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Life with Father
Life with Father
Actors: William Powell, Irene Dunne, Elizabeth Taylor, Edmund Gwenn, Zasu Pitts
Director: Michael Curtiz
Genres: Comedy, Drama
NR     2003     1hr 58min

Actor William Powell earned his third Oscar® nomination for the role of Clarence Day, the cantankerous paterfamilias of a redheaded clan. Life With Father earned four Oscar nominations. B&W Running Time: 118 min.


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Movie Details

Actors: William Powell, Irene Dunne, Elizabeth Taylor, Edmund Gwenn, Zasu Pitts
Director: Michael Curtiz
Creators: J. Peverell Marley, Jack L. Warner, Robert Buckner, Clarence Day, Donald Ogden Stewart, Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Classics
Studio: Delta
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 01/21/2003
Original Release Date: 09/13/1947
Theatrical Release Date: 09/13/1947
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 58min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

A terrible desecration of a classic film.
ardar88 | Falls Church, VA USA | 09/16/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)

"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!
Terrible transfer and sound
Telstar | Los Angeles, Ca USA | 11/24/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)

"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.
A Classic Flim In Dire Need Of Restoration And A New DVD Rel
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 09/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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. This would prove to be among the last great roles for both William Powell and Irene Dunne, who play Clarence and Vinnie Day, and to describe their work as flawless is actually an understatement: we completely believe in them from start to finish. The same is true of the cast in general, which includes a remarkably beautiful Elizabeth Taylor; legendary comic ZaSu Pitt; and even a very young Martin Milner. The costuming and sets also capture the look and feel of the era in remarkable fashion. The film is perfectly executed from start to finish.

But you might as well throw your money away than buy any of the releases presently available on VHS and DVD. There is not a one of them worth a dime: the color is atrocious, the sound is horrific, and the picture so blurry that the only thing you'll get for your money is a headache--and this has been true of every factory release I've seen to date.

It is a terrible shame that such a fine, indeed such a great film has been so incredibly neglected. Fortunately for all concerned, LIFE WITH FATHER continues to turn up on television fairly often. Until there is a restored release, don't buy a VHS or a DVD: tape it from television instead, for I can almost guarantee that the version you find there will be superior.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer"
Life With Father- - - A True Classic
Jocelyn Haeberle | 07/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This film has lost none of its appeal over the years. I remember loving it as a child and it still is one of my favorites. William Powell is a joy to behold as the overbearing yet loving Clarence Day Sr. And Irene Dunne gives what I consider to be one of her better performances. Elizabeth Taylor can do no wrong and is as adorable as ever. Fans of Adam-12 might not have noticed that the second son, John, is played by Martin Milner (who, co-incidentally, is in Mr. Roberts with William Powell, though sadly, not in any scenes together). As for the quality of the DVD, I found that my copy has two minor audio problems where the sound drops out entirely. Thankfully it is only for a short moment. Otherwise it is a wonderfully preserved movie, showing some of our finest actors at their best. LOVE IT!!! Five stars all the way!"