ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

US 91m, B&W
Director: Leo McCarey; Cast: Victor Moore, Beulah Bondi, Thomas Mitchell, Fay Bainter, Elizabeth Risdon, Porter Hall

make_wayAs a cautionary tale for us all, Make Way for Tomorrow is one of the most melancholy, if not depressing movies ever made. When an elderly couple faces financial ruin, they take refuge with their reluctant children and their families, but must do so hundreds of miles apart, as none of the siblings are willing to take both of them together. Portrayed as a nuisance and a disruption to their children’s lives, they are coerced into a plan which will effectively keep them apart for the remaining years of their now ruined lives. Resigned to their fate, the elderly couple follows the wishes of their children, as all “good” parents should – at least in 1937. Although the reality of the vitality of our parents is cheerfully out of date in the early twenty-first century, unfortunately the nuclear family remains a structure which has little time for its more mature members (Klaus Ming March 2011).

10 comments on “Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

  1. Anthony Lee Collins
    03/03/2011

    Orson Welles and Peter Bogdanovich talked about this picture, which they both loved, and one of them (I forget which) told the story that McCarey, when accepting the Oscar that year for The Awful Truth, said, “Thanks, but you gave it to me for the wrong picture.”

    (Apples and oranges, really, since The Awful Truth is also very good.)

    • Klausming
      03/03/2011

      I recall reading that line. It is good movie, but not a movie I particularly enjoyed. Certainly not one i’m looking to re-watch any time soon 🙂

  2. joem18b
    03/03/2011

    I reviewed this one. I can’t remember what I said (or thought) but I do remember feeling that times have changed. 70 is the new 60.

    My three sisters and I just went through a variety of this problem with our parents. I think we did ok, mostly, but everybody ended up feeling guilty, parents and kids alike.

    • Klausming
      03/03/2011

      …70 is the new 60 — i’ll agree with that, and hopefully by the time I get there – it will be the new 50!

      I recall my parents going through it with my grandparents in the 1980s. Both my folks are in there 70s and remain pretty self-sufficient – fingers crossed!

      • joem18b
        03/03/2011

        what with the growing lack of pensions and the erosion of 401K value, the retirement age may end up around 90. instead of a gold watch, you’ll get a gold set of false teeth.

  3. Dave Becker
    03/05/2011

    Yet another classic film I haven’t caught up with yet! (sigh) There just isn’t enough time in the day

    • Klaus
      03/05/2011

      I’m still trying to figure out a way of watching movies in my sleep 😉

  4. joem18b
    03/05/2011

    It’s the TV seasons on DVD that kill me. Watching two seasons of In Treatment, and Justified and Fringe 2 and Sons of Anarchy, really eats up the available viewing time.

    • Klausming
      03/07/2011

      My current non-movie obsession is watching all 127 UFC fight cards. As of last night, i’m at #85. Just can’t seem to get enough mixed martial arts at the moment!

      • joem18b
        03/07/2011

        I was watching a lot of UFC and then I had seen everything Blockbuster had. But now that I look, I see that I can order from Netflix, so maybe I’ll get caught up.

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This entry was posted on 03/03/2011 by in 1001 List, 1930s, All and tagged .
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