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.
Cast and crew
Donald Ogden Stewart
William Powell Irene Dunne Jimmy Lydon Elizabeth Taylor Edmund Gwenn ZaSu Pitts Martin Milner Emma Dunn Moroni Olsen Elizabeth Risdon