Life with Father (film)
|Life with Father|
Theatrical Film Poster
|Directed by||Michael Curtiz|
|Produced by||Robert Buckner|
|Screenplay by||Donald Ogden Stewart|
|Based on||Life with Father
by Clarence Day
1939 play by Howard Lindsay
|Music by||Max Steiner|
|Cinematography||William V. Skall
J. Peverell Marley
|Edited by||George Amy|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Box office||$6.455 million|
Life with Father is a 1947 Technicolor American comedy film. It tells the true story of Clarence Day, a stockbroker who wants to be master of his house, but finds his wife and his children ignoring him, until they start making demands for him to change his own life. The story draws largely on the insistence by his family that Clarence be baptized to avoid going to Hell and Clarence's stubborn, ill-tempered nature. In keeping with the autobiography, all the children in the family (all boys) are redheads. It stars William Powell and Irene Dunne as Clarence and his wife, supported by Elizabeth Taylor as a beautiful teenage girl with whom Clarence's oldest son becomes infatuated, along with Edmund Gwenn, ZaSu Pitts, Jimmy Lydon and Martin Milner. The film and its audio entered the public domain in 1975.
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Stockbroker Clarence Day (William Powell), is a benevolent despot of his 1880s New York City household, striving to make it function as efficiently as his Wall Street office but usually failing. His wife Vinnie (Irene Dunne) is the real head of the household. The anecdotal story encompasses such details as Clarence's attempts to find a new maid; a romance between his oldest son Clarence Jr. (Jimmy Lydon) and pretty out-of-towner Mary Skinner (Elizabeth Taylor); a plan by Clarence Jr. and his younger brother John (Martin Milner) to make easy money selling patent medicines; Clarence's general contempt for the era's political corruption and the trappings of organized religion; and Vinnie's push to get him baptized so he can enter the kingdom of God.
- William Powell as Clarence Day, Sr.
- Irene Dunne as Vinnie Day
- Elizabeth Taylor as Mary Skinner
- Edmund Gwenn as Rev. Dr. Lloyd
- ZaSu Pitts as Cousin Cora Cartwright
- Jimmy Lydon as Clarence Day, Jr.
- Emma Dunn as Margaret - the cook
- Moroni Olsen as Dr. Humphries
- Elisabeth Risdon as Mrs. Whitehead - introduces Morley
- Martin Milner as John Day
- Johnny Calkins as Whitney Day
- Derek Scott as Harlan Day
- Heather Wilde as Annie - 1st maid
- Mary Field as Nora - 2nd maid
- Monte Blue as The Policeman
- Clara Blandick as Miss Wiggins, the Maid Service Employment Agent
Due to the Motion Picture Production Code standards of the day, the play's last line (in response to a policeman asking Mr. Day where he is going), "I'm going to be baptized, dammit!" had to be rewritten for the film.
- Employment agent: "Sir, before I can let any girl go from this establishment, I must know the character of the home in which she will be employed." Mr. Day: "Madam, I am the character of my home!"
- Clarence Day, Jr: "...outside green is the best color." Mary Skinner: "That's right. I never thought of it that way. But when you do think of it - it's quite a thought."
- Upon leaving Clarence Day, Jr. and Mary Skinner alone in the parlor, Mrs. Day turns and says: "Remember, it's Sunday."
- Mary Skinner announces through tears after sitting on Clarence Day, Jr's lap - (he tells her to "Get up! Get up!"): "Now you just think I am some bold and forward girl."
- Mr. Day states "I am not a guide to Chinatown and The Bowery."
It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (William Powell), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color (Robert M. Haas, George Hopkins), Best Cinematography, Color and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture.
Through a clerical error, the film was not renewed for copyright and has fallen into the public domain. There is a digitally remastered version in the Archive Movie Collection through Digicom.tv with a copyright date of 2009.
- H. Mark Glancy, “MGM Film Grosses, 1924-1948: The Eddie Mannix Ledger,” Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television , 12, no. 2 (1992), pp. 127-43
- Variety film review; August 20, 1947, page 16.
- Harrison's Reports film review; August 16, 1947, page 131.
- Turner Classic Movie synopsis and production information
- New York Times, Life With Father
- "Life with Father". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
- "All Time Domestic Champs", Variety, 6 January 1960 p 34
- "Top Grossers of 1947", Variety, 7 January 1948 p 63
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