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YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU

Director: FRANK CAPRA

126 minutes| U.S.A.| 1938| Black and White| D-Cinema


A sort of urban (and urbane) version of Lost Horizon, this film brought Capra his third directing Oscar in five years and is, in his words, ‘about a happy-go-lucky family of rebels living in their own Shangri-La to escape from the modern rat race’. A tycoon’s son (James Stewart) wants to join this carefree family as he loves the grand-daughter (Jean Arthur) however his millionaire father (Edward Arnold) wants to buy up their home to complete a ruthless financial takeover. Adapting a successful Broadway play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, Capra sharpens the social conflict to explore his favourite themes of money versus love, materialist ambition and moral aridity, but the film is at its best when indulging in whimsical humour and showing off Capra’s matchless ability in orchestrating group comedy. The harmony of opposites which concludes the film gives rise to perhaps the most endearing of all those impromptu musical interludes that invigorate and humanise a Capra movie.

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