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Frank Capra - TCM tribute in December 2009


HollywoodGolightly
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Kudos to TCM for the Frank Capra tribute/retrospective in December; this is a _great_ opportunity to catch up with nearly all of Capra's movies (except, as many will be quick to point out, It's a Wonderful Life due to NBC owning exclusive rights).

 

The tributes will be on Mondays; the schedule is as follows:

 

*_MONDAY, DEC. 7_*

*Prelude to War* (1943) 10:30am ET

The rise of the fascists in Germany and Italy and Japan's growing aggression put the world on the brink of war. Cast: Walter Huston and Anthony Veiller narrate. Dir: Frank Capra, Anatole Litvak. BW-52 mins, TV-PG

 

*The Nazis Strike* (1943) 11:30am ET

German treaty violations lead to the start of World War II. Cast: Walter Huston and Anthony Veiller narrate. Dir: Frank Capra, Anatole Litvak. BW-42 mins, TV-PG

 

*Divide and Conquer* (1943) 12:30pm ET

The Nazis seize control of France and Central Europe. Cast: Walter Huston narrates. Dir: Frank Capra, Anatole Litvak. BW-56 mins, TV-PG

 

*The Battle of Britain* (1943) 1:30pm ET

Great Britain stands against the Nazi war machine. Cast: Walter Huston, Frieda Inescort and Anthny Veiller narrate. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-52 mins, TV-PG

 

*The Battle of Russia* (1943) 2:30pm ET

The Soviet Union fights to freeze out the Nazis during World War II. Cast: Walter Huston narrates. Dir: Frank Capra, Anatole Litvak. BW-83 mins, TV-PG

 

*The Battle of China* (1944) 4pm ET

The Chinese army fights to hold off Japanese invaders during World War II. Cast: Walter Huston and Anthony Veiller narrate. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-63 mins, TV-PG

 

*War Comes to America* (1945) 5:15pm ET

International events bring the U.S. closer to entering World War II on the eve of Pearl Harbor. Cast: Walter Huston and Lloyd Nolan narrate. Dir: Frank Capra, Anatole Litvak. BW-66 mins, TV-PG

 

*Tunisian Victory* (1943) 6:30pm ET

The U.S. Army's Tunisian campaign forces the Germans out of Africa. Cast: Burgess Meredith and Leo Genn narrate. Dir: Frank Capra, Hugh Stewart. BW-76 mins, TV-PG

 

*It Happened One Night* (1934) 8pm ET

A newspaperman tracks a runaway heiress on a madcap cross-country tour. Cast: Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable, Walter Connolly. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-105 mins, TV-PG, CC

 

*Mr. Deeds Goes to Town* (1936) 10pm ET

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, CC

 

*You Can't Take It With You* (1938) 12am ET

A girl from a family of freethinkers falls for the son of a conservative banker. Cast: Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore, James Stewart. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-126 mins, TV-G

 

*Arsenic And Old Lace* (1944) 2:15am ET

A young man about to be married discovers the two aunts who raised him have been poisoning lonely old men. Cast: Cary Grant, Raymond Massey, Peter Lorre. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-118 mins, TV-G, CC, DVS

 

*Platinum Blonde* (1931) 4:15am ET

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

 

*_MONDAY, DEC. 14_*

*The Bitter Tea of General Yen* (1932) 8pm ET

An American missionary falls in love with a Chinese warlord. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Nils Asther, Walter Connolly. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-87 mins, TV-PG, CC

 

*Lost Horizon* (1937) 9:30pm ET

Four fugitives from a Chinese revolution discover a lost world of peace and harmony. Cast: Ronald Colman, H.B. Warner, Thomas Mitchell. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-133 mins, TV-G, CC

 

*Dirigible* (1931) 12am ET

Romantic rivals vie to be the first to fly to the South Pole. Cast: Jack Holt, Ralph Graves, Fay Wray. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-100 mins, TV-G

 

*Flight* (1929) 1:45am ET

A Marine flyer and his flight school mentor fall for the same beautiful nurse. Cast: Jack Holt, Lila Lee, Ralph Graves. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-112 mins, TV-PG

 

*The Younger Generation* (1929) 3:45am ET

A rising businessman tries to make his immigrant parents assimilate. Cast: Jean Hersholt, Lina Basquette, Ricardo Cortez. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-75 mins, TV-G

 

*American Madness* (1932) 5:15am ET

A banker fights to keep his independence and protect his customers. Cast: Walter Huston, Pat O'Brien, Kay Johnson. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-76 mins, TV-G, CC

 

*_MONDAY, DEC. 21_*

*State Of The Union* (1948) 8pm ET

A presidential candidate fights to keep his integrity and his wife during a grueling campaign. Cast: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Angela Lansbury. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-122 mins, TV-G

 

*Mr. Smith Goes to Washington* (1939) 10:15pm ET

An idealistic Senate replacement takes on political corruption. Cast: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-130 mins, TV-G, CC

