Make Way for Tomorrow entered and exited American movie theaters in May, 1937 without much attention at all, and has retained that secretive status to this day. It comes under the class of Movies That No One Has Seen But Me, Or So It Seems. It's hard to love it so much and have it unknown. That is, up until now. Paramount allowed Leo McCarey to make this motion picture; (he waived his salary to be able to) but they refused to promote it due to its subject matter. Then, released from his contract due to its commercial failure, McCarey went on to score a hit for Columbia and a Best Director Academy award for himself with "The Awful Truth." There is a wonderful moment from the 1937 Academy Awards Ceremony; preserved on film and found in the twentieth minute of the "Frank Capra Jr. Remembers," accompanying special feature for the dvd, "You Can't Take It With You," where Capra Sr. presents the Oscar to McCarey, shakes his hand, and then reaching back, grabs the statuette by the torso and with a good-natured, smiling expression, attempts to tug-of-war it away from Mr. McCarey. What Mr. Capra seems to jokingly be trying to say is that he thinks he should have won the award for his film, "Lost Horizon." The ten-second clip ends before we see who wins the match, but we know that it is indeed McCarey, as we're certain Mr. Capra would surrender it gracefully. And besides, Mr. McCarey has a hold of Oscar by the base. Then as he steps up to the podium to speak about his quirky 1937 comedy, Mr. McCarey said to all those in attendance, "Thanks, but you gave this to me for the wrong picture." McCarey's drama gave his two lead players more armfuls of the sweetest embraces, both physical and literary, than any actor/actress teaming in my long term memory. Victor Moore was splendid as the funny and warm old gentleman who had failed to prepare for his retirement, but it was always Beulah Bondi: surely the most versatile character actress on all levels the movies have known, that tugged at my heart during any number of her very stirring scenes. Her darling Lucy Cooper could be a warm granny and a meddling, cantankerous old girl; but her performance of this 70-something woman was so real, it was staggering in its depth. All the more so when you realize that she was only in her mid-40's at the time. It wasn't the fine make-up job that made Ma Cooper so real; it was Miss Bondi's superb crafting of this marvelous character. -Author John Springer wrote in his book, "They Had Faces Then," (Citadel Press, 1974) that, "Academy Awards ceased to have their full value the year she did not get a nomination for Make Way for Tomorrow. That role alone--if she had done none of her others--would make her a screen immortal." -Jean Renoir famously said that Leo McCarey understood people better than anyone else in Hollywood. -Orson Welles said that this movie would make a stone cry. After waiting for decades for this picture to be released on VHS, how wonderful that Criterion has granted MWFT its deserved restoration. Based on the menu of special features and judging by the devoted preservation Criterion has given to other motion picture treasures, I am confidently anticipating a tender and tearful reunion with the Coopers. Though it may not be as grand as other masterpieces such as Gone With The Wind, Citizen Kane or Casablanca, it inhabits my heart more dearly than those or most other film ever will. And for that, I/we have Mr. Leo McCarey and our beloved Miss Beulah Bondi to thank.