Make Way For Tomorrow (1937 – Blu-Ray)

“About the only fun you have left is pretending that there ain’t any facts to face, so would you mind if I just went on pretending”

I just spent an emotional hour and a half watching Leo McCarey’s 1937 film ‘Make Way For Tomorrow’, a film that prompted Orson Welles to comment “My God, that is the saddest movie I have ever seen” and “It would make a stone cry”. It’s about an elderly couple played by Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi who lose their house and have to live apart with their children.

The first two-thirds of the movie chronicle the couple’s painful separation and the often comedic and sometimes heartbreaking little ways in which they unwillingly inconvenience their children and grandchildren.  The devastating final third features the couple reuniting for a stolen few hours spent retracing their honeymoon.  In these hours they almost become young again, finding strength in their love for one another. Moore and Bondi’s performances in this final part had me wiping away a few tears, particularly the heartbreaking final scene.

McCarey was of course the director of The Marx Brothers’ 1933 satire ‘Duck Soup’ which makes him a comedy Saint. The Academy thought so, and in the same year as ‘Make Way For Tomorrow’ McCarey won an Oscar for his comedy ‘The Awful Truth’, but in his acceptance speech he quipped “Thanks, but you gave it to me for the wrong picture!”.

You can catch the film on YouTube below (But I’d recommend investing in the ‘Masters Of Cinema’ Blu-Ray I watched):

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