Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Screwball > Eccentric > Dating > Relationships > Mental Illness > Romance > You Can't Take It With You (1938/Sony Blu-ray + 1979 TV Adaptation/Warner Archive DVD)

You Can't Take It With You (1938/Sony Blu-ray + 1979 TV Adaptation/Warner Archive DVD)

Picture: B/C+ Sound: B+/C Extras: B/D Main Programs: C+

PLEASE NOTE: The 1979 TV version of the You Can't Take It With You DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the links below.

Winner of 2 Academy Awards in 1938, Director Frank Capra's version of You Can't Take It With You is brought to us in high definition in this exclusive Digi-Book edition with pages of beautiful photographs from the film complete with linear notes.

The film stars Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, Ann Miller, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, Ann Doran, Charles Lane and Edward Arnold and focuses on the zany Sycamore household.

At the Sycamores, everyone does just what he or she pleases. The one normal member of the household, Alice Sycamore, is in love with Tony Kirby. Naturally, when the stuffy Kirbys come to the Sycamores for dinner, the event is a disaster. It's your typical screwball comedy with eccentric performances and feels very theatrical, which makes sense as it was based on a play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a black and white image and a full frame aspect ratio of 1.37:1 and a glorious-for-its-age sounding DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono lossless track from surviving materials that were not always in the best of shape. Other language tracks are on the disc in French, German, Italian, and Spanish. An Ultraviolet Copy also comes with this edition. In all honestly, I found the presentation to be a bit grainy, though I don't have other editions to compare it to.

Special Features include the built-in booklet in the DigiPak release, while the Blu-ray adds a feature length commentary by Frank Capra, Jr. and Author Cathrine Kellison, Frank Capra, Jr. Remembers You Can't Take It With You featurette and a Theatrical Trailer.

As far as classic films go, I didn't complete fall in love with this film. I found it to be a bit slow and a little emotionally gooey. I'm honestly surprised a big budget hollywood remake hasn't happened with this title yet. As far as Blu-ray editions go, this is a fine release.

Four decades later, Warner Television got very ambitious and decided to do a TV remake (two had been made for TV in the 1940s in the U.S. and U.K. respectively), managing to secure an extremely talented cast of some of the top comedy talent alive and in the medium of the time including Jean Stapleton (All In The Family), Art Carney (The Honeymooners), Beth Howland & Polly Holiday (Alice), Marla Gibbs (The Jeffersons), Howard Hesseman & Tim Reid (WKRP In Cincinnati), Eugene Roche & Robert Mandan (Soap), Harry Morgan (M*A*S*H), plus Blythe Danner, Barry Bostwick, Kenneth Mars, Mildred Natwick, Paul Sand, Joyce Van Patten and Alan Oppenheimer. That is an insanely excellent cast and can more than rival the Capra film (which says something), but despite their best efforts, this Paul Bogart-directed version is still limited and stagy.

That seems to haunt both versions, yet this one stays as period as it can and Director/Writer Bogart (Get Smart, All In The Family, the Alice pilot, Golden Girls, Dean Martin theatrical police thriller Mr. Ricco, also issued by Warner Archive (see elsewhere on this site)) is more than capable of handling the talent and even the set works to the piece's advantage, but the results are uneven. Still, this videotaped TV event (which we could technically call a telefilm) is one of the most ambitious tapings of its type ever. It is worth a good look, just the same.

The NTSC analog videotaped 1.33 X 1 image is in color and has a consistent appearance despite the many tape flaws and limits of the time, but the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono could use some more work and restoration being a little more compressed than expected. There are sadly no extras.

To order the You Can't Take It With You Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- James Lockhart


...and Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com