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You Can't Take it With You
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You Can't Take it With You

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  7,146 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
At first the Sycamore family seems mad, but it is not long before we realize that if they are mad, the rest of the world is really verklempt.
Paperback, 87 pages
Published December 1st 1937 by Dramatists Play Service (first published 1936)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nov 23, 2009 Grantimatter rated it it was amazing
This play is begging for new productions. Written in the 1930s, it seems entirely current. War on terror? Recession? Suburban sprawl? Copyright vs. sharing works for free? All in there. Remarkable.
Aug 08, 2013 Carol rated it really liked it
George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart's Depression-era feel-good -- light hearted, Pulitzer Prize winner is as resonant today as it was when it debuted in 1936.

Set in the large home of the Sycamore family, the story depicts the lightweight travels of a group of eccentrics living with little means of support. The family patriarch, "Grandpa" Martin Vanderhof hasn't worked in 35 years, having quit one day when he grasped the fact that work was interfering with his fun, an attitude that extends to shruggi
Aug 02, 2013 Connie rated it really liked it
3.5-4 stars

The plot of this enjoyable comedy involves Tony Kirby, the son of a wealthy couple, falling in love with Alice Sycamore who comes from the eccentric family of Grandpa Martin Vanderhof. The Kirbys show up at Grandpa's home on the wrong night for a "meet the parents" dinner when Tony and Alice become engaged. The conservative, financially successful Kirbys are shocked at Grandpa's crazy household. But Grandpa and his non-materialistic family are happy and love each other, a different me
Doris Raines
Apr 11, 2016 Doris Raines rated it really liked it
Shelves: doris-shelf
Its. True. This. Book. Do. Not. Have. Much. Reading. I. Still. Like. Title. You. Cant. Not. Take. It. With. You. Thats. Real. Enough. For. Me. The. Title. Said. It. All. I. Agree. You. Cant. Take. It. With. You. Doris.
David Schaafsma
Oct 07, 2012 David Schaafsma rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
I like this play a lot, but I review it here because in my senior year, I played Paul Sycamore in my high school's production...:) Hey, it's also hilarious: it's not just about me... And I got to hug Lorna Kuyers, my "daughter" Alice in the play, which was an embarrassing thrill, she being what we perceived to be "fast'" when I was very, very "slow".... Joel Kuipers was Grandpa and Jim Veldman was Mr. DePinna... very funny play.
Nov 01, 2015 Molly rated it it was amazing
Saw this play in February starring Fran Kranz and James Earl Jones among others. One of the funniest things I've ever seen. Now I'm auditioning for it at my theater. So, I decided to read it. Brought back all the laughs. A hilarious time with wonderful characters and great heart.
Oct 13, 2011 04evans rated it did not like it
The thing that stuck out to me the most would have to be the character Paul. I like him because his profession is making fireworks. Since I was a little kid being a pyrotechnition has been my dream career. Another thing that was good about this play was it wasn’t very long. Since I didn’t really enjoy the play it was nice that it was only like 70 pages.

The worst thing about the play to me was the fact that it was old. It was written in the 1930s. It was supposed to be a comedy but I didn’t real
Andrea Parker
Mar 06, 2016 Andrea Parker rated it really liked it
Great satirical play!
Czarny Pies
Jan 08, 2016 Czarny Pies rated it liked it
Recommends it for: No one. It had its day and is now quite dead.
Recommended to Czarny by: The milkman sold our family tickets to the performance.
You Can't Take it With You is the first play that I ever saw. It was performed by the local amateur theatre company in the auditorium of the town's only high school. I was absolutely stunned by the acting skills displayed by father's real estate broker and our milkman.

This play clearly belongs to another era when professional playwrights wrote plays that could be successfully staged by amateur actors. Today of course we have amateurish playwrights writing plays that not even highly professional
Sep 22, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I'm a little biased, because I'm currently in the show, but I love this play. It's a great comedy, a little in the vein of old screwball comedies. There are a lot of great moments, and if you have the chance I encourage you to see the show done live.

