It is a pleasure to present a classic film to a group of friends who take the responsibility of all arrangements for the viewing and documentation.. Of the 15 old people present none knew Make Way for Tomorrow but two had seen Tokyo Story . 

Note of comments on film ‘Make Way for Tomorrow’ (director Leo Carey) written by Androulla 

Lots of positive comments.

Not a sentimental film.

One said she wanted the couple to take up the ‘caretaker’ roles together (the job the shopkeeper told Bark about) i.e. a happy ending. This accorded with the request for a happy ending when the film was made; and which the director refused. This audience member thought that the last scene, where the couple’s middle-aged children (‘the siblings’) admit they had behaved terribly, indicated there could have been a change for the better.

Another member said there were some agonising moments which he found difficult to watch, e.g. when characters were embarrassed. I think one of these was the card (bridge) school scene where Lucy was portrayed as a nuisance. He referred to the ending as “bitter-sweet”.

Yet another said the siblings made things worse for everyone by being selfish e.g. the rich daughter, the only one who could have housed both parents, asks for three months to talk her husband into the idea. She didn’t even try and this meant the end of her parents’ life together.

Another said a similar issue had arisen in her family; others agreed it applied to their families too. One gave an example of a parent who had signed away the family home to one of their offspring, only to be taken for granted, while a wiser mother had kept it in her name and was “treated like a queen.”

Someone referred to the opening scene as “schmaltzy” even though this contrasted with the way the subject of inter-family relationships was dealt with in the film.

Another referred to how the car salesman and the hotel manager, i.e. strangers, treated the couple with respect, which contrasted with how the siblings treated their own parents. This member remarked on the complete faith Lucy and Bark had in each other and how the poem at the end showed they had no regrets, despite being separated in their later years.

There were various expressions of how the issues in the film are just as true today, how we identified with the parental couple and how families care for elderly parents in other countries. Also it’s relation to ‘Tokyo Story’ directed by Yasujiro Ozu.


About rinaross

Born in 1935. MA in Film and Television Studies at the University of Westminster 1998. Studying the representation of older women in film since then.
This entry was posted in Ageing, ageing couple, audience responses, classic film and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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