When a girl from a family of eccentric freethinkers falls for the son of a conservative banker, the stage is set for a meet-the-in-laws dinner across a social divide. Wrestling, ballet, fireworks and police raids ensue. Adapted from Hart and