Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

90-92 mins | Comedy-drama | 30 April 1937

Director:

Leo McCarey

Writer:

Viña Delmar

Cinematographer:

William C. Mellor

Editor:

LeRoy Stone

Production Designers:

Hans Dreier, Bernard Herzbrun

Production Company:

Paramount Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

A news item in HR on 9 Dec 1936 states that director Leo McCarey and Howard J. Green were polishing the script with the intent of making the story less grim; at that point, the film was called Years Are So Long . Due to the re-writes and McCarey's illness, the starting date for the film was pushed back from 14 Dec 1936 to 11 Jan 1937. On 7 Jan 1937, HR reported that Fay Bainter was taking the role originally slated for Aline MacMahon. HR announced on 5 Feb 1937 that background shots were being filmed in New York's Central Park. According to a news item in HR on 2 Mar 1937, McCarey started shooting cafe scenes on 1 Mar. According to a news item in HR on 24 Apr 1937, Paramount decided to exhibit the film on a roadshow basis, releasing it in key U.S. cities before its general release; MPH release charts give a release date of 30 Apr 1937, but this date may refer to key cities. The New York premiere of the film was stalled until the eve of Mother's Day. The Call Bureau Cast Service and MPH 's "In the Cutting Room" list Margaret Hamilton as "Nellie Chase" and Charlie Arnt as "Robert Cooper," although they were later replaced. According to MPH , a question-and-answer survey was conducted in Newark, NJ, in which thousands replied with problems regarding care of aged ... More Less

A news item in HR on 9 Dec 1936 states that director Leo McCarey and Howard J. Green were polishing the script with the intent of making the story less grim; at that point, the film was called Years Are So Long . Due to the re-writes and McCarey's illness, the starting date for the film was pushed back from 14 Dec 1936 to 11 Jan 1937. On 7 Jan 1937, HR reported that Fay Bainter was taking the role originally slated for Aline MacMahon. HR announced on 5 Feb 1937 that background shots were being filmed in New York's Central Park. According to a news item in HR on 2 Mar 1937, McCarey started shooting cafe scenes on 1 Mar. According to a news item in HR on 24 Apr 1937, Paramount decided to exhibit the film on a roadshow basis, releasing it in key U.S. cities before its general release; MPH release charts give a release date of 30 Apr 1937, but this date may refer to key cities. The New York premiere of the film was stalled until the eve of Mother's Day. The Call Bureau Cast Service and MPH 's "In the Cutting Room" list Margaret Hamilton as "Nellie Chase" and Charlie Arnt as "Robert Cooper," although they were later replaced. According to MPH , a question-and-answer survey was conducted in Newark, NJ, in which thousands replied with problems regarding care of aged parents. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
22 Apr 37
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Apr 37
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Dec 36
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jan 37
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 37
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jan 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 37
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Mar 37
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Apr 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Apr 37
p. 2.
Motion Picture Daily
23 Apr 37
p. 7.
Motion Picture Herald
27 Mar 37
p. 35.
Motion Picture Herald
1 May 37
p. 32.
New York Times
10 May 37
p. 23.
Variety
12 May 37
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Leo McCarey Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Int dec
MUSIC
Mus dir
Orig mus
Orig mus
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Years Are So Long by Josephine Lawrence (New York, 1934) and an unpublished play of the same title, adapted from the novel, by Helen and Nolan Leary (copyrighted 3 Sep 1935).
SONGS
"Make Way for Tomorrow," words and music by Leo Robin, Sam Coslow and Jean Schwartz.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Years Are So Long
Release Date:
30 April 1937
Premiere Information:
World premiere, New York and Hollywood premiere: 7 May 1937
Production Date:
began 11 January 1937
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
30 April 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7116
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
90-92
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3236
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Four of the five children of septuagenarian couple Barkley and Lucy Cooper gather to learn that their parents have lost their house. Expecting the children will soon find them a permanent home, Barkley and Lucy each go to live with a different child. Lucy unwittingly disrupts the home life of her well-meaning son George and his wife Anita by interfering with Anita's career as a bridge teacher and causing George and Anita's reckless daughter Rhoda to stop bringing her male friends home. When Rhoda's promiscuity leads the family to the brink of scandal, Anita convinces George to investigate the possibility of putting Lucy in a home for the aged, as efforts to unite Barkley and Lucy in the home of daughter Nellie Chase have foundered on the resistance of Nellie's husband. Three hundred miles away, Barkley's presence has so distressed his mean-spirited daughter Cora that she distorts a doctor's report to convince the family that Barkley must live in California with his daughter Addie. Resigning herself to permanent separation from Barkley, Lucy agrees to enter a home for the aged. The couple spends five joyous hours together in the city before the train to California separates husband and wife ... +


Four of the five children of septuagenarian couple Barkley and Lucy Cooper gather to learn that their parents have lost their house. Expecting the children will soon find them a permanent home, Barkley and Lucy each go to live with a different child. Lucy unwittingly disrupts the home life of her well-meaning son George and his wife Anita by interfering with Anita's career as a bridge teacher and causing George and Anita's reckless daughter Rhoda to stop bringing her male friends home. When Rhoda's promiscuity leads the family to the brink of scandal, Anita convinces George to investigate the possibility of putting Lucy in a home for the aged, as efforts to unite Barkley and Lucy in the home of daughter Nellie Chase have foundered on the resistance of Nellie's husband. Three hundred miles away, Barkley's presence has so distressed his mean-spirited daughter Cora that she distorts a doctor's report to convince the family that Barkley must live in California with his daughter Addie. Resigning herself to permanent separation from Barkley, Lucy agrees to enter a home for the aged. The couple spends five joyous hours together in the city before the train to California separates husband and wife forever. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Elderly


Subject

Subject (Minor):
Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.