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Make Way for Tomorrow


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#21 Nick Alexander

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 10:48 PM

In a curious bit of counter-programing, TCM will air MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW at 10:00 p.m. EST on Christmas Eve.

I'm DVRing it right now. Does it work as a Christmas film?

#22 Andrew

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 12:20 AM


In a curious bit of counter-programing, TCM will air MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW at 10:00 p.m. EST on Christmas Eve.

I'm DVRing it right now. Does it work as a Christmas film?


It depends - I think it would make a fascinating double feature with It's a Wonderful Life, as a charming, reflective film to view alone or with one's signficant other - we would all be tremendously blessed to have a bond like the lead couple on display here. However, I suspect it possesses too few kinetics to hold kids' attention and I'm inclined to agree with Russ that it might feel too awkward to view with older generations.

#23 Nick Alexander

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 05:10 AM



In a curious bit of counter-programing, TCM will air MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW at 10:00 p.m. EST on Christmas Eve.

I'm DVRing it right now. Does it work as a Christmas film?


It depends - I think it would make a fascinating double feature with It's a Wonderful Life, as a charming, reflective film to view alone or with one's signficant other - we would all be tremendously blessed to have a bond like the lead couple on display here. However, I suspect it possesses too few kinetics to hold kids' attention and I'm inclined to agree with Russ that it might feel too awkward to view with older generations.

Let me rephrase. Is Christmas a dominant theme or the setting of one of the film's centerpieces?

I'm not talking about age-appropriateness here. Lots of Christmas movies out there not appropriate for children. (Remember the Night, Holiday Affair, The Cheaters(1945), The Gathering (1977), etc.).

#24 Tyler

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 10:19 AM

Let me rephrase. Is Christmas a dominant theme or the setting of one of the film's centerpieces?

I'm not talking about age-appropriateness here. Lots of Christmas movies out there not appropriate for children. (Remember the Night, Holiday Affair, The Cheaters(1945), The Gathering (1977), etc.).


No, it's not about Christmas at all, that I can remember. It's about family and marriage.

#25 Andrew

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 11:59 AM

If I recall correctly, the opening family scene is at a Christmas gathering, an apt setting for one of the film's themes of appearances versus reality of honor, unity, and compassion within families.

#26 Persona

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 01:44 AM

Beautiful film. Thanks, Darren. You'll now have another voter ranking it as high as I possibly can.

If I recall correctly, the opening family scene is at a Christmas gathering, an apt setting for one of the film's themes of appearances versus reality of honor, unity, and compassion within families.

The opening scene is at Christmas, and as soon as we get a first glimpse of the house in the snow and the "children" wandering in, the orchestra briefly breaks into, "Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells," and that's all we get. From there, it's straight back to a regular score.


You're killing me, Russ. My relationship with my parents isn't as close or as tender as any of us would like it to be. Now that I've become a dad, I look at Rory and am almost overwhelmed by how deeply and powerfully I desire to have a close, lifelong relationship with her. And yet, it's not like a switch has been thrown in this other essential bond in my life. I have a new understanding of my parents' desire to know me, and I have a different kind of empathy for their marriage, but it doesn't make the hard parts of building intimacy with them any easier. That's the everyday tragedy at the heart of the film, I guess.


Yes. And I'm right there, too, trying to figure out how to regard my parents with the measure of tenderness and attention that I'd long to have my daughters give me when they are adults. But saying the obvious-- that we have to work at it-- is part of what's most painful. You don't have to work at loving your daughter, or I, mine. It's so fluid and automatic.

You've expressed this quite well, Russ. I think you've nailed one of the things I responded to and have actually thought quite a bit about lately. That when I look at my kids and how much I love them and want to form a bond to be with them forever, I then think of what a rat I've been so many times through the years to my parents. This has been on my mind so much lately that I called them less than two weeks ago and apologized for -- well, for a lot. So it was good timing for me to see this as well. I love it when life's timing and a film's theme collide and simply work on you, that is one of the true joys of cinema.

Edited by Persona, 01 January 2011 - 01:59 AM.


#27 Overstreet

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 04:02 AM

I watched it this week too. Tokyo Story will never seem quite the same to me.

#28 Nathan Douglas

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 11:10 PM

Saw it today. Thanks Darren and others for pushing hard on this; I'm so glad to have seen it before voting. As much as the entire film is great, that last act is just about the most perfect sequence of classical narrative film I've seen in a long, long time. I've never given much thought to pursuing McCarey's films, but this has changed that.

That and I guess I need to stop putting off seeing Tokyo Story.

#29 Crow

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 05:14 PM

I also appreciate the opportunity to discover this film. Such a contrast between the children, who are so preoccupied with keeping up appearances and social status, and the older couple, who when we see them together, are simply being. Their affection toward each other is rich, and they understand what is really important in life.

#30 Overstreet

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 05:30 PM

I really appreciated the perspective given by Bogdanovich in the Criterion extras. As I didn't know much about McCarey before seeing that, it was quite astonishing to learn that he's the same guy who directed Duck Soup and An Affair to Remember. Further, I was surprised by how much makeup the leads were wearing to appear older; they were quite persuasive in the film.

The dancing scene near the end was very moving. Even though he never says a word, the conductor makes a powerful impression.
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#31 Darren H

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 10:58 AM

Barkley (singing): "Let me call you 'Sweetheart,' I'm in love with you. Let me hear you whisper that you love me too."

Lucy (whispering): "I love you too."

Darren (gasping for breath amidst all the sobbing)

#32 Persona

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 11:07 AM

My dad ruined that scene for me. Whenever I hear that song, all I can hear is him singing:

"Let me call you sweetheart...

