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You Can't Take it With You by Moss Hart

You Can't Take it With You

by Moss Hart, George S. Kaufman

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359845,587 (3.78)15



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Best play ever. ( )
  kateschmidt | Oct 20, 2018 |

The drunk actress Gay Wellington (and another comic turn, the Grand Duchess Olga) were among the cuts made by Riskin as he adapted the play for the screen. Kirby's background is much less developed in the play - the whole subplot involving property transactions, and the character of Mr Poppins, are inserted by Riskin into the film. The Vanderhofs have pet snakes rather than a raven. (Though I'm glad to say that the kitten is original.)

The guts of it are all the same as the film, and one can see why the play won a Pulitzer as an uplifting tonic in depressing times. It's a bit more misogynistic (as I said, two extra female characters who are only there as figures of fun, and Mrs Kirby gets a harder time) and more racist (Donald gets treated worse). There is a hilarious sequence during the Kirbys' disastrous visit to the Vanderhof household, where Penny gets the Kirbys to play a word association game:

KIRBY. Will you go on, Mrs. Sycamore? What was the next word?
PENNY. (Reluctantly.) Honeymoon.
KIRBY. Oh, yes. And what was Mrs. Kirby's answer ?
PENNY. Ah—"Honeymoon—dull."
KIRBY. (Murderously calm.) Did you say—dull?
MRS. KIRBY. What I meant, Anthony, was that Hot Springs was not very gay that season. All those old people sitting on the porch all afternoon, and—nothing to do at night. (Realizes she has gone too far.)
KIRBY. That was not your reaction at the time, as I recall it.
TONY. (Crosses in a step.) Father, this is only a game.
KIRBY. A very illuminating game. Go on, Mrs. Sycamore!
PENNY. (Brightly, having taken a look ahead.) This one's all right, Mr. Kirby. "Sex—Wall Street."
KIRBY. Wall Street? What do you mean by that, Miriam?
MRS. KIRBY. (Nervously.) I don't know what I meant, Anthony. Nothing.
KIRBY. But you most have meant something, Miriam, or you wouldn't have put it down.
MRS. KIRBY. It was just the first thing that came into my head, that's all.
KIRBY. But what does it mean ? Sex—Wall Street.
MRS. KIRBY. (Annoyed.) Oh, I don't know what it means, Anthony. It's just that you're always talking about Wall Street, even when (She catches herself.) I don't know what I meant.. . . Would you mind terribly, Alice, if we didn't stay for dinner? (Rises. GRANDPA and KOLENKHOV rise. Also ESSIE, ED and PAUL.) I'm afraid this game has given me a headache.

I can see how what plays well on Broadway might not always survive to Hollywood. ( )
  nwhyte | Mar 11, 2018 |
This was the first play I helped with at my high school! ( )
  katieloucks | Feb 26, 2016 |
  kutheatre | Jun 4, 2015 |
I honestly wasn't really into it for the first act, and a bit into the second. But it was the impromptu dinner scene that really hooked me. From then on I loved it, the third act especially as I thought it wrapped up really nicely. ( )
  davadog13 | Nov 21, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hart, Mossprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kaufman, George S.main authorall editionsconfirmed
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