MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW CRITERION COLLECTION REVIEW

Orson Welles said of MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW ‘ Did you see that McCarey film, MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW? That was the saddest film I ever saw…’

He very well might have been on the money in some respects. The film’s power and its longer term resonance is drawn from powerful reflection of its time period. The most honest reflection of growing old in that time and how society was adapting to the world as it evolved into the 1930s. The times surrounding it were of monumental change of course. After the debt crisis of 1929, which crushed growth and stuck the world with massive financial loss. Many families were broken. They had to find ways to make do and mend the fracture. Money was tight. Expenses were vast and the loss of material, personal and societal things caused vast gaps.

When Lucy (BEULAH BONDI) and Bark Cooper (VICTOR MOORE) are in their later years, they have to more from their home in the country, as the bank sets to foreclose. Though independent, now an elderly couple, they have to go to their family for help. Their children, now grown might offer a helping hand but it seems to be less willing than they expected and more dependant on separation than they hoped. As they try in vain to keep at least their freedom, their offspring’s selfish whims and fancies get in the way of peace and quiet. Leading them to the end of a road, no one wants to travel.

Leo McCarey was an unexpected film maker in some quarters. A conservative, religious director that often aimed at broad players. This could be the reason he was the winner of two Oscars for directing and one for writing. I maintain it is because some of his films often focused on the lost America. Though packaged in very conservative ways, they have universal appeal. Diving into an America that had lost its values and was grasping for something stable in the chaos of modernity. His most well known films like GOING MY WAY and AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER, explore within their frame, complex morality, commodification and compassion. Their loss, perceived corrosion and even overt rejection, were paramount to many of his films messages. MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW is more humanistic in its themes. Taking the trials of age as the emotional buoy, it delves into the loss of a state of mind and dare I say, grace for age and idealism. Especially within what that means.

DISC

The HD looks about right but I cant see a massive improvement from the Eureka release of the film in its Blu Ray version. So colour, tone and even clarity are all similar. Dare I say it. They are the same!

EXTRAS

The late, great Bogdanovich excellent life of and works by feature is the starting point. Its exceptional and this is the interview of which many should be made. Then the booklet. I loved filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier piece. His films have a values exploration by way of social conventions and he gets McCarey and more so the films multiple angle meanings.

BONUS FEATURES SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
• Tomorrow, Yesterday, and Today, an interview from 2009 featuring filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich discussing the career of director Leo McCarey and Make Way for Tomorrow
• Video interview from 2009 with critic Gary Giddins, in which he talks about McCarey’s artistry and the political and social context of the film
• PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critic Tag Gallagher and filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier, and an excerpt from film scholar Robin Wood’s 1998 piece “Leo McCarey and Family Values”.

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