I forgot... your... name..." :)

#33 Russ

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 03:27 PM

You've expressed this quite well, Russ. I think you've nailed one of the things I responded to and have actually thought quite a bit about lately. That when I look at my kids and how much I love them and want to form a bond to be with them forever, I then think of what a rat I've been so many times through the years to my parents. This has been on my mind so much lately that I called them less than two weeks ago and apologized for -- well, for a lot. So it was good timing for me to see this as well. I love it when life's timing and a film's theme collide and simply work on you, that is one of the true joys of cinema.


Isn't it fantastic that before we see that opening Currier and Ives shot, an image shortly to be debunked, dismantled and discarded, McCarey grounds what we're about to see in the Fifth Commandment? And that when I'm done having my insides churned up by the film, I'm left with that title card pronouncement and the conclusion that what happens to these two ordinary, noble people is not just a consequence of a fallen world, but also the result of some singular or repeated breaking of God's Law. That's a terribly powerful cudgel, particularly for a group of cinephiles like this one. Take Tokyo Story as a westerner. You can easily crawl around inside its humanism and come away with an appreciation of the cultural and instrinsic value of one's ancestors. Postwar Japan, industrialization, yeah yeah. But those elements can have a minimizing effect on the film's significance. You stand up the Decalogue next to those things and it rises above those skyscrapers in the Big City establishing shot.

[Aside: how many exterior or establishing shots are there in the film? Less than five, right? Is each one, in its way, sort of a lie?]

#34 SDG

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 03:32 PM

Isn't it fantastic that before we see that opening Currier and Ives shot, an image shortly to be debunked, dismantled and discarded, McCarey grounds what we're about to see in the Fifth Commandment?

...you shall not kill?

[Catholic-Protestant conversion algorithm]


...oh, I see.

I'll be watching this film very, very soon.

Edited by SDG, 05 January 2011 - 03:33 PM.


#35 Russ

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 04:01 PM

Isn't it fantastic that before we see that opening Currier and Ives shot, an image shortly to be debunked, dismantled and discarded, McCarey grounds what we're about to see in the Fifth Commandment?

...you shall not kill?

[Catholic-Protestant conversion algorithm]


...oh, I see.

I'll be watching this film very, very soon.


Haha, well, as a Lutheran, we follow the Catholic enumeration. So that's just an old-fashioned error.

#36 Overstreet

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 05:14 PM

Isn't it fantastic that before we see that opening Currier and Ives shot, an image shortly to be debunked, dismantled and discarded, McCarey grounds what we're about to see in the Fifth Commandment?

...you shall not kill?

[Catholic-Protestant conversion algorithm]


...oh, I see.

I'll be watching this film very, very soon.


You're going to love it, SDG.

#37 Darrel Manson

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 09:05 PM

I watched this yesterday. Maybe not the best thing for my 60th birthday. I have perspectives of both the parents and the kids. I've put my mother into an assisted living facility - something that I lobbied my brothers about long before we finally got on the same page. It was something she didn't want to do. It meant leaving the house she lived in over 50 years - a place that she connected with far more than I connect to any house. It was more than a house for her. It was a symbol of love, of family, of success.

To be sure, the AL facility is far better than the home for old women that Lucy will be going to. But in no way will I see moving her out of her home as an abrogation of filial responsibility.

At the same time, I can relate to the parents. That time of needing my sons to play a more controlling role in my life is not near - but it is clearly on this side of the horizon. It's not a pleasant thought. Not because they will fail to do what they must, but because there really is an emotional twist in that shifting of relationship. (There's quite a bit of twist in taking on a parent's care as well.)

So for me, although there were great points of connection, I found it overall a bit shallow.

#38 Russ

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 01:22 PM

Shallow? Hmm. That seems an odd choice of adjective. I mean, there are lots of valid criticisms of the film, including looking askance at the way it plays us like a fiddle, but I'd need you to give me more to convince me of the film's shallowness.

#39 Overstreet

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 01:05 PM

Ruggles of Red Gap: The Social Mythos of Leo McCarey

McCarey is frequently characterized as a defender of bourgeois/capitalist American democracy. And, to the extent that “democracy” serves as a powerful metaphor for social tolerance and flexibility, this is certainly true. But “America,” as a metaphoric social entity, is hardly immune in McCarey from those dangers of rigidity and complacency which beset and threaten St. Dominic’s (and hence civilization) in Going My Way. Witness, for example, Putting Pants on Philip, where Piedmont Mumblethunder’s overdeveloped sense of bourgeois self-importance is called into question by the European vitality of young Philip. Or consider the conflict between free enterprise and Christian charity in Good Sam: bourgeois capitalism (in the person of the owner of the department store where Sam works) hardly escapes unscathed. Indeed, as evidenced by Six of a Kind, The Milky Way, and Make Way for Tomorrow, the economic aspect of American democracy is generally presented by McCarey as being rigidly dedicated to the service of self-interest, and self-interest of any sort is anathema in McCarey when it conflicts with the rights and well-being of others. McCarey is thus for individuals; but individuals inevitably have social and familial responsibilities which disallow mere self-indulgence. Indeed, McCarey’s characters are often most truly themselves when they willingly put their selves at hazard (as in Once upon a Honeymoon).

All of which is relevant to Ruggles of Red Gap because Ruggles is arguably McCarey’s most personal, most social, and most idealistic film. Put another way, in Ruggles of Red Gap McCarey explores the relationship between personality and society, and does so in an idealistic literary context which asserts the essential identity of personal and social imperatives.



#40 Christian

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:30 PM

Peter Bogdanovich has blogged this film. http://blogs.indiewi...ay-for-tomorrow

Edited by Christian, 04 May 2012 - 06:30 PM.