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Life with Father (1947)

William Powell , Irene Dunne , Michael Curtiz  |  NR |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (260 customer reviews)

Price: $5.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Life with Father   -- --
Life With Father - 1947 Color (Digitally Remastered Version)
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Product Details

  • Actors: William Powell, Irene Dunne, Elizabeth Taylor, Edmund Gwenn, Zasu Pitts
  • Directors: Michael Curtiz
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Alpha Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 4, 2002
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (260 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000067IVZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,707 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Life with Father" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

The longest-running non-musical play in Broadway history, "Life With Father" was brought to joyous comedic life on film in 1947. Based on Clarence Day's writings about his own family, Life With Father stars screen legends William Powell and Irene Dunne as Clarence and Vinnie Day. Clarence is the headstrong yet loving family patriarch, while Vinnie is his "dizzy" wife, whose real genius is letting her husband believe it is really he who is running the family. Filled with warmth and humor, the film follows the family's adventures in 1880's New York City. Look for a young Elizabeth Taylor in an important supporting role as one of the Day son's romantic interests. Life With Father was one of the top grossing films of the year and received Academy Award nominations in the Cinematography, Musical Scoring and Art Direction categories. A further nomination went to William Powell, who was cited by the New York Film Critics as the year's "Best Actor."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
128 of 130 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A terrible desecration of a classic film. September 15, 2004
By ardar88
Format:DVD
This movie is an all-time classic and easily rates five stars. The DVD version, however, is absolutely atrocious. Very poor sound quality and a washed out picture with color so bad it looks almost like it's in black and white. This movie was filmed in sumptuous Technicolor, but you'd never know it from this DVD. The VHS release of several years back is far superior. No DVD extras either, just a lousy print and nothing else. Is this the best they could do?

This is a perfect gem of a movie that screams for a major restoration! Until that happens, steer clear!
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76 of 76 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
As an adult, Clarence Day Jr. (1874-1935) joined his well-known father on Wall Street--but developed a form of arthritis that left him a semi-invalid. Shortly before his death he published LIFE WITH FATHER, a humorous memoir of his Victorian childhood; sadly, he did not live to see its great success. A best seller, the novel was adapted to the stage in 1939 by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse. Warner Bro.s bought the film rights, agreeing to wait until the show finished its Broadway run; as it happened the studio had a long wait, for the play went on to become one of Broadway's longest running shows, playing almost eight years.

In acquiring the rights, Warner Bro.s also gave Clarence Day's widow and playwrights Lindsay and Crouse substantial power over the film version. Censorship issues of the day prevented an absolute translation of the script to the screen, but on the whole the script survived the transformation extremely well, and fueled by a host of flawless performances and remarkably fine production values LIFE WITH FATHER became as memorable on screen as it was on stage.

Clarence Day is an eccentric man, absolutely certain that he alone is correct in all decisions, and eternally running afoul of wife Vinnie's scatterbrained logic, his four sons, visiting relatives, and terrified servants. When a conversation reveals that he has never been baptised, Mr. Day laughs the matter off--but Vinnie is determined that he will be baptised whether he likes it or not. Comic battlelines are drawn, and the result is a hilariously amusing portrait of Victorian manners and attitudes about everything from religion to the place of women in the world.

The performances are superlative.
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91 of 94 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Terrible transfer and sound November 24, 2004
By Telstar
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Although this is better than the unwatchable Madacy DVD, it still is horrible. There is 60 Hz hum throughout the audio, audio that is distorted and clipped, and a rather grainy, noise full video print. Max Steiner's inventive variation-on-a-theme music score is ruined.

If this is the best that can be done with this delightful movie, it is a true pity.

Someone, please restore this to glory.
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74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Beautiful November 14, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It's just beautiful. We've waited a long time for this...I just can't understand why Warner Brothers did'nt do it from start because it's a high profile classic picture...but Digi-Com you did great and it will certainly pay off. The DVD on our 32 inch plasma set looks like a live television picture rather than a movie. In addition to fixing the color and sound, every little tiny speck of scratch and dust and whatever is gone, and there is zero left/right movement back and forth as a film looks like going through a projector. It does look like live TV. Just beautiful.

Thanks.

