You Can't Take It with You Movie Poster Image

You Can't Take It with You



Kid-friendly Capra classic stars a quirky family.
  • Review Date: January 11, 2005
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1938
  • Running Time: 127 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Overall the movie has extremely positive messages about pursuing your dreams and supporting the people you care about. Reflecting the time in which the movie was made, the two African-American characters, a maid and her out-of-work boyfriend, are treated with some affection but also condescension.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Frank Capra classic is delightful family viewing. The only red flag is the slightly condescending treatment of two African-American characters.

What's the story?

In YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, Tony Kirby (Jimmy Stewart) and Alice (Jean Arthur) have fallen in love. The problem is that they are from drastically different families. Tony's is straight-laced. Alice's is loving but eccentric, presided over by Grandpa (Lionel Barrymore). Alice invites Tony and his parents over for dinner, but they arrive a day early. The chaos that ensues leads Alice to believe she and Tony cannot be married, but it only serves to strengthen his resolve that they can.

Is it any good?


The well-loved play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart is given the wholesome Frank Capra treatment, sometimes called "capra-corn." The entire populist subplot about the land being sold and the appearance of most of the characters in court are the additions of Capra and his screenwriter, Robert Riskin, and they make the film seem a bit dated. But children will enjoy the way that everyone in the family joyfully pursues his or her own dreams, and the way they all respect and support one another.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether they would like to live in a family like this one. Which family member is most like you? Why did Tony tell his parents the wrong night for dinner at the Sycamore's? Notice the difference between the way that the Sycamores and the Kirbys react when they get arrested. Why? What does the title mean?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 23, 1938
DVD release date:February 13, 2003
Cast:James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore
Director:Frank Capra
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Run time:127 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

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Teen, 15 years old Written bymoviefan115 November 6, 2012

You Can't Take It With You

This film portays the importance of family and friends in a positive way, and the acting is just perfect, even though there's a reace related problem. Sure, it's not laugh out loud funny but Frank Capra puts his focus on the characters and their relationships with each other. To me, that's what filmmaking's all about. Films can make you cry, laugh and most of all, to be inspired.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byMovieLover4Lyfe June 2, 2010
By today's standards this movie is ab it slow moving. Children may not want to sit through it. Has a very nice story in it though and teens should be able to appreciate it.
Teen, 13 years old Written byBestPicture1996 October 18, 2009

Charming but slow-moving

Kids won't understand what nearly half of the stuff they're dealing with means. Mature tweens may get it, but I doubt they want to see it. It can be very funny at times and has a very good message that if you have family and friends, that's better than all the wealth in the world.
What other families should know
Great messages


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