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Life With Father (1947)


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Powell's best, although I don't understand the big deal about getting Baptized.

 

Well, no, we probably wouldn't, most of us that is, living as we do in our current age...but of course being movie mavens, most of us at least to some degree, understand that many of these old movies take place during eras where things were much different and that the present example was set in a time when such things as baptism might be very important indeed to traditional families. I am not religious but I, for one, got a kick out of the baptisim thing (knowing full well that, say, to brag about being baptised in our current era might well get me laughed at). I am certainly no fan of Family Films, per se, but I really liked this one when I first saw it about six months ago. William Powell has some disturbing qualities but framed as they were in this ultimately feel-good comedy succeeded in making him come across (I hope) as a likeable (if not lovable) rascal. A young Miss Elizabeth Taylor was sensational IMO. I didn't even know she was in this movie so imagine my surprise in seeing her. That first maid was a riot. When she had had enough and was running down the street in absolute terror of Father, I groaned and yelled at the TV, "Come back, come back." This was right near the beginning of the film and I enjoyed her character so much I could hardly bear the thought that she was out of the story. But there was much more to come. My recollections of this movie are no longer immediately fresh in mind but I do remember being thoroughly entertained all the way through. A real nice surprise coming from a genre that I don't usually don't take to.

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After a phenomenal run on Broadway and the film was finally to be made, William Powell lad locked up the role of Father. Dorothy Stickney had originated the mother's role on stage and wouldn't get hired for the film. There was a flurry of interest from a lot of top stars. Even Mary Pickford considered coming out of her 15-year retirement, but the producers went with the populat Irene Dunne. Pickford might have been terrific, but Dunne is just about perfect. Great film.

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Well, no, we probably wouldn't, most of us that is, living as we do in our current age...but of course being movie mavens, most of us at least to some degree, understand that many of these old movies take place during eras where things were much different and that the present example was set in a time when such things as baptism might be very important indeed to traditional families. I am not religious but I, for one, got a kick out of the baptisim thing (knowing full well that, say, to brag about being baptised in our current era might well get me laughed at). I am certainly no fan of Family Films, per se, but I really liked this one when I first saw it about six months ago. William Powell has some disturbing qualities but framed as they were in this ultimately feel-good comedy succeeded in making him come across (I hope) as a likeable (if not lovable) rascal. A young Miss Elizabeth Taylor was sensational IMO. I didn't even know she was in this movie so imagine my surprise in seeing her. That first maid was a riot. When she had had enough and was running down the street in absolute terror of Father, I groaned and yelled at the TV, "Come back, come back." This was right near the beginning of the film and I enjoyed her character so much I could hardly bear the thought that she was out of the story. But there was much more to come. My recollections of this movie are no longer immediately fresh in mind but I do remember being thoroughly entertained all the way through. A real nice surprise coming from a genre that I don't usually don't take to.

..and what genre would that be?

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This movie always serves as a reminder to me of just how long Martin Milner's acting career was. Back when I watched Adam 12 I had no idea he was a movie  actor.

 

I also wish that TCM had shown Cheaper By the Dozen on Father's Day. Would have been nice seeing it back to back with this.

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..and what genre would that be?

 

The post says family film so I assume that is the genre they are refering to.   To me that is a sub-genre but trying to define the genre categories is folly.   Doris Day made a career out of this genre during the late 50s and 60s.

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The post says family film so I assume that is the genre they are refering to.   To me that is a sub-genre but trying to define the genre categories is folly.   Doris Day made a career out of this genre during the late 50s and 60s.

LOVER COME BACK was a family film? I wouldn't have taken the kids to see that.

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Yeah, well, I DIDN'T know that finance even HAD kids! I just thought he tried to DATE 'em!!!

 

(..."kids" of course as in "25 year old young ladies" that he meets in that gym of his!)

 

LOL

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For me, the genre of Life with Father is the "New York City at the turn of the 20th century" genre, which I like very much.  My family has lived in NYC since the late 19th century, and I like to think of them hobnobbing with the Day family; but of course they weren't -- they were more likely busy with Mae West and her friends in Every Day's a Holiday and other Mae West films of the period, which are set in New York. 

 

But it's all part of depictions of our NYC history, when the theme song was the romantic "Sidewalks of New York" instead of the crass "New York New York." (I mean the Kander/Ebb "Start spreading the news..." song, not the Bernstein/Comden/Green song, which I like).

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Yeah, well, I DIDN'T know that finance even HAD kids! I just thought he tried to DATE 'em!!!

 

(..."kids" of course as in "25 year old young ladies" that he meets in that gym of his!)

 

LOL

I should have said-----I wouldn't take the theoretical kids to see that.

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I should have said-----I wouldn't take the theoretical kids to see that.

 

I know, ol' buddy. I was just kiddin' ya about your occasional talk of dating much younger women, that's all.

 

(...you know me...can't let a set-up like THAT go by without SOME remark, RIGHT?!) ;)

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