You Can't Take It With You Overview:

You Can't Take It With You (1938) was a Comedy - Romance Film directed by Frank Capra and produced by Frank Capra.

The film was based on the play of the same name written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart performed at the Booth Theatre, NY & Imperial Theatre, NY from Dec 14, 1936 - Dec 3, 1938.


The Pulitzer Prize-winning play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart gets an endearing Capra treatment. Arthur fears she may never lead a normal life as she's surrounded by her family's lovable lunacy. Grandfather Barrymore amassed a pile of cash and decided that he and his family were going to spend it doing only what they really want, which includes xylophone playing, ballet dancing, mystery writing, and experimenting with fireworks. Into this eccentric household comes Arthur's dubious beau, Stewart, the son of Arthur's boss, Arnold. After hilarious mishaps, love wins out.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Academy Awards 1938 --- Ceremony Number 11 (source: AMPAS)

Best Supporting ActressSpring ByingtonNominated
Best CinematographyJoseph WalkerNominated
Best DirectorFrank CapraWon
Best Film EditingGene HavlickNominated
Best PictureColumbiaWon
Best WritingRobert RiskinNominated

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Quotes from

Tony Kirby: Well, Dad, if you think it's funny, I'm sorry. I came in here to say goodbye.
Anthony P. Kirby: Goodbye? Are you serious?
Tony Kirby: Yes I'm serous. I don't want any part of this, Dad. I never did.
Anthony P. Kirby: You can't do this -- after all the plans I made for you...
Tony Kirby: Dad, if I can just make you understand this... I think this business is great -- it's good for you because you like it. I don't and I never will. Oh, I... I've tried to talk to you so many times about it, but I... I just couldn't get it out. I... I used to be able to talk to you dad, but lately... (he's at a loss for words) I'll probably be gone before you get home tonight. Goodbye Dad.

Grandpa Vanderhoff: I wouldn't mind paying for something sensible.
Wilbur G. Henderson (Internal Revenue Department):: Sensible? What about Congress and the Supreme Court -- and the President? We've got to pay them, don't we?
Grandpa Vanderhoff: Not with my money, no sir!

Tony Kirby: That family of yours, boy, they knock me for a loop. I don't know, it... it just seemed like, in their own way, they've found what everybody's looking for. I mean, people spend their whole lives building castles in the air and then nothing ever comes of it. I wonder why that is. Well it takes courage Everybody's afraid to live.
Alice Sycamore: You ought to hear Grandpa on that subject. You know he says most people nowadays are run by fear. Fear of what they eat, fear of what they drink, fear of their jobs, their future, fear of their health. They're scared to save money, and they're scared to spend it. You know what his pet aversion is? The people who commercialize on fear, you know they scare you to death so they can sell you something you don't need.

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Facts about

Columbia paid $200,000 for the film rights to the play.
Lionel Barrymore would receive injections every hour to help relieve the pain of his arthritis.
A 1938 feature film usually ran to 8,000 feet of film. Frank Capra shot 329,000 feet for this one.
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