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Frank Capra and his films


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Well, Kathy, there's a lot of things I don't "get". ;)

 

And for all Capra fans, here's a real great day of TCM programming on Monday, Dec. 22:

 

*Mr. Deeds Goes to Town* (1936)

When he inherits a fortune, a small-town poet has to deal with the corruption of city life.

Cast: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, Lionel Stander. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-116 mins, TV-G

 

*Platinum Blonde* (1931)

A heartless heiress seduces a hard-working reporter into a disastrous marriage.

Cast: Robert Williams, Loretta Young, Jean Harlow. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-89 mins, TV-G

 

*Meet John Doe* (1941)

A reporter's fraudulent story turns a tramp into a national hero and makes him a pawn of big business.

Cast: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-122 mins, TV-G

 

It all starts at 11am PT/ 2pm ET

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Don't forget to catch Capra's *Platinum Blonde* this Saturday night as part of the primetime Jean Harlow tribute! B-)

 

*Platinum Blonde* (1931)

A heartless heiress seduces a hard-working reporter into a disastrous marriage.

Cast: Louise Closser Hale , Jean Harlow , Robert Williams , Loretta Young Dir: Frank Capra BW-89 mins, TV-G

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I think Capra's a great filmmaker with an impressive body of work. Unlike great Billy Wilder, who's films cover a wide range of subjects & ideals, Capra's films are straightforward and speak one voice.

 

I've noticed a paralel with Capra and modern filmmaker Gary Ross (made Big, Pleasantville & Seabiscuit) I hope Ross continues on this path because we need plain good old fashioned stories these days.

 

Opinions, anyone?

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Don't forget to watch *Pocketful of Miracles* tonight at 1:30amET/10:30pmPT

 

*Pocketful of Miracles* (1961)

A good-hearted gangster turns an old apple seller into a society matron so she can impress her daughter.

Cast: Glenn Ford, Bette Davis, Hope Lange, Arthur O'Connell Dir: Frank Capra C-137 mins, TV-G

 

TRAILER:

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/index/?o_cid=mediaroomlink&cid=75097

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TCM is bringing us the following Frank Capra in the next few days:

 

On _Monday, March 2nd_, starting at 11:30pm ET:

 

*It Happened One Night* (1934)

A newspaperman tracks a runaway heiress on a madcap cross-country tour.

Cast: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns Dir: Frank Capra BW-105 mins, TV-PG

 

*Meet John Doe* (1941)

A reporter's fraudulent story turns a tramp into a national hero and makes him a pawn of big business.

Cast: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold, Walter Brennan Dir: Frank Capra BW-122 mins, TV-G

 

*Mr. Deeds Goes to Town* (1936)

When he inherits a fortune, a small-town poet has to deal with the corruption of city life.

Cast: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, George Bancroft, Lionel Stander Dir: Frank Capra BW-116 mins, TV-G

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we're planning on watching 'mr smith goes to washinton' in just a little while, its a movie i have seen a few times before but i still never get tired of the gentle and idealistck character jimmy stewart plays. in times like these, who wouldnt wish we could really have a senator like that representing us in washington? too many senators today are just in it for either personal gain or other reasons and do not really have the nation's interest in mind.

 

if i could vote for jefferson smith, i would do it in a NY minute

 

jeffersonsmith.jpg

 

claude rains is always a great actor, and a great 'opponent' for sen. smith

 

JS665.jpg?size=67&uid=%7B6916516B-A7C4-494B-AC0D-7D93934E1B38%7D

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TCM's "31 Days of Oscar" comes to a close today with one of Frank Capra's best movies, showing at 2am ET/11pm PT:

 

*Lost Horizon* (1937)

Four fugitives from a Chinese revolution discover a lost world of peace and harmony.

Cast: Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt, Edward Everett Horton, John Howard Dir: Frank Capra BW-133 mins, TV-G

 

lh1937p3.gif

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> {quote:title=harlowcutie11 wrote:}{quote}

> I love Frank Capra. It Happened One Night is a brilliant film, and one of my all time favorites! He truly was a genius. I would love to see You Can't Take It With You and Meet John Doe. The latter because I have yet to see a Stanwyck or Cooper film, ugh! It's A Wonderful Life is tre magnifique; the most wholesome, feel good, teary movie ever!!!! Frank Capra ruled!!!

