“Make Way For Tomorrow”

I want to mention one more film of the 1930s. It was a great era for film, and there are certainly dozens more films we could include, but here we have “Make Way For Tomorrow”.

It’s a 90 minute (or so) film directed by Leo McCarey (who also did films for Laurel and Hardy and The Marx Brothers) and it stars Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi. If you don’t recognise the names, you will the faces, though it is hard under the makeup.

The story is a simple one: Bark and Lucy are an elderly couple who come on hard times. They lose their home. Their adult children are reluctant to look after them, so they have to move to separate retirement homes. Before they do, they enjoy one carefree night together in the city. The random people they meet show more kindness to them than any of their children.

Orson Welles said it is the saddest film ever made. Others have said it is just a depressing tear jerker about old people. I have watched it with someone who said it was a happy film because they got a nice day together. To me, that just makes it even sadder.

That’s it’s probably true to life and happening all the time, even now in some way, just makes it even worse.

Beulah Bondi played George Bailey’s mother in “It’s A Wonderful Life”
Victor Moore was in “Ziegfeld Follies”
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