Study Guide

You Can't Take It With You Setting

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The Sycamore House, New York

The live theatrical version of You Can't Take It With You was set in the messy, chaotic, goofy, enjoyable Sycamore house, where someone is always painting or dancing or setting off firecrackers. The house is the embodiment of Grandpa's ethos; which is—loosely—don't work too hard and have fun. Sometimes that means playing the xylophone; sometimes it means wrestling. Either way, the Sycamore house has enough room for you.

The film has a good bit of action in the Sycamore home too. But it also branches out to other parts of the city—especially to Mr. Kirby's offices on Wall Street. The business serves as a contrast to the bohemian Kirby house. In one, everyone's buttoned up; in the other, everyone's buttoned down. Capra, by exploring locations other than the Sycamore home, helps to show how special the Sycamore home is: an island of do-as-you-will in a bigger world that won't let you.

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