7.2/10
4,255
54 user 19 critic

Life with Father (1947)

Passed | | Comedy | 13 September 1947 (USA)
A financier from New York rules his numerous family, consisting of his wife and his four sons, with the meticulousness of a bookkeeper.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Clarence Day (memoir "Life with Father"), Donald Ogden Stewart (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Powell ... Clarence Day - Father
Irene Dunne ... Vinnie Day - Mother
Elizabeth Taylor ... Mary Skinner
Edmund Gwenn ... Rev. Dr. Lloyd
Zasu Pitts ... Cora Cartwright
Jimmy Lydon ... Clarence Day Jr.
Emma Dunn ... Margaret - the Cook
Moroni Olsen ... Dr. Humphries
Elisabeth Risdon ... Mrs. Whitehead
Derek Scott Derek Scott ... Harlan Day
Johnny Calkins ... Whitney Day
Martin Milner ... John Day
Heather Wilde Heather Wilde ... Annie - the Maid
Monte Blue ... The Policeman
Mary Field ... Nora
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Storyline

In late nineteenth century New York a Wall Street broker likes to think his house runs his way, but finds himself constantly bemused at how much of what happens is down to his wife. His children are also stretching their wings, discovering girls and making money out of patent medicine selling. When it comes to light he has never been baptized and everyone starts insisting he must do so, it all starts to get a bit too much. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Here for all!! All the happiness of the play that ran longer, the laughs that were louder than any known before!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

13 September 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vivir con papá See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Entered into the public domain in 1975. See more »

Goofs

It's established in the film that Clarence Sr. works on Wall St., which is located far south of the family home at 420 Madison Ave. But when he takes the street car to work he heads north on Madison. See more »

Quotes

Rev. Dr. Lloyd: Mrs. Day, your husband is a practical man. We've had to be practical about the new church. We have all the facts and figures.
Father: Oh? What's the property worth where we are now?
Rev. Dr. Lloyd: Oh, let's see. Is it $40,000? I know the figure has a four in it.
Father: What's the new piece of property going to cost you?
Rev. Dr. Lloyd: I think the figure I heard mentioned was $85,000. Or was it $185,000?
Father: Dr. Lloyd, you preach that someday, we'll all have to answer to God.
Rev. Dr. Lloyd: We shall indeed.
Father: Well, I hope God doesn't ask you any questions with...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are superimposed on scenes of old New York, viewed as if through an old-fashioned stereopticon. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Critic's Choice (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

O Come, All Ye Faithful
(c. 1743) (uncredited)
Latin Lyrics & Music by John Francis Wade
English translation by Frederick Oakeley (1841)
Sung a cappella in English by Derek Scott and Johnny Calkins
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"I Am The Character Of My House"
2 July 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In his third and final Oscar nomination, William Powell was nominated for playing the bellowing and lovable 19th century domestic tyrant Clarence Day, Sr. in Life With Father. If he had to lose I'm sure Powell was glad it was to his very good friend in real life Ronald Colman for A Double Life. Still with that strange flaming red hair on top of his familiar features, Powell imprints his own personality on the leading role of the longest running play on Broadway up to that time.

Based on the recollections of Clarence Day, Jr. as played by Jimmy Lydon here, Life With Father ran for eight years on Broadway for 3447 performances. It was brought to the stage by Howard Lindsay and his two partners, writing partner Russell Crouse who adapted Day's work to the stage and life partner Dorothy Stickney who with her husband got their career roles on Broadway. The play ran from 1939 through 1947 taking America right through World War II. The time that it was written and presented to the public may account for its popularity as the public might just have wanted reassurance of American values at that critical point.

As Lindsay and Stickney had no kind of movie box office, Warner Brothers decided to acquire William Powell for the lead and cast Irene Dunne as the wise mother who has learned just the right way to handle her husband and inevitably get what she wants. Powell is a man who thinks when all else has failed, he can bellow his way through any situation. My favorite line in the play is when he tries to hire a maid and that title quote is when he's asked for references.

Warner paid a lot in loan outs for this film. Irene Dunne was not a contract employee of his studio and Elizabeth Taylor was also borrowed from MGM for the small, decorative part of a cousin that gets Jimmy Lydon and Martin Milner's hormones in an uproar. The part that Taylor plays was originated on Broadway by another future film star, Teresa Wright.

Incidentally Martin Milner reminisced many years later about the film and said of all the boys and of course Powell, he was the only natural redhead among the lot.

Edmund Gwenn fresh from an Oscar himself for Miracle on 34th Street plays the Episcopalian minister who is trying to get a large contribution from Powell for a new church. Their discussion is also a highlight of the play and the fact that Powell had never been baptized is also a subject of a lot of humor.

Father still had life well into the Fifties with a television series adapted from the play that starred Leon Ames as dear old dad.

The play, the film still have a lot of character in it.


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