7.2/10
4,256
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

Inflation from 1883 to 2019: 8 cents per pound chicken = $2.03; $4.50 umbrella = $114; $5,000 church pew = $126,778; $15 dog and suit = $380; $2 per hour taxi = $50. See more »

Goofs

Clarence Jr. says to his brother Whitney as he reads the paper that Buck Ewing of the New York Giants hit a home run. The team in 1883, the setting of the movie, was called the New York Gothams in that year, later the team's name was changed to the Giants. See more »

Quotes

Mary: That's funny. The words are the same, but it's the wrong tune.
Clarence Day: Oh, it can't be the wrong tune. We sing it exactly that way in church.
Mary: We don't sing it that way in the Methodist Church. You see, we're Methodist.
Clarence Day: Oh, that's too bad. Oh, I don't mean it's too bad that you're a Methodist. Anybody's got a right to be anything they want, but what I mean is, we're... *Episcopalians*.
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

Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me a Bow-Wow
(1892) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph Tabrar
See more »

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User Reviews

A charming picture...
15 October 1999 | by Profplum-3See all my reviews

Life With Father, the story of an eccentric, excitable 1880s gentleman and his continually exasperating family is the perfect showcase for the under-appreciated talents of William Powell. Powell, best know for his work with Myrna Loy in the "Thin Man" series of films. Powell uses every second of this plum role to display his charming style and verbal acuity.

The story is simple: Powell and his wife, played by Irene Dunne, face a series of calamities, some serious and some ridiculous, mostly brought on by their four rambunctious, red-headed sons. After a visiting cousin brings along fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Taylor, events are put into motion which threaten to turn Powell's neatly-ordered world upside down.

The performances are uniformly fine, and Powell and Dunne are absolutely sterling. A supporting cast that includes Zasu Pitts, Edmund Gwenn and early appearances from Martin Milner and Elizabeth Taylor round out the picture quite well. If there is anything to detract from the complete enjoyment of the film, it is Taylor's performance, which can get grating, but hey, she's just a kid, and when you look at her, you can already see the amazing beauty still to come. The exceptional visual style of the film makes you long for the day when people rode in horse-carts to Delmonico's for dinner.

Watch for some classic dialogue between Powell and Dunne over the cost of a new coffee pot, between Powell and his son about "the facts of life where women are concerned," and the nonsensical wordplay over the return of a Porcelain Pug-Dog.


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