Steve Spears
Orrs Island, Maine
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life With Father November 30, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
They did a good job remastering this movie. You can actually watch this one.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible DVD does not do justice. April 25, 2008
Format:DVD
I love this movie and I have an old VHS copy which I taped myself. I thought by purchasing a brand new DVD, modern and latest technology, I would have a better quality movie. However, I was horribly wrong. This is the worst copy of a movie I've ever had. Not only is the color way too blue, the sound and voices skips and breaks. But probably more distracting and annoying is the reverse in some of the scenes - for instance, the stairwell in the opening early scene -- looking towards the stairwell from the entrance, the railing is on the right and the wall is on the left; so if someone is coming down the steps the railing will be to their left, but in the next scene when Vinnie comes down the stairs, the railing is on her right, and as she walks into the dining room, the background image shows the stairwell railing is now on the left again. I don't know how the transfer to DVD actually accomplished this reversal. It is unfortunate for such a great movie to have such a horrible transfer to DVD - it is not worthy of the quality of the movie. And it is very annoying to a Classic movie lover.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, a perfect DVD for this classic movie. December 15, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This DVD is perfect in every way, technically, and all others, so far as I can tell. For those who love this splendid classic movie, it is just what we have been waiting for.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LIFE WITH FATHER October 19, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
People...PLEASE understand...this is digitally REMASTERED NOT RESTORED. Consider yourself fortunate to have a copy even this good when you consider WARNER ENTERTAINMENT has turned their backs on this wonderful old classic. WARNER ENTERTAINMENT has no interest in ever making this title available from their own original negatives which is so unfortunate. This title fell into public domain and because of that WARNER apparently feel it has no commercial value. Under the circumstances we have to just be thankful that any company is at least willing to find a good, clean copy and attempt to remaster it.

Please remember the difference. A RESTORED movie is one that come from the original negative or good working print and every single frame (16 to each minute so some nearly 2,000 frames for the full movie)and clean up dirt, scratches, rips, etc and attempt to restore it to it original beauty. This process is extremely costly. In fact, in some circumstances restoration can cost as much as the original movie production. It is just not an expense anyone but a major studio could afford.

A REMASTERED movie is when a company can locate a good print and try to clean up that print the best they can. Because it is a print and not a negative it is nearly impossible to do much better then what we see in LIFE WITH FATHER. But it is apparent that they did locate a very nice, clean print. This copy is far superior to any copy previously available to the public.

You can't compare this to the TV prints. Keep in mind that WARNER still holds on to the TV released prints and there they are working with original negatives (the same negatives and prints that WARNER does not wish to release to the general public which is so very upsetting....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Just love Irene Dunne
She was incredible! She radiated beauty inside and out. Plus, that infectious laugh! With William Powell or Cary Grant, she held her own.
Published 1 hour ago by nylucky5707
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
Love to watch this film. Lifestyle sure has changed, but liked the family values it has to offer.
Color is great to.
Published 1 day ago by Ann Dragan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!!
Much, much better than the remake with Clifton Web as Father.

Would recommend this to a friend.

Your Uncle Dudley
Published 6 days ago by Robert P Worst
3.0 out of 5 stars The way life was ~
The voice is not right - but the movie is great - The father knows everything and the mother know more and keeps the father confused-
Published 19 days ago by Lois
4.0 out of 5 stars Life with father
It was a very good movie. It made me realize the strides women have made, and the reasons for women rights. They were treated so childlike. I found it a little frustrating.
Published 1 month ago by vsoul
4.0 out of 5 stars Vibrant and Colorful But Mildly Annoying
I enjoyed the period aspect of it most of all. The relationships between husband and wife and father and children. The setting in the 1880s, New York. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Love To Read
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
One of my all time favorites- Love the nastalga of an era gone by, when life seemed simplier & happier.
Published 1 month ago by Carol Dunn
5.0 out of 5 stars Life With Father
This movie has some perfect comedic timing that makes us laugh over and over. The characters are portrayed to perfection in this late 1800's setting. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Margaret Hepworth
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!!!
Love this movie so cute. An oldie but goodie. I can watch it over and over again. Would recommend this movie. Very cute
Published 1 month ago by Jen
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Love this movie
Anyone who enjoys the old movies will love this. Father thinks he is in charge but Vinny really is the lady who takes charge in the hilarious comedy
Published 2 months ago by Barbie58
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