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Make Way for Tomorrow (The Criterion Collection) (1937)

Victor Moore , Beulah Bondi , Leo McCarey  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Victor Moore, Beulah Bondi, Fay Bainter, Thomas Mitchell, Porter Hall
  • Directors: Leo McCarey
  • Format: Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition
  • 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: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: February 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002XUL6SA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,015 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Make Way for Tomorrow (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer
Tomorrow, Yesterday, and Today, a new video interview featuring filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich discussing the career of Leo McCarey and his thoughts on Make Way for Tomorrow
New video interview with critic Gary Giddins in which he talks about McCarey’s artistry and the political and social context of the film
A booklet featuring new essays by critic Tag Gallagher and filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier, as well as an excerpt from film scholar Robin Wood’s 1998 piece: Leo McCarey and Family Values"

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

How, you may wonder, have you never heard of Leo McCarey's Make Way for Tomorrow, a film garlanded with the following raves from major critics: "There are few American films as subtle, moving and bursting with human truth" (Dave Kehr), "Beautiful and heartbreaking" (Roger Ebert), "Hollywood movies don't get much better than this" (Jonathan Rosenbaum)? The film's low profile in film history probably has a variety of causes: it flopped on its initial release, it lacks recognizable stars that might bring it residual interest, and its director, though an Oscar winner in his time, did not sustain his post-career reputation the way his contemporary and friend Frank Capra did. With the Criterion Collection's 2010 DVD release, this 1937 picture may finally assume its place of honor in the movie imagination of the public at large. Set when the Depression was still a reality, the film looks at an elderly couple, played by Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi, whose savings are gone and whose house is repossessed by the bank. The only feasible solution their children can find is to divide the parents up: Mom will stay with the eldest son (Thomas Mitchell) and his family in Manhattan, and Dad will bunk with a daughter in a small town 300 miles away. McCarey deals with this heartbreaking situation so plainly and directly, and yet with such on-target humor, that you almost don't notice how devastating the results are, and his work with Moore and Bondi--best known as character actors in film--is superb. The final half-hour bestows kindness on the couple but doesn't shy away from the story's only possible conclusion. Orson Welles described the movie's effect in perhaps the most succinct terms: "It could make a stone cry." See it, and discover a classic. --Robert Horton

Product Description

Leo McCarey’s Make Way for Tomorrow is one of the great unsung Hollywood masterpieces, an enormously moving Depression-era depiction of the frustrations of family, aging, and the generation gap. Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi headline a cast of incomparable character actors, starring as an elderly couple who must move in with their grown children after the bank takes their home, yet end up separated and subject to their offspring’s selfish whims. An inspiration for Ozu’s Tokyo Story, Make Way for Tomorrow is among American cinema’s purest tearjerkers, all the way to its unflinching ending, which McCarey refused to change despite studio pressure.

Stills from Make Way for Tomorrow 
 




Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a lost masterpiece December 31, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this movie for the first time years ago, back in the days before AMC became a commercial ridden purveyor of (mostly) films of dubious value (MAD MEN not withstanding). I was bowled over by it then: it was a film of such honest SENTIMENT , completely devoid of sentamentality, that I could not believe it was a Leo McCarey film, the filmmaker who esentially was an expert purveyor of SENTIMENTALITY (so effective - yet manipulative - in GOING MY WAY) as well a fine interpreter of the Marx Brothers, W.C.Fields, and Stan Laurel and OLiver Hardy AND arguably one of the godfathers of screwball comedy).
Then the film vanished, although I do recall seeing a lousy VHS pirate from AMC several years later. There is also a French DVD out, uncompatible unless you have a region free DVD, that seems to have come from pretty good source material but has (no surprise) French subtitles) that (surprise) cannot be turned off.
It has remained then for the folks at Criterion to ride to the rescue, and I cannot wait to see what they do for this movie.
I do not believe there is a more heart-rending finale to any American film that deals with intrafamilial relations than this one; a defy anyone to watch the last half-hour of this movie without a lump in their throat. One must flash forward to BICYCLE THIEVES and UMBERTO D. to witness such unsparing - but right - realism.
Beulah Bondi and Victor Moore as the elderly couple are utterly believable as the olpeople caught in a vise of family politics. The supporting cast, lead by Thomas Mitchell, is superb. The absence of any musical score, though jarring at first, underlines McCarey's realism.
Buy this, watch it, re-watch it, show it to your children, grab your neighbors, make them watch it. Its humanism will make anyone who sees it "love his neighbor" better.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make Way For Beulah Bondi! January 1, 2010
Format:DVD
With the Oscars 2 weeks away, let's look back 75 years and read what reviewers of its day wrote about a picture that went completely unrecognised by the Academy; and whose producer/director chastised its members from the podium for that ignorance when he accepted the best director statue for a comedy he made the same year, saying "Thanks, but you gave me this for the wrong picture." Can you imagine anyone having that kind of intestinal fortitude today; risking their careers with such a courageous gesture? Now that speech would have been the perfect special feature to include on this already wonderful release. (And just maybe, since MWFT wasn't nominated, but voter's still had the opportunity to cast their ballot for Mr. McCarey...maybe they actually did give it to him for this picture after all.)

