 7 official lists
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This movie ranks #12 in Academy Award - Best Picture
This movie ranks #30 in IMDb's 1930s Top 50
This movie ranks #39 in iCheckMovies's 1930s Top 100
This movie ranks #93 in Academy Award - Best Picture Nominees
This movie ranks #213 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
This movie ranks #345 in Geoff King's Film Comedy
This movie ranks #437 in Doubling the Canon
This movie ranks #1216 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films: 1001-2500