 

*Meet John Doe* (1941) 12:30am ET

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, CC, DVS

 

*Ladies of Leisure* (1930) 2:45am ET

A wealthy artist faces family pressure when he falls for a model with a past. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Ralph Graves, Lowell Sherman. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-100 mins, TV-PG

 

*The Miracle Woman* (1931) 4:30am ET

A phony faith healer fights the temptation to go straight when she falls for a blind man. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, David Manners, Beryl Mercer. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-90 mins, TV-PG

 

*_TUESDAY, DEC. 22_*

*Forbidden* (1932) 6:15am ET

On an ocean voyage, a librarian falls for a married man. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, Ralph Bellamy. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-85 mins, TV-G

 

*_MONDAY, DEC. 28_*

*Broadway Bill* (1934) 8pm ET

An heiress and her brother-in-law defy her father by going into horse racing. Cast: Warner Baxter, Myrna Loy, Walter Connolly. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-102 mins, TV-G

 

*Riding High* (1950) 10pm ET

An heiress and her sister's fiancee defy her family to race horses. Cast: Bing Crosby, Coleen Gray, Charles Bickford. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-112 mins, TV-G

 

*Lady For A Day* (1933) 12am ET

A gangster helps an old apple-vendor pose as a society woman to fool her visiting daughter. Cast: May Robson, Warren William, Guy Kibbee. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-96 mins, TV-G

 

*Pocketful of Miracles* (1961) 1:45am ET

A good-hearted gangster turns an old apple seller into a society matron so she can impress her daughter. Cast: Bette Davis, Glenn Ford, Hope Lange. Dir: Frank Capra. C-137 mins, TV-G, CC, Letterbox Format

 

*Matinee Idol* (1928) 4:15am ET

While marooned in the country, a Broadway star auditions incognito for the local little theatre. Cast: Johnnie Walker, Bessie Love, Lionel Belmore. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-57 mins, TV-G

 

*Rain or Shine* (1930) 5:15am ET

A young woman inherits her father's financially troubled circus. Cast: Joe Cook, Joan Peers, Louise Fazenda. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-88 mins, TV-G

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Watched Mr. Deeds Goes to Town earlier today on DVD - still one of Capra's very best movies, imho.

 

This is a real classic that doesn't get old. Not only that, but a lot of what we see in the movie, unfortunately, has repeated itself more than 70 years later - a few with millions of dollars who are oblivious to the suffering of common folks, while scores of people are struggling by just to make ends meet, sometimes not being able to find a job.

 

The world could use a Mr. Deeds today.

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I was astounded over the films they showed today. I had always heard about Hollywood directors & crew recruited to make films about the war, but this was the first opportunity for me to see them....all I've ever seen is WB's Pvt Snafu cartoon series.

 

What a fantastic chronicle and explanation (albeit biased) of all that transpired, with the actual people shown using their actual quotes instead of actors reading lines in a story about the war. I'm only sorry that I had to go to work and only caught the slightest bits & pieces of these Capra contributions.

 

Every high school should have been hooked up and shown this to classes learning WW2 history.

Thank you TCM, and I hope you repeat this great day of programming!

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

> What a fantastic chronicle and explanation (albeit biased) of all that transpired, with the actual people shown using their actual quotes instead of actors reading lines in a story about the war. I'm only sorry that I had to go to work and only caught the slightest bits & pieces of these Capra contributions.

 

They were pretty amazing, alright. I managed to record them all, fortunately, because there's no way I'd have been able to watch them all as they were being shown (all in one day).

 

This is one aspect of Capra's work I was definitely not familiar with - but very glad that TCM showed all of them in one day.

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FLIGHT has its moments, but it is a typical early talkie, kinda slow moving.

DIRIGIBLE is much better. Capra was learning fast on making better sound films.

THE YOUNGER GENERATION is a hybrid film. The silent portions move well and the talking portions are slow and clumsy, but it is his first attempt at sound. It is still well worth checking out.

AMREICAN MADNESS is excellent. It has some elements to it that will show up in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. The phone montage before the run on the bank is nicely edited.

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Of early Capra's films, the only ones I'm truly familiar with are American Madness and General Yen, and I would totally recommend both of them.

 

I'm really looking forward to watching Capra's other 3 early films with Barbara Stanwyck, in particular. The Ron Howard documentary on Capra gives the filmmaker much of the credit for making a star of her.

