Orson Wells said that Make Way for Tomorrow was the saddest movie ever made. But while Leo McCarey’s wonderful classic can jerk some tears, the real tragedy has been its poor reception since its release in 1937.
With its rerelease on DVD (available 2/23), Make Way for Tomorrow has another chance to be appreciated. The film’s Depression-era plot couldn’t be more timely: An elderly couple must move in with their children after losing their home to the bank. Separated and out of place, these grandparents not only disrupt the lives of their children and grandchildren—they’re miserable themselves. The film showcases McCarey’s supreme directorial skill, evident in his multifaceted characters and authentic human interactions. He created a movie whose age is only a trapping—the interactions between people, their problems and their solutions are as touching and true now as they were 70 years ago.
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