Life with Father

Clarence Day Jr's tribute to his stern philosophising dad was turned into a play (by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse) that ran for more than 3,000 performances on Broadway, a record in its day, so it's no surprise Donald Ogden Stewart's film adaptation should prove such a satisfying entertainment. Powell dominates an episodic collection of domestic vignettes, with Dunne as the long-suffering wife, young Lydon the future author, and teenage Elizabeth Taylor the intermittent romance angle. Rudimentary comic strategies - the old boy's manful resistance to his belated baptism can only last so long - come up shining thanks to Powell's neatly judged inscription of the reluctant softie behind just so much self-important bluster and a theory on everything. Curtiz knocks it together without so much as breaking sweat.

Release details

Duration: 118 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Michael Curtiz
Screenwriter: Donald Ogden Stewart
Cast: William Powell
Irene Dunne
Jimmy Lydon
Elizabeth Taylor
Edmund Gwenn
ZaSu Pitts
Martin Milner
Emma Dunn
Moroni Olsen
Elizabeth Risdon
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