Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Make Way for Tomorrow
At a family reunion, the Cooper clan find that their parents' home is being foreclosed. "Temporarily," Ma moves in with son George's family, Pa with daughter Cora. But the parents are like sand in the gears of their middle-aged children's well regulated households. Can the old folks take matters into their own hands?
It could easily be argued that Make Way for Tomorrow is melodramatic, emotionally manipulative, and more than a little dated, but for a film made in 1937 (and even compared to some films today), the maturity and realism portrayed in the difficult decisions faced by all supersede those issues that are more a product of the era in which it was made rather than the skill of Leo McCarey and his actors. The universal constant of having parents whom most children we see get old, and how to ensure that their final years are fulfilling and free of physical pain, is one that transcends issues of technical merit and generational mores. The choices Barkley and Lucy's children have to make…
I feel like a "Great Depression" reference is appropriate here, or perhaps some hyperbolic comparison to Tokyo Story. Some sort of silly description that is both accurate and light seems appropriate, because to somberly describe the way this film impacted me would be to delve so deeply into sorrow that I might never see the sun again. That seems depressingly oddball enough, so let me state more plainly: this film is heartwrenching.
Though it delves into directness at times, it still packs a punch. It is a fine melodrama with such a palpable theme--the taking for granted and worse of the elderly, of one's parents--that even its more forced moments work. It's too earnest to be manipulative. It takes two…
Performances : 8.2/10
Story : 9.8/10
Production : 7.8/10
Overall : 8.6/10
First and foremost it must be said that Beulah Bondi's performance in this film is perfect. She alone more than makes up for some of the other characters (mostly the children) coming off as though they were reading off cue cards. She flawlessly tears through so many wonderful emotional scenes and never goes too far, always finding her stride and making every scene come off effortless. The same can be said (to a lesser degree) about Victor Moore. These two make Make Way for Tomorrow a film truly worth watching.
That's not to say there's anything wrong with any other aspect of the film. The story is beautiful.…
A three hanky film if there ever was one. I'm not going to use this film as a podium for my argument against the War on Sentimentality, because this film deserves better than that.
And Jesus Christ. This film is sad. Not sad in the Hallmark movie way. Sad in the way in which Leo McCarey delivers the COLD HARD TRUTH. It's brutal. In any economic crisis, the first to suffer are the old, and even when they've put so much into their children and livelihood, it's all for nothing. All they can live on is memories.
Fuck. I'm crying now.
Make Way For Tomorrow is a film about the elderly, it's about life long love, the uncertainty of what lies in the future and how long that future my last and it's about the way in which we treat the elderly - often selfishly considering them an inconvenience to our own lives. It is one of the most moving films I have seen in a long time, as Orson Welles once said, "Oh my God that's the saddest movie ever made", it still today remains such a sad tale, but it's not just sad, it's beautifully moving as a tribute to life long love as well, for all the moments where we are struck by the sadness of two life…
I think I now understand what it means for a film to "age well."
This film resonates powerfully with this age, if not all ages, in a culture that has elevated individualism and capitalist ideology above the moral obligations of family. It's a movie that explores familial relationships with vivid and discomforting clarity, and does so extremely well thanks to surprisingly honest and compassionate direction. Leo McCarey tells a very, very important story with great humility and virtue. It's a despairingly sad story, but McCarey is gracious enough to give us a heartwarming third act that singlehandedly tells one of the greatest love stories of early romantic Hollywood. It's just amazing. I cried unashamedly, and afterwards I called up my…
Nifty and fairly authentic family drama about a couple of old folks evicted from their house and forced to live separately for the first time in their lives. They start out living in separate homes belonging to their children, but soon wonder what hope there could possibly be on the road ahead and where all this is going. I had heard great things about this film and really wanted to get emotionally invested in it, but perhaps I was trying to force myself a bit and ultimately didn't really get anywhere. I thought it was relatively well-written and had some fairly realistic situations that families often have to face when dealing with their elderly parents, but at the same time…
Make Way for Tomorrow or Before Sunrise VI: Before Widowhood is overbearingly blunt, indulgent, too long, but I'll be damned if my hand wasn't against my heart by the time it all faded out.
If you don't have a lump in your throat by the end of this film you're not a human being.
Like most of the great films, it gets better every time I see it.
The hard descisions made without strife in this film are heroic. They’re things that will go completely unnoticed by the world, but they are insurmountable feats from my perspective.
Maybe the melodrama is appropriate in this film because the selfishness from the children can sometimes feel that blatant from other family members.
It’s often too hard to go without quenching our innate sense of justice, but we forget that justice is not correlated with happiness, and this film is a wonderful reminder of that.
This is the gold standard for marriage and parenting. It’s mind blowing and inspirational.
Make Way for Tomorrow is such a beautiful, heartbreaking, and splendid film that words could never do it justice. I loved it very much and I connected so much with the characters that talking about it without giving away the plot is truly hard for me. All I can say is that it is an absolutely perfect film that has sadly been very overlooked for many decades and anyone who has the pleasure of watching it must consider him/herself a lucky human being.
Masterpieces such as this are a cinematic treasure and this one is surely among the greatest films of its era. It almost made me cry at the end and that is something few movies can accomplish. The…
Wonderful movie! A trully classical!
God, how terribly and awkwardly this has aged. (Damn it, time.) Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi are just so lovely together that the fact that their scenes shared amount to only about a third of Make Way for Tomorrow’s ninety-minute length is a real shame, because those moments are where it shines—really, truly shines. The opening hour in its entirety is clumsy in both writing and execution, spending its time either shoe-horning in dated comedy gags that overstay their welcome usually by a good minute and a half—and they don’t fit with the otherwise melancholic tone—or jumping between moments of subtle manipulation and eye-rollingly obvious manipulation. Truth be told, it takes Make Way for Tomorrow close to an hour for…
A no frills, unsentimental gut-wrenching tearjerker. The influence for Ozu's Tokyo Story. An account of old age and misfortune confronted by an uncaring, busy modern world where an elderly couple who lose their house due to ill health are forced to live separately with their children. It's shocking and sad and prompts pangs of guilt and shame as it provokes us to reflect on our own values and how we care for those who are older or more vulnerable. Unmissable.
You know what's funny about this movie?
Nothing at all is funny about this movie.
I miss my grandma.
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