Frank Capra

Frank Capra

Frank Capra Quick Links

News Film RSS

Lost Horizon Review


Extraordinary
The weirdest film by Frank Capra, this epic was adapted from James Hilton's bestselling novel about a plane full of passengers stranded in Tibet who are brought to the imaginary utopia Shangri-la. (Hilton's sensational fantasy was inspired by mountaineering trips to the Himalayas -- pretty much unknown then -- and it probably still influences how people in the West think about Tibet.)

Lost Horizon is a strange but haunting mixture of drama, long expository passages, and romance, with lavish, Xanadu-like sets set against stock footage of icy mountains -- but the performance of Ronald Colman carries the movie. Colman's character is a Brit who decides he doesn't mind hanging with the Buddhists and enjoying the quiet life, but some of his companions are unhappy in the worker's paradise and debate whether to try to escape. Sensuality is provided by the young Jane Wyatt, later the matron on TV's Father Knows Best (Wyatt's character is even shown in a distant frontal nude scene, a wink at the Hays Code).

Continue reading: Lost Horizon Review

It's A Wonderful Life Review


Excellent
Come now, what on earth am I going to say about one of the most beloved films ever made? Something about how it was originally coined on a Christmas Card? About how a clerical error resulted in it not being copyrighted and contributing to its ubiquity on television -- since it was royalty-free? Or should I just go ahead and tell the few people on earth who haven't seen it what it's all about.

Okay kids, if you don't have a TV, It's a Wonderful Life tells us about George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), who lives and loves his small town of Bedford Falls so much he'd die for it. And sure enough, when his tiny Building & Loan (aka bank) starts to fail -- thanks to the malicious influence of the local tycoon (Lionel Barrymore) -- George heads for his local bridge to end it all.

Continue reading: It's A Wonderful Life Review

Mr. Deeds Goes To Town Review


OK
Frank Capra's story of a simple man who inherits vast wealth has become a commonly-copied tale, but the tedium of Mr. Deeds Goes to Town outweighs its message of freedom and charity. Gary Cooper is dry as dust (despite being "eccentric" -- he plays the tuba!), and Jean Arthur makes no impression as the reporter who hustles him to get the inside scoop. I realize it's heresy, but the story just needs some life. Frankly, I can't imagine the upcoming Adam Sandler version could do any worse.

You Can't Take It With You Review


Essential
Jimmy Stewart's legendary career was just beginning when he co-starred in this Frank Capra classic, a warm, heart-tugging Best Picture Oscar winner. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway show by Kaufman and Hart, Capra's entry captures a wacky extended family living together in post-Depression USA, devoting all their efforts to their favorite pastimes with a smiling middle finger to societal expectations and demands.

The joy nearly leaps off the screen and begs you to join. In a charming introduction, family patriarch Grandpa Vanderhof (Lionel Barrymore, on crutches due to arthritis) meets a mousy accountant named Poppins (the appropriately named Donald Meek), a dreamer who'd rather make toys than punch meaningless numbers all day. With a simple tease of what could be, Vanderhof convinces his newfound friend to toss it all away and live with his family. And poof, as Poppins says, "the die is cast."

Continue reading: You Can't Take It With You Review

You Can't Take It With You Review


Good
Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur come together in Frank Capra's third and final Best Director effort, You Can't Take It With You, a movie which is amusing, but unfortunately ends up as one of his least enduring efforts. Overlong and underplotted, the film concerns two young lovers who finally endeavor to introduce their families to one another. As usual, Capra attempts to pillory big business, but the effort here is half-baked and overshadowed by slapstick antics between the two families. A Best Picture winner in 1938, the movie isn't aging well and can be suitably replaced by pretty much any of Capra's other works.

Lost Horizon Review


Very Good
A classic book and a classic film -- make sure you look for the full-length (132 minute) restored version, which features still photographs where there was no known print to match up to the audio. Bizarre methodology, yet strangely, it works.

Mr. Deeds Goes To Town Review


OK
Frank Capra's story of a simple man who inherits vast wealth has become a commonly-copied tale, but the tedium of Mr. Deeds Goes to Town outweighs its message of freedom and charity. Gary Cooper is dry as dust (despite being "eccentric" -- he plays the tuba!), and Jean Arthur makes no impression as the reporter who hustles him to get the inside scoop. I realize it's heresy, but the story just needs some life. Frankly, I can't imagine the upcoming Adam Sandler version could do any worse.

It's A Wonderful Life Review


Excellent
Come now, what on earth am I going to say about one of the most beloved films ever made? Something about how it was originally coined on a Christmas Card? About how a clerical error resulted in it not being copyrighted and contributing to its ubiquity on television -- since it was royalty-free? Or should I just go ahead and tell the few people on earth who haven't seen it what it's all about.

Okay kids, if you don't have a TV, It's a Wonderful Life tells us about George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), who lives and loves his small town of Bedford Falls so much he'd die for it. And sure enough, when his tiny Building & Loan (aka bank) starts to fail -- thanks to the malicious influence of the local tycoon (Lionel Barrymore) -- George heads for his local bridge to end it all.

Continue reading: It's A Wonderful Life Review

Frank Capra

Frank Capra Quick Links

News Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Actor


Suggested

'Lost' BBC Session By Led Zeppelin Recovered And Restored

'Lost' BBC Session By Led Zeppelin Recovered And Restored

The 1969 session, including the only known recording of 'Sunshine Woman' by the band, will be included on a re-issue of 'The Complete BBC Sessions'...

Michael J. Fox Joins Coldplay On Stage To Perform 'Back To The Future' Songs

Michael J. Fox Joins Coldplay On Stage To Perform 'Back To The Future' Songs

The 55 year old actor joined Chris Martin and co. on stage in New Jersey to perform 'Earth Angel' and 'Johnny B. Goode'.

Bjork Announces Virtual Reality Exhibition In London, Plus Single Live Show

Bjork Announces Virtual Reality Exhibition In London, Plus Single Live Show

Bjork Digital comes to London's Somerset House in September, along with a single live show at the Royal Albert Hall.

Advertisement
Has Kanye West Broken The Law Over Taylor Swift Phone Call?

Has Kanye West Broken The Law Over Taylor Swift Phone Call?

Kim Kardashian released an audio excerpt from a phone call between Kanye and Taylor Swift over the lyrics of 'Famous' - but if it was recorded...

DJ Shadow - The Mountain Will Fall Album Review

DJ Shadow - The Mountain Will Fall Album Review

There's very much a strength of conviction in remaining what you were, but arguably more so in becoming what you want to be.

'Poldark' And 'X Factor' Set For TV Clash In September

'Poldark' And 'X Factor' Set For TV Clash In September

The BBC drama starring Aidan Turner returns to BBC One on September 4th.

Guns N' Roses detained for gun possession

Guns N' Roses detained for gun possession

Guns N' Roses were detained at the Canadian border last week for gun possession but they're adamant the weapon didn't belong to them.

Advertisement

Frank Capra Movies

It's a Wonderful Life Movie Review

It's a Wonderful Life Movie Review

Come now, what on earth am I going to say about one of the most...

Advertisement
It's a Wonderful Life Movie Review

It's a Wonderful Life Movie Review

Come now, what on earth am I going to say about one of the most...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.