The hilarious black-and-white Frank Capra comedy "You Can't Take it With You," to be shown Thursday, is the final free movie in the series of "Golden Oldies" that has been sponsored over the past week by the Deseret News and Cineplex Odeon Theaters at the new Trolley Square Cinemas (on the south side of Trolley Square).
Capra turned out many great comedies and dramas in his day - "It's a Wonderful Life," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," "Lost Horizon," "It Happened One Night," "Arsenic and Old Lace" and "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" among the best of them.But unlike those, "You Can't Take it With You" - also one of his best - is never shown on television and is not available on video. As a result, modern-day audiences are less familiar with this film, though it won the Oscar for best picture of 1938 and is based on one of the most famous plays of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.
There have been many other incarnations over the years, including many local and national stage adaptations, as well as a couple of snappy TV versions. (it is also the basis for the syndicated Harry Morgan TV series of the same name.)
But Capra's version of "You Can't Take it With You" is a real gem, one of James Stewart's earliest films (he gets third billing after Jean Arthur and Lionel Barrymore) and is absolutely hilarious.
The story has the one "normal" person (Arthur) in a family of extreme eccentrics bringing her fiance (Stewart) home to meet the family - with some trepidation.
Though slightly dated today, "You Can't Take It With You" as a whole is still as funny and heart-warming as ever - and the performances, including such familiar character actors as Mischa Auer, Spring Byington, Edward Arnold and, in one of her first films, singer-dancer Ann Miller, are knockouts.
"You Can't Take It With You" will play Thursday only, at 12, 2:30, 5, 7:30 and 10 p.m.
Each screening is free with an original ad for the series from the Deseret News (there is one in this section today). Simply present the ad at the box office for two free admissions - if you want to take more people, just collect more ads (no photocopies, please). You cannot purchase tickets to these films; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The new Trolley Square Cinemas is a four-plex on the south side of Trolley Square, 602 E. Sixth South. - Christopher Hicks.