Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU
YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU (1984 telefilm). Directed by Ellis Rabb and Kirk Browning.
This is a filmed version of a stage production of the famous comedy by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. In the year 1938, Alice Sycamore (Maureen Anderman) is dating and hopes to marry her boss, VP Tony Kirby (Nicholas Surovy), but she greatly fears that his comparatively stuffy parents might disapprove of her highly unconventional and eccentric family. This includes her mother, Penny (Elizabeth Wilson), who began writing bad plays when she accidentally got a typewriter; her father Paul (Jack Dodson), who makes firecrackers for a living; her sister Essie (Carol Androsky), who has been practicing dancing for eight years, but according to her instructor, "stinks;" and her grandfather (Jason Robards Jr.) who dropped out and stopped paying taxes many, many years ago. George Rose is hilarious as the Russian dance instructor and Colleen Dewhurst has a nice turn as the Grand Duchess Olga Katrina who is now working at Shraft's. Anderman and Surovy make a nice pair of lovers, and Richard Woods and Meg Mundy are swell as Tony's parents, who arrive on the wrong night and find the household in its usual chaos. Wilson, Dodd and Robards are fine, and there's also nice work from Rosetta LeNoire as Reba and Arthur French as her boyfriend, Donald, as well as Alice Drummond as the dunken actress Mrs. Wellington. The entire cast is splendid in fact.
Verdict: Very funny and well-acted. ***1/2.