 

harlowcutie,

If you still haven't seen *Meet John Doe*, this evening's showing would be a wonderful opportunity to see the movie introduced by *Kyle*, who will no doubt have some insightful comments to offer as he sits down with Robert Osborne. B-)

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Frank Capra is tied with Billy Wilder as my all time favorite filmmaker EVER. He is incredible.

 

I love his use of crowds--he can make them supporting and wonderful, then in only moments, they're a scary, ugly mob. (See, especially, the bank run in AMERICAN MADNESS of course and MEET JOHN DOE at the rally)

 

I love how he loves to film through water--he always has water in there. He filmed them so masterfully, in a time when other people weren't caring too much about cinematography because sound was too cumbersome (see especially the bungalow scene in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT and the love scene in PLATINUM BLONDE shot through a beautiful art deco fountain!)

 

I love how his characters are so complex--he directs them so well, so we get the lovely subtlety and believability. Watch Gary in the courtoom scene in MR DEEDS GOES TO TOWN--no lines needed. You feel so bad for the guy! Also, watch the title character in LADY FOR A DAY in her subtle but believable transformation from a drunken bum to a lady of society.

 

I hate how people think he's trite and don't take him seriously--look at how dark It's a Wonderful Life and Mr Smith Goes to Washington are. His films are incredible in every way---acting, cinematography, writing, etc. So great. Love him.

 

I love analyzing his movies. Like how in It's a Wonderful Life, notice how Clarence, who knows perfectly well where the money is, never tells him? It's more important to teach him the lesson. That's what great filmmaking is, my friends.

 

What's the best ending of his films? You decide! For me its Lady for a Day. Makes me cry like crazy, because he sets you up for one ending, but the one you get is BETTER!!

 

Love Capra. :)

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> {quote:title=LonesomePolecat wrote:}{quote}

> Frank Capra is tied with Billy Wilder as my all time favorite filmmaker EVER. He is incredible.

 

Amazing. As I was outdoors gardening this exact thought ^^^ popped into my head.

 

>I hate how people think he's trite and don't take him seriously--look at how dark It's a Wonderful Life and Mr Smith Goes to Washington are. His films are incredible in every way---acting, cinematography, writing, etc. So great. Love him. I love analyzing his movies

 

Me too.

 

And quite a corrolation between Wilder/Capra. Very different directors, but similar craftiness. Ever read the book, "Nobody's Perfect"? I think it captures Wilder's spirit quite well.

PM me if you don't know the book.

 

Did you see my pictures of Seneca Falls, NY earlier in this thread?

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> {quote:title=TikiSoo wrote:}{quote}

> And quite a corrolation between Wilder/Capra. Very different directors, but similar craftiness.

 

I'd definitely agree about the "craftiness" part, but I also see a bit of a difference there between the rather cynical view of Wilder in many of his movies and the "Capra-corn" or whatever it is they call it, even though some of his movies have dark moments, it is still there.

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Just thought of another correlation between Wilder and Capra-----they not only have the ability to make small characters memorable, but they always do so when they have the chance (i.e. who could forget Mrs "nothin', no action, dullsville" McDougall in only 2 scenes of The Apartment, or the guy in Wonderful Life who watched Violet walk by and almost gets hit by a car?)

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Good point about the "one liner charactors". Capra films are full of them, like real life. Even Uncle Billy's pet crow & squirrel in the bank, little humanizing touches. I often quote "Shapley, cuz that's the way I like 'em!"

(do you realize it's Shapley's (Roscoe Carnes) son who raises his glass as Harry Bailey to say, "To my brother George, the richest guy in town")

 

And although Wilder films seem more cynical on the surface (I mean there ARE big differences in the directors) usually sweet sentiment (Sabrina) or at least truth (Stalag 17) prevails. Their few tragedies are earned playing with fire like Sunset Blvd & Double Indemnity.

 

The biggest similarity of these 2 directors is really their large success rate of outstanding films, very few average films or stinkers.

