Leo McCarey’s Make Way for Tomorrow was a flop when it was released in 1937—not in the least because Paramount hated the movie and gave it no promotion, and because it had no big stars. But the film has stood the test of time, and is now considered to be one of the great American films—and probably McCarey’s best film. It’s also been called “the saddest movie ever made,” and that may well be true. The film is an unflinching, rarely over-sentimental portrait of old age in the persons of Barkley (Victor Moore) and Lucy Cooper (Beulah Bondi). Through a series of events—partly of their own making (it’s a nice touch that they aren’t blameless)—they lose their home and find that their children aren’t exactly keen on taking them in. In fact, no one will take both of them, so they find themselves split apart and sent to live in different parts of the country, all the while believing (but not really) that they will somehow be able to get back together. The brilliance of McCarey’s concept is that the pair are not completely likable. To say that they’re difficult is putting it mildly. They’re frequently much worse than that, and they appear unable to understand the world of their children. Yet McCarey makes them irrestistible all the same. The last 15 minutes of the movie—and especially the last scene—are perhaps the most heartbreaking ever put on film.
For my more in-depth review go Here