• Let’s start out with Dave Kehr in the New York Times: “There are few American films as subtle, moving, and bursting with human truth as Leo McCarey’s Make Way for Tomorrow, and few that have been as unjustly forgotten. Never given a home video release in America, the film this week becomes the 505th DVD in the Criterion Collection, which is to say, it has finally gained its place in the canon.” Kehr ends his review conclusively, describing the craft of McCarey’s final scenes and remarking “That is why I love the movies.”

    A lot of other critics are also thrilled that McCarey’s long neglected movie has reentered the consciousness of film lovers due to this new special edition DVD. In the Washington Post, Jen Chaney writes, “Make Way for Tomorrow is an exceptional, wrenching American film that most Americans have never heard of, let alone seen,” then adds her hopes that this release “will allow more film lovers to discover the rich, subtle rewards in a movie that, until now, was tucked away in the back of the cinema-classics closet.” The New York Post’s Lou Lumenick asserts that this “beautifully acted” film is “remarkably timely” and “one of the finest and most touching films you’ve probably never heard of.” And in a five-star review for Time Out, Keith Uhlich promises that “dry eyes are not an option for this 1937 Depression-era masterpiece.”

    Perhaps the most moving review comes from Roger Ebert. In a highly personal take on this “beautiful and heartbreaking” classic, he writes, “The most powerful films often simply show you events without instructing you how to feel about them. It is remarkable that a film this true and unrelenting was made by Hollywood in 1937.”

    More praise from Paper (“It will rip your heart out, but boy is it great”) and DVD Beaver (“Superior on every front . . . My favorite DVD of this early year”).

Leave the first comment