Life with Father is a 1947 Technicolor American comedy film adapted from the 1939 play of the same name. It tells the true story of Clarence Day, a stockbroker who wants to be master of his house, but finds his wife and his children ignoring him, until they start making demands for him to change his own life. The story draws largely on the insistence by his wife that Clarence be baptized and Clarence’s stubborn, sometimes ill-tempered nature. In keeping with the autobiography, all the children in the family (all boys) are redheads. It stars William Powell and Irene Dunne as Clarence and his wife, supported by Elizabeth Taylor as a beautiful teenage girl with whom Clarence’s oldest son becomes infatuated, along with Edmund Gwenn, ZaSu Pitts, Jimmy Lydon and Martin Milner.
Stockbroker Clarence Day is the benevolent curmudgeon of his 1880s New York City household, striving to make it function as efficiently as his Wall Street office but usually failing. His wife Vinnie is the real head of the household. The anecdotal story encompasses such details as Clarence’s attempts to find a new maid, a romance between his oldest son Clarence Jr. and pretty out-of-towner Mary Skinner, a plan by Clarence Jr. and his younger brother John to make easy money selling patent medicines, Clarence’s general contempt for the era’s political corruption and the trappings of organized religion, and Vinnie’s push to get him baptized so he can enter the kingdom of God.
William Powell as Clarence Day, Sr.
Irene Dunne as Vinnie Day
Elizabeth Taylor as Mary Skinner
Edmund Gwenn as Rev. Dr. Lloyd
ZaSu Pitts as Cousin Cora Cartwright
Jimmy Lydon as Clarence Day, Jr.
Emma Dunn as Margaret the Cook
Moroni Olsen as Dr. Humphries
Elisabeth Risdon as Mrs. Whitehead - introduces Rev. Morley
Martin Milner as John Day
Johnny Calkins as Whitney Day
Derek Scott as Harlan Day
Heather Wilde as Annie, 1st maid
Mary Field as Nora, 2nd maid
Monte Blue as The Policeman
Clara Blandick as Miss Wiggins, the Maid Service Employment Agent
Douglas Kennedy as Reverend Morley (uncredited)