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You Can't Take it With You

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  8,387 ratings  ·  135 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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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,387 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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Nov 23, 2009 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.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Funny and endearing.
Aug 01, 2013 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
R.K. Cowles
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
4 1/4 stars
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
I had heard such great things about this play and was really excited to read it (and possibly stage it). In fact, I even read somewhere that, for high schoolers, it is the most produced play of all time. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what all the fuss is about.

It's quirky, yes. There are funny parts, naturally. But it's a bit too "big" in its humor, and even disjointed. There's not much character development or dynamism, and the reversal at the end felt unnatural. On top of all that, I actually
Oct 13, 2011 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
Diane Malone
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A modern classic that is as timely today as it was when written (first produced in 1936).
A crazy but lovable family that everyone can recognize; everyone has a crazy Uncle Louie or eccentric Aunt Fanny. The family home is also occupied by various friends, neighbors, suitors, servants, guests and finally G-men! There's Social Security fraud, a Russian threat, and Federal Government surveillance -- right out of 2017 headlines!
Kaufman and Hart were brilliant comedic writers, and this play holds
Connie G
Jul 26, 2013 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
Sierra Sanchez
Jan 26, 2011 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!
Aug 27, 2014 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.
Nov 01, 2015 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.
Chase Hall
May 01, 2013 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.
Andrea Parker
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great satirical play!
Shawn Deal
Feb 08, 2016 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.
Jul 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
World famous title for an item from Mme Tussaud's wax works.
Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard
Feb 04, 2016 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.
Nicholas Whyte
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it

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
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
if this play was written today, i would probably give it a lower rating. but once you get used to the thirties play-writing style, this is a great script. acts two and three are certainly better than act one, and the ending is heartwarming. the chaos of the sycamores even seems endearing. part of the reason i liked the ending of this play so much probably has to do with the well-timed coincidence of the song "i got you babe" ending exactly as i read the last lines of the script. a great read.
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This play has so many issues with being offensive and dated, i.e. obviously the racial issues (at one point, the stage directions say a black character gives a “black look” ... ?!?) and the communism discussion. But it’s a pretty well-structured and entertaining play nonetheless. Interesting characters.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
Hilarious! We were encouraged to read this in some economic resources we were using in our homeschool. My teen daughter and I really enjoyed the 1938 Frank Capra movie, which received Best Picture. The cast did an excellent job, and the scene where Grandpa is confronted by the IRS is priceless!
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This classic play is hysterical and has a timeless message. Sure, some of the references are dated and not PC, but the point is driven home that life isn't about money or possessions. Life is to be enjoyed.
Rhdioui RaChida
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This comedy evinces both humorous and disciplining aspects as well as a glimpse of the Amercian society thereafter the Great Depression .
An eccentric family was definitely able to catch the reader's sight in a whimsical way to end up with life lessons .
Kathy Hobbs
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When you have something that makes you laugh and cry, then you know that you’ve got an amazing show. This timeless theatrical classic is sure to remain one of the most popularly produced high school shows for a while.
Basia Korzeniowska
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great play, some wonderful ideas, all heightened by some very politically incorrect stage directions!
Wendy Morton
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
So much fun! A warm delightful escapist play!
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
Recently reread this classic. What a fabulous play with a great message.
Lynn Demsky
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: family, humor, classic, plays
I enjoyed the movie so very much and was tickled pink when I found the play at a Library! Obviously the play is just like the book but was great fun to be able to enjoy it whenever I choose to!
Barbara J. Malangoni
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cute script. Picks up a lot in Acts 2/3. Great message about what's important in life. Timeless!
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Laugh out loud funny and sweet. Something that I need after a long day or reading a sad book
Flossmoor Public Library (IL)
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
4 stars

- Ms. Jenn
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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
“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.” 6 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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