A man from a family of rich snobs becomes engaged to a woman from a good-natured but decidedly eccentric family.
- Frank Capra
- Robert Riskin
- Columbia Pictures Corporation
Tony Kirby Jr., vice president of Kirby & Company, and his stenographer, Alice Sycamore, are in love with each other and want to get married. They both realize that a major problem in doing so is the incompatibility of their respective families. Tony's father, the company's owner and president Anthony P. Kirby, is a cutthroat businessman who doesn't care who he steps on to earn the almighty dollar, the amount of which being how he measures his worth and the worth of others. Tony's mother is a pretentious snob. Both his parents openly but quietly disapprove of the union. Alice's extended family, on the other hand, are an eccentric lot. They all have a "do whatever you want to do because you like doing it" mentality, which was initially fostered by the family patriarch, Alice's maternal grandfather, Martin Vanderhof, in whose house they all live. With the exception of Alice, they are somewhat blissfully unaware that their lives are unconventional. However, their attitude of openness and inclusion has reaped them the rewards of a multitude of unconditional friends, some who live with them solely because they came one day, liked what they saw, were welcomed with open arms, and have never left. Tony and Alice want to deal with the incompatibility issue head on, although they both take differing paths in how to deal with it. Another problem is that A.P. Kirby is working on the biggest deal of his career - cornering the munitions market, especially lucrative in the lead up to probable war - that requires a massive land acquisition, which includes Grandpa Vanderhof's house, he who refuses to sell. Grandpa is unaware of who wants to buy his house, while A.P. is unaware that Grandpa is the one hold out who could ruin his entire plan.