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Make Way For Tomorrow

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mrsl
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Make Way For Tomorrow

Postby mrsl » September 7th, 2010, 4:22 pm


I DVR'd the movie and just finished watching it. It truly was a poignant, touching, and very realistic film. Calling the film 'sad' isn't quite correct because most of the film was truthful in that having an older relative living with you is hard, especially when there are teens around because the generations are so far apart, they have trouble coming together, unless the older person has kept up with the times. However, the very end of the movie is heart wrenchingly sad. Leaving her standing there at the train station, alone, knowing she is doomed to living the rest of her days in a home broke my heart. Remember, the homes for the aged at the time, were also for the mentally challenged. She did NOT have a cheerful future to look forward to.

I was happy though, that they ran into that kindly hotel manager who gave them such a great final day together, which I think added to the sad ending. Being brought to a happy point seeing them having such a good time, adds to the feeling of depression at the end. I can't honestly say if I want to see the movie again because I'm still very depressed from it. At this point, I don't even feel like giving my opinion about the acting or direction, but I will at a later time, if any comments are added to this thread. I can say however, that Beulah Bondi did a fantastic job in this role, except she looked much older than her husband.
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Anne


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Re: Make Way For Tomorrow

Postby moira finnie » September 7th, 2010, 6:25 pm

You might enjoy seeing these earlier postings about this movie, linked below.

http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4051&p=60302&hilit=make+way+for+tomorrow#p60302
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mrsl
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Re: Make Way For Tomorrow

Postby mrsl » September 7th, 2010, 10:59 pm

.
I thank you for the link but there is no discussion about the movie on that thread. I didn't click on the official write ups, because I prefer the members opinions. Also, it would never occur to me to look for this movie under Classic movies on DVD, not being an avid collector, just a collector of what I like to see more than once, I rarely even open any of that whole section. I love the drawings but since I can no longer draw like I used to, it makes me feel bad and sad to realize my loss. I don't look for special DVD's or pay more than $10.00. My DVD collection ranges from 1935 John Wayne Westerns to 2008, The Women remake. So, none of those threads about when DVD's or collectors specials, are coming out, or the prices of them, or all that stuff about ratio is not important to me.

So, I'm just going to leave this and hope someone will make some comments on a lovely little movie.
.
Anne


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]***********************************************************************

Gary J.
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Re: Make Way For Tomorrow

Postby Gary J. » September 13th, 2010, 11:43 pm

Leo McCarey was known as a brilliant comedy specialist but he also developed into a brilliant filmmaker as the likes of Ruggles of Red Gap (1934) , Love Affair (1939) and this film reveals. He was not embarrassed to play to the heart but he also generally sensed when to pull back and add some needed laughs. The laughs are fairly muted for the first hour of Make Way For Tomorrow (1937) as a real life every day drama is played out on the big screen - what to do when your parents can no longer take care of themselves. There are no real villains in the story as the elderly parents are forced to live apart from each other with different family members. The most that can be said is that the siblings are selfish and self-absorbed with their own lives - that pretty much sums up the majority of us living on this planet. (I'm not counting Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama and the fella who gives me good tips at the track.) Fay Bainter is given the task of illustrating the mounting frustrations that can result from this type of living arrangements. Alone with her husband, Thomas Mitchell, she lets loose with a barrage of built-up exasperation telling him that she loves his mother as much as he does but she meddles in everything. None of it sounds phony and it isn't played that way. The couple has a typical sassy teenager who enjoys wisecracking at Grandma's expense over her 'old-fashioned' ways but when she goes too far with the truth by telling her that Grandpa will never be able to find a job at his age so that they can move back together, she is generally contrite over Beulah Bondi's pained expression and for a few minutes is once again the loving grandchild who once sat at her grandma's knee as she tries to console her.

And if the movie had followed the set trajectory that was being laid out, the inevitable realization that the grandparents must separate for good, the film would of been unbearable to watch. And here is where McCarey is so brilliant. As the elderly couple meet for one final time in New York City to board separate trains McCarey creates a magical, fairy tale sequence in which every cynical, hard-hearted charlatan who roams a big city suddenly opens their heart and soul up to this sweet and charming couple. They are chauffeured around town, welcomed back to their original honeymoon destination and spotlighted on the dance floor. None of it is believable and yet it all plays out perfectly because we, the audience, want to believe it. No, we demand it! We have suffered along with Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi throughout this film and they deserve some moments of happiness - and we deserve to see them happy.

As heartwarming as that segment is the final goodbye must still occur and McCarey doesn't dwell on it. But for me the real tearjerker moment happened earlier when the oldest son must break the news to his mother that she will have to move to the Old Folks Home. Sensing what is coming the mother interrupts and takes over the conversation as only a mother can. No longer a feeble old woman she reverts back as the family matriarch she once was and concocts a tale that she is not happy in this environment and would like to move to the Home and be among her own kind. When she lays down the law that his father must never learn the truth Mitchell reverts back to the obedient son of long ago, just as his daughter had previously felt chastened in her grandma's presence. Beulah Bondi is wonderful in this scene and this is a wonderful movie and should be better known.

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mrsl
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Re: Make Way For Tomorrow

Postby mrsl » September 14th, 2010, 12:11 am

.
Gary J:

You fly out of nowhere with a post that says so much about a fine little movie that should be more well-known than it is. You hit on some terrific points about family and feelings which every family will have to face sooner or later in their lives. Thank you for your thoughtful post.
.
Anne


***********************************************************************
* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *

]***********************************************************************

feaito

Re: Make Way For Tomorrow

Postby feaito » September 17th, 2010, 7:46 am

I saw this film a few years ago thanks to an ex-member of SSO and I absolutely raved about it when I watched it. Unique, charming, realistic, well done, sincere portrayals, poignant, touching, timeless....words are not enough to praise this gem.

Last Wednesday I revisited this film with a friend and we watched the Criterion DVD Edition (beautiful print, I bet the same used by TCM USA), plus the two very enlightening video interviews on the film and Leo McCarey's career included as extras, with director Peter Bogdanovich and critic Gary Giddins.

This is a film in which the masterful talent of a director (McCarey) is blended with heart and soul in the making of a true, touching story, with superb performances, a great cast and a relentless commitment (by McCarey) to his task of making this film believable and not surrendering to the Studio's wishes for a happy ending.

What more can I add to what's been said, but that this film is filled with beautiful vignettes one after another and that the subject is as timeless as ever (with the recent and ongoing Economy Crisis).


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