 

I absolutely LOVE the attention to detail of sets in Capra's films. The first time I ever saw It's A Wonderful Life on the big screen I was AMAZED at all the detail you miss on TV. The pin up girl picture on a post in the bank that WE see, but hidden from customers. The framed South American butterflies in the Bailey parent home, that turn up in George's home later.

When George kicks his model bridge, you see publicity 8x10s of the actors playing his relatives taped to his work area wall.

 

I just bought Meet John Doe on DVD and I'm sure once I watch it leisurely I'll find treasures like that in the newsroom.

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I've been reading a few of these posts, and these are great observations! What appeals to me is how they move the story from Comedy to Drama and back again if necessary. That is so hard.. Directors stay in one realm usually, but to put both elements in the same movie is a gift.

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> {quote:title=TikiSoo wrote:}{quote}

> I absolutely LOVE the attention to detail of sets in Capra's films. The first time I ever saw It's A Wonderful Life on the big screen I was AMAZED at all the detail you miss on TV. The pin up girl picture on a post in the bank that WE see, but hidden from customers. The framed South American butterflies in the Bailey parent home, that turn up in George's home later.

> When George kicks his model bridge, you see publicity 8x10s of the actors playing his relatives taped to his work area wall.

>

 

I'm not sure I'd ever have known about those details if you hadn't mentioned them Tiki. While I'd love the chance to watch it on the big screen, I'm not sure it will ever happen. But I'll definitely keep an eye out for those when I watch it on video, just in case.

 

> I just bought Meet John Doe on DVD and I'm sure once I watch it leisurely I'll find treasures like that in the newsroom.

 

I believe this is the one that is available on many PD versions, I hope the one you got is a reasonably good print with good image/sound.

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> {quote:title=MarianStarrett wrote:}{quote}

> many PD versions, I hope the one you got is a reasonably good print with good image/sound.

 

Well I asked this very question in the DVD forum and didn't get any clear answers. There is a Meet John Doe DVD calling itself "enhanced", another "remastered" and then several with different covers.

Any help identifying?

The one TCM broadcast recently looked good to me. If anyone DVR'ed it and would be willing to share, I'd appreciate a copy.

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For the past five or six years, our local film festivals are getting new prints of old classics, and very often we're seeing films that haven't been shown in the US since their original release. And a lot of Brit films that never made it out of NYC or LA. Why? Because the DVDs have been released. Exactly the opposite of the woe-is-us-hand-wringing that we've been fed, film festivals may be the recipient of DVD-release benefits - people see them on their small TVs, and want to see them in the always-better big-screen experience of a movie house.

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they show old movies here all the time (I'm in LA), and now I'm interested to see Wonderful Life on the big screen. I saw Sound of Music and GWTW on the big screen as a kid, and what a difference. In fact, the first movie I rememebr seeing in a theter was the rerelease of Fantasia-----soooo much better, let me tell you! And a few months ago the El Capitan was showing my favorite Disney movie, Sleeping Beauty, and what a big difference it makes to see that on the big screen. The backgrounds are crammed with details.

 

But I digress....

 

Capra uses the hawk in Wonderful Life in You Can't Take it With You also.

 

Another great side character of Capra's is Ward Bond as the bus driver in It Happened One Night - "Oh yeah?" "Ya got me---yeah!"

 

And I never knew Shapely's son was Harry Bailey!!!! That's crazy and very cool!!! Now THAT'S trivia!

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> {quote:title=LonesomePolecat wrote:}{quote}

> Capra uses the hawk in Wonderful Life in You Can't Take it With You also.

 

A hawk? Do you mean the crow?

 

> Another great side character of Capra's is Ward Bond as the bus driver in It Happened One Night -

 

A joke around this house is "Ward Bond is everywhere". Wasn't he the policeman Bert in IAWL too?

 

Another was a take off on the insipid internet phrase "word is bond"....I'd say, "No, Ward Bond!"

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yes, I meant crow. I often call crows hawks and vice versa--I can't tell the difference.

 

Ward Bond is Bert the Cop and does appear in EVERYTHING!! He's in every John Ford film too. It's hilarious. I think he gets to show his acting best in "Long Voyage Home". I love Ward Bond.

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