A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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.
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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.