Study Guide

You Can't Take It With You Production Design

Production Design

Big Budget Classic Hollywood

You Can't Take It With You was originally a play, staged entirely in the Sycamore house. You still get the Sycamore house in the film of course—but you get so much more.

There are trips to the bank offices, the park, the prison, to a fancy-dress restaurant, and all around town. And as the world multiplies, so do the characters. The handful of actors in the original script balloons to more than a hundred and fifty in the film, as bit characters wander through the streets and into the courtroom and generally mill in the background.

The crisp black-and-white images capture a house, and a world full of people and stuff. The film title You Can't Take It With You is supposed to be a rejection of money, but the multiple locations and the teeming actors suggest a lavish budget.

Grandpa stresses the importance of his friends, and the film is produced to maximize those friends scurrying hither and thither across the screen, whether it's the Sycamore household or the scampish street musicians. In contrast to a relatively sedate playhouse, the joy of the film You Can't Take it With You is the joy of film — the ability to make this big, living world.