The Sycamore household is highly unconventional. Paul and the ice man, Mr. DePinna make fireworks in the basement; Penny writes horrible plays on a typewriter delivered by mistake eight years ago; Essie takes ballet lessons from Mr. Kolenkhov and mak
Sierra Sanchez
Jan 26, 2011 Sierra Sanchez rated it really liked it
My school put on this play for Fall show. Its a great comedy with wonderful characters. I found that most of the characters in the play resembled my own family members, but then again, the bonds between the family members in You Can't Take It With You are ones that (one would hope) are shared between family members today. You Can't Take It With You- what a charming little play!
Jun 16, 2015 Jason rated it it was amazing
I started reading this play and thought to myself, "if my family ever acted like this, I'd slap them all and leave as quickly as I could". By the time I got to the end of the play, I felt much better about my own family as well as the family in the play. Some great points are made in this riotous comedy, and ultimately it's very sweet.
Tracy Jones
Jan 19, 2014 Tracy Jones rated it really liked it
Alice Sycamore is the daughter to the eccentric Sycamore family, where everyone has a different hobby, and spends time doing what they please instead of worrying about the world outside. Alice is the most level headed, and has fallen in love with Tony Kirby, the son of a rich business man in charge of a big company. Alice feels that her family is too eccentric for Tony's straight laced, 'normal' parents, so she plans an evening for the parents to meet and makes her family hide their eccentric ho ...more
Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard
May 16, 2016 Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard rated it really liked it
I had so much fun reading this. Even the stage directions had me laughing. What a good time. It was more fun to read than to watch it being performed.
Graham Wilhauk
Sep 21, 2016 Graham Wilhauk rated it really liked it
VERY charming play that explores the importance of family and love and others. This may sound like some kindergarten stuff, but it really does explore the fact that family does matter. That is why I love this play so much. The story is wacky yet simple, the writing is very humorous and actually WORKS at being funny, and the characters are even better! MY GOD this characters are amazing. I swear, Kolenkov is my spirit animal. I guess the only thing that I can critique it for is that it is too pre ...more
Chase Hall
May 01, 2013 Chase Hall rated it really liked it
A cute and heartfelt play that made me yearn for another crazy family gathering and maybe for a few weeks to spend in the 30's.
Jul 07, 2014 Sketchbook rated it did not like it
World famous title for an item from Mme Tussaud's wax works.
Jan 07, 2014 Lauren rated it really liked it
The 1937 winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, this comedy shows its age in places but is overall a fun, light-footed romp. Alice is the “normal” one in a family of eccentrics and she’s fallen in love with Tony, the son of a strait-laced Wall Street banker. Alice’s sister is a dancer / candy maker. Her mother is a playwright who has yet to finish a play. Her father builds fireworks in the basement, and her Grandpa, after dropping out of the rat race three decades earlier, is now attracting atte ...more
Sep 04, 2015 Esther rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J. Alfred
Jan 25, 2014 J. Alfred rated it really liked it
One can tell that this was written in 1937-- or at least before 1960-- there is, for instance, the fact that the only black male in the play is worried about accepting pay for his work because if the government finds out, he might not get his assistance money. That aside, this is a fun affirmation of joyful eccentricity, and the type of skepticism of what we call "the real world" that many of us find engaging.
May 08, 2014 Steve rated it liked it
Shelves: funny, plays
I think this play works better as capacity for extremely great roles than as a structured plot. Crazy family, new boyfriend, hilarity. There's so much to love about this, but it's sometimes hard to find a point to it all beyond 'why must we all be so serious?'
Nov 15, 2011 Shayla rated it liked it
I have more experience with watching plays than reading them, but Hart and Kaufman manage to make the characters leap off the page even without a stage. The dialogue is witty and fun, and it’s hilarious to see similar themes of the 1930s parallel recent events. It reads like a sitcom to me with funny punch lines like when Hend says, “And if there weren’t Interstate Commerce, nothing could go from one state to another see?” and the grandpa replies with, “Why not? They got fences?” It’s a light an ...more
Oct 22, 2015 Gracie rated it liked it
While many people have enjoyed and called this play "the greatest comedy of all time" nothing really stuck out to me. While there are very funny parts, the play does not compare to some of the more recent comedies released.
I was actually in this play during my junior year of high school, so naturally I liked it. My only problem would probably be the lack of subtlety in the play's moral. It's just so in-your-face.
May 30, 2015 John rated it really liked it
I love this play because of all of the interesting characters,, and the overall message to be happy with whatever you are doing even if you aren't making a lot of money with it.
Nov 23, 2010 Kat rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
This is a delightfully wacky play. A very... individualistic... family, ruled over by their benevolent-patriarch grandfather, copes with the IRS and one of the granddaughters wanting to marry into a rather stiff, un-fun family. The idea, of course, is that one should do what makes one happy and enjoy what one has because once one dies, you can't take anything with you. A fantastic play that always reminds me that my grandparents and parents are more than their roles in my life. The play was writ ...more
Feb 08, 2016 Shawn rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
A wonderful turn of the century comedy. A classic play that is still wonderful to read and watch even if it shows it age at moments.
Ashley Lambert-Maberly
This charming play feels as fresh today as it did when written--and it plays beautifully on the page, although nothing beats a first-class performance, of course. This is the original "can a family of oddballs tone it down for the sake of meeting the in-laws" plot (so far as I know) which has resurfaced time-and-again (the Addams Family musical, 1/10th of all the sitcoms out there, etc.) and still the best.

(And so nice to read comedies which are actually, you know, funny!)

If you love it, check o
Jul 06, 2014 Greyson rated it liked it
About as feel-good as feel-good gets. I appreciated it for what it was, and it was very welcome after Kafka and McCarthy.
Jan 18, 2016 Julia rated it really liked it
My school is doing this production and I read it and really enjoyed it! I thought it was very funny and interesting!
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Moss Hart was an American playwright and director of plays and musical theater. Hart recalled his youth, early career and rise to fame in his autobiography, Act One, adapted to film in 1963, with George Hamilton portraying Hart.

Hart grew up at 74 East 105th Street in Manhattan, "a neighborhood not of carriages and hansom cabs, but of dray wagons, pushcarts, and immigrants" (Bach 1). Early on he ha
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“Quiet, everybody! Quiet! Well, Sir, we've been getting along pretty good for quite a while now, and we're certainly much obliged. Remember, all we ask is to just go along and be happy in our own sort of way. Of course we want to keep our health but as far as anything else is concerned, we'll leave it to You. Thank You.” 4 likes
“KIRBY: A man can't give up his business.
GRANDPA: Why not? You've got all the money you need. You can't take it with you.”
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