Lionel Barrymore

YCTIWY scenes

Frank Capra‘s adaptation of You Can’t Take It With You is one of the least favorite Best Picture winners. For many critics, but not for me. Outside of It’s a Wonderful Life, this film was my gateway to Capra, who I consider one of the most fascinating Golden Age directors. It was also my introduction to Jean Arthur, forever since my primary Hollywood crush. My interest in the film initially came about through a high school production of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, in which I played an FBI agent. As an idealistic teen, everything from the title to the anarchic yet loving clan of eccentrics spoke to me. It’s fair that some people don’t think YCTIWY deserved the top Oscar, especially since it was up against such great movies as Grand Illusion and The Adventures of Robin Hood. Also, if you know Capra was at the time president of the Academy and was supposed to host the ceremony again that year and he threatened both a resignation and a massive boycott of the event out of support for the near-to-strike Screen Directors Guild and is said to have been honored for his leadership in resolving the whole matter, well all that seems to make the wins for Best Picture and Best Director (out of seven nominations) a little fishy. Awards matters aside, though, it’s hard not to like YCTIWY with its perfect ensemble cast and its happy-go-lucky political hodgepodge. It’s far from perfect, hardly Capra’s […]



You Can’t Take it With You one of Frank Capra’s biggest Depression Era hits, is a rambunctious, hopeful story that’s still relevant today.

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published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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