VARIETY, Posted: Fri., Jan. 1, 1937

Rugged simplicity marks this Leo McCarey production [from a novel by Josephine Laurence and a play by Helen and Nolan Leary]. It is a tear-jerker, obviously grooved for femme fans. McCarey, who also directed, has firmly etched the dilemma in which an elderly married couple find themselves when they lose their old dwelling place and their five grown-up children are non-receptive. He keeps audience interest focused on old Lucy Cooper and Pa Cooper as they are separated, each finding themselves in the way and not fitting in with the two households (one with a son and the other with a daughter).
Victor Moore essays a serious role as Pa Cooper without firmly establishing himself in the new field. He continues to be more Victor Moore than an old grandfather, and he makes the biggest impression in the lighter, more whimsical moments. Beulah Bondi, as the aged Lucy is standout from the viewpoint of clever character work and make-up.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
*Please note SPOILERS in this review*

I first heard of this film when reading film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum's short take on Sarah Polley's AWAY FROM HER; that film was my favorite of 2007, and Rosenbaum saying that it was "within hailing distance" of this Leo McCarey film meant I had to track this down. I'm glad I did; though the 5 Minutes to Live DVD was of fairly low quality, the essential genius of the film shows through: this is, as Rosenbaum and a few other perceptive critics have noted, one of the greatest films ever made about aging and the conflicts between the desires of children leading their own lives, and their responsibilities towards their own parents. Beulah Bondi and Victor Moore are the parents of five grown children, including Thomas Mitchell as the eldest, who have lost their home; the children grudgingly offer to take them in, but none is willing to take both parents.

One of the amazingly simple points that the film makes in a beautifully understated manner is that the kids simply don't understand, or care about the importance of the parents' relationship with each other; they can only focus on the parent-child situation. Of course sex and real intimacy can only be hinted at in a 1937 film, but for the careful viewer this is everywhere apparent in the incredible performances of Moore and Bondi. All the performances actually are fine, but Bondi's especially is one for the ages; the scene where she receives a call from her husband, the mingled sorrow and joy in her voice as time stops around her, disrupting the bridge class that her daughter-in-law is conducting, is heartbreaking.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Unknown movie that has an excellent message.
This is a hardhitting powerful movie and makes us all think about our responsibility for the welfare of our parents. A very sad but enlightening movie experience.
Published 2 months ago by Gerald R. Marka
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
I have been looking for this movie for years. It is the most perfect movie about family, and how we should honor our parents who brought us into this world, and sacrificed their... Read more
Published 2 months ago by stacey Hannam
4.0 out of 5 stars Make way for dissapointment
My wife and I enjoyed this true to life movie it really showed how selfish people are including your immediate family . The ending really hurt and left you really sad.
Published 2 months ago by Michael O'Dwyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Drama
Make Way For Tomorrow is for lovers of classic films from the 1930's. It can wring tears from a stone. Beulah Bondi is superb as always. This is a gem of a film, not to be missed. Read more
Published 5 months ago by K. Nolting
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical Hollywood fare.
Very well acted, well scripted, the pace is a tad slow for modern tastes, but just a tad. This is a different kind of Hollywood story from the 30's with a Hollywood technique that... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Thom J. Bowers
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT MOVIE
Sad but true story of growing old and when your family should help you, they let their parents separate by no one letting them stay together because it is a "bother to them and... Read more
Published 9 months ago by HARVEY K. RAINESS
5.0 out of 5 stars Make Way For Tomorrow
Oh my! What a beautiful movie. Tragic because it was so believeable. I cried and then cried some more. Absolutely deserves to be called a Masterpiece.
Published 9 months ago by Siobhan
5.0 out of 5 stars A sad movie but very well done
This film has the distinction of being listed among the saddest films made. Is it horrific? No, it isn't like Requiem for a Dream which is truly nightmarish, but it is very sad... Read more
Published 9 months ago by J. Wan
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie DVD
Have looked for this movie for years even before Amazon existed. Just as good as I remembered. So glad to have it on DVD
Published 13 months ago by Mary Lovell
4.0 out of 5 stars The spirit of the human heart
So sad in many ways but the time this couple spends alone together more than overcomes the separation they face.
Published 14 months ago by kecia
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