Make Way for Tomorrow (1937) Leo McCarey

With the tough economic times we have faced over the past few years many families have been forced into situations they never envisioned, like grown children moving back in with their now aging parents, or in some cases, the other way around.

There also seems to be certain times when art is in perfect  alignment with the times. Whether a painting, a written work, a song or a film it seems to be exactly in synch with a point in time. Such is the case with the film I am writing about here, only the film happens to be over seventy years old.

The movie is  “Make Way for Tomorrow” which some folks may view as a tear jerker, however calling this film a tear jerker is reducing the significance of  a work that has much more substance and depth than a standard tissue wiper. “Make Way for Tomorrow” earns its emotional pull with honestly in its storytelling and the strength of its characters. Generally, when a  film attempts to tug at your emotions the filmmakers create an emotionally fake situation that  rips open your tear ducts without shame or reason; Arthur Hiller’s film version of Eric Segal’s bestselling waterfall, “Love Story” is prime example.  Here the film earns its sentiment honestly with the passion and love of the two elderly characters facing a crossroads in their final years that is out of their control, yet they still manage to hold on to their dignity.  Orson Welles once said in an interview to Peter Bogdanovich, “only a stone could remain dry” after seeing this film.    Continue reading

A Miracle Happened on 34th Street and 5th Avenue


Apparently back in 1947 Hollywood thought it was a good idea to release Christmas films in the middle of the year instead of the holiday season. In June of that year, two films were released within a week of each other. Both placed ads in the New York Times weeks before they opened as if it were a preliminary for the main bout.  Who will grab the public’s imagination and more importantly their dollars? The two contenders were the now almost forgotten “It Happened on 5th Avenue” and a film that would become a perennial holiday classic, “Miracle on 34th Street.”

While the stories are different, the two films do have some similarities. Both take place in New York during the holiday season, both feature kindly cherubic older men and both spread philosophies, though very different, on the goodness of man. Continue reading