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When "You Can't Take It With You" hit Broadway, it was more or less what the title indicates, a whimsical little comedy, faintly defeatist, emphasizing the fact that shrouds don't have pockets. In the capable hands of Frank Capra, this negative moral was moulded into a powerful eulogy on the value of Friendship. One of the most stirring scenes is that in which Vanderhof (Lionel Barrymore) is fined $100 and scores of equally penniless friends take up a collection in court.
Yet despite an admirably understanding performance, Mr. Barrymore is subordinated to Edward Arnold in the role of Anthony P. Kirby. Blending the comic and the tragic, MR. Arnold's portrayal of the financier whose success has brought loneliness with it is one of the finest pieces of acting to come to the screen this year. Jean Arthur, James Stewart and particularly Spring Byington deserve high credit as well.
In "You Can't Take It With You"--which is at the University, incidentally--Hollywood has taken up the challenge of the stage. Mr. Capra has used every trick in the bag. Dynamite, dictaphones, elevators and a little fifteen cent harmonica are among the mechanics which make this an outstanding picture.
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