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Some rare treats coming to TCM tonight! :D

 

*_MONDAY, DEC. 14_*

*The Bitter Tea of General Yen* (1932) 8pm ET

An American missionary falls in love with a Chinese warlord. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Nils Asther, Walter Connolly. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-87 mins, TV-PG, CC

 

*Lost Horizon* (1937) 9:30pm ET

Four fugitives from a Chinese revolution discover a lost world of peace and harmony. Cast: Ronald Colman, H.B. Warner, Thomas Mitchell. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-133 mins, TV-G, CC

 

*Dirigible* (1931) 12am ET

Romantic rivals vie to be the first to fly to the South Pole. Cast: Jack Holt, Ralph Graves, Fay Wray. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-100 mins, TV-G

 

*Flight* (1929) 1:45am ET

A Marine flyer and his flight school mentor fall for the same beautiful nurse. Cast: Jack Holt, Lila Lee, Ralph Graves. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-112 mins, TV-PG

 

*The Younger Generation* (1929) 3:45am ET

A rising businessman tries to make his immigrant parents assimilate. Cast: Jean Hersholt, Lina Basquette, Ricardo Cortez. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-75 mins, TV-G

 

*American Madness* (1932) 5:15am ET

A banker fights to keep his independence and protect his customers. Cast: Walter Huston, Pat O'Brien, Kay Johnson. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-76 mins, TV-G, CC

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Coming up Monday evening / Tuesday morning, on the 3rd week of the Capra tribute, including 3 of his movies with Barbara Stanwyck:

 

*_MONDAY, DEC. 21_*

*State Of The Union* (1948) 8pm ET

A presidential candidate fights to keep his integrity and his wife during a grueling campaign. Cast: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Angela Lansbury. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-122 mins, TV-G

 

*Mr. Smith Goes to Washington* (1939) 10:15pm ET

An idealistic Senate replacement takes on political corruption. Cast: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-130 mins, TV-G, CC

 

*Meet John Doe* (1941) 12:30am ET

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, CC, DVS

 

*Ladies of Leisure* (1930) 2:45am ET

A wealthy artist faces family pressure when he falls for a model with a past. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Ralph Graves, Lowell Sherman. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-100 mins, TV-PG

 

*The Miracle Woman* (1931) 4:30am ET

A phony faith healer fights the temptation to go straight when she falls for a blind man. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, David Manners, Beryl Mercer. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-90 mins, TV-PG

 

*_TUESDAY, DEC. 22_*

*Forbidden* (1932) 6:15am ET

On an ocean voyage, a librarian falls for a married man. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, Ralph Bellamy. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-85 mins, TV-G

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Last day....

 

*_MONDAY, DEC. 28_*

*Broadway Bill* (1934) 8pm ET

An heiress and her brother-in-law defy her father by going into horse racing. Cast: Warner Baxter, Myrna Loy, Walter Connolly. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-102 mins, TV-G

 

*Riding High* (1950) 10pm ET

An heiress and her sister's fiancee defy her family to race horses. Cast: Bing Crosby, Coleen Gray, Charles Bickford. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-112 mins, TV-G

 

*Lady For A Day* (1933) 12am ET

A gangster helps an old apple-vendor pose as a society woman to fool her visiting daughter. Cast: May Robson, Warren William, Guy Kibbee. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-96 mins, TV-G

 

*Pocketful of Miracles* (1961) 1:45am ET

A good-hearted gangster turns an old apple seller into a society matron so she can impress her daughter. Cast: Bette Davis, Glenn Ford, Hope Lange. Dir: Frank Capra. C-137 mins, TV-G, CC, Letterbox Format

 

*Matinee Idol* (1928) 4:15am ET

While marooned in the country, a Broadway star auditions incognito for the local little theatre. Cast: Johnnie Walker, Bessie Love, Lionel Belmore. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-57 mins, TV-G

 

*Rain or Shine* (1930) 5:15am ET

A young woman inherits her father's financially troubled circus. Cast: Joe Cook, Joan Peers, Louise Fazenda. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-88 mins, TV-G

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

> Having seen neither BROADWAY BILL nor the remake, RIDING HIGH, which is better?

 

I think I haven't seen either one since college, about 15 years ago, but I remember liking Broadway Bill better. Of course, at the time I didn't know much about Capra other than perhaps It's a Wonderful Life, and I'm sure it is more fun to watch it when you're already familiar with most of his movies.

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I watched both and Broadway Bill was much better, even though Capra used a lot of the original footage, even going so far as to cast everyone from the original that was still alive during the remake. What was so odd is that it was obvious that Bond, Dumbrille & Lane were 16 years older than they were in the original but Capra didn't think we'd notice? Clarence Muse, too--there was a scene near the end during the race where Muse had on one hat in the original and they used that scene in the remake but when they cut to him toward the end he has on a completely different hat. And if I noticed it, it was a major goof, because I never notice stuff like that the first time around. However, I did like Charles Bickford & Harry Davenport in their roles in the remake--very funny. And I like Bing Crosby but I liked Warner Baxter as well. I read later (and maybe Robert mentioned this as well) that Capra remade it because of the fact that Baxter didn't like horses and he felt it ruined the film. Well, Frank C., it's called acting and I thought Baxter did pretty well for someone who was afraid of horses. Myrna Loy was about 100 times better as the leading lady than Colleen Gray (was that her name?)

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