Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Bittersweet Story... Make Way for Tomorrow

I was sidetracked tonight in my attempt to see Breakfast at Tiffany's at a Hollywood Cinespia Screening (the line to get in was incredible), so instead, I opted to watch a movie I've had on my queue and have been avoiding for a while because of its very serious and potentially sad tone. The movie is "Make Way for Tomorrow" a film from 1937 starring Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi as an elderly couple who have fallen on hard times, lost their home, and are now having to live apart in the different homes of their busy children, people that have no place in their lives for the struggles and presence of their lonely, ailing parents.

There are so many people that have fallen on hard times due to the economy, age, injuries, etc. and we tend to forget, in our healthy state, about the desperation people can feel as they try to hold tight to a sense of humanity and self-respect. I don't believe that most people would intend to be a burden on another, and this movie was a great example of how caught up we can get in being unfeeling towards those that perhaps slow us down or unintentionally encroach on our day to day lives, by no fault of their own. I was guilty of this behavior in my teen years, and regret it to this day.

There are some very powerful scenes when the couple portray the knowing of not belonging anywhere and feeling a burden, as well as the scenes of friendship, mutual respect and unconditional love that have gotten their characters through 50 years of marriage. I know it's just a movie, but stories like these serve as such a wonderful reminder of the type of love we should aspire to have, as well as how we should treat others and plan for our future (it covered a lot of ground!) I loved the dialogue between the elderly couple; the words they used with one another, their inside jokes, the way they spoke of one another when they were with others and the care and concern for the others well-being at the expense of their own happiness. It's romantic in a timeless, yet humble way, and I highly recommend it... but have your tissues ready.

Below is a poem Beulah Bondi recites in the film. I hope you will take the time to watch this movie. I haven't been held to watch a film without getting distracted by something in a long time, but this kept my attention rapt.

A man and a maid stood hand in hand;
bound by a tiny wedding band.
Before them lay the uncertain years
that promised joy and, maybe tears.
"Is she afraid?" thought the man of the maid.

"Darling," he said in a tender voice,
"Tell me. Do you regret your choice?
'We know not where the road may wind,
'or what strange byways we may find.
'Are you afraid?" said the man to the maid.

She raised her eyes and spoke at last.
"My dear," she said, "the die is cast.
'The vows have been spoken. The rice has been thrown.
'Into the future we’ll travel alone.
'With you," said the maid, "I’m not afraid."


  1. I never heard of this movie before, but now I'm putting it on my Netflix list.

  2. Let me know what you think after you watch it. =)

  3. I saw it…wow. I feel so bad that a couple so truly in love and in sync are not together, and their kids didn't "get" that they have needs to. What a great movie! Their date together, how they interact, etc it was so cute!

  4. I loved how they danced together and the way the hotel staff treated them with such reverance and respect.

  5. But who is the author of the poem or was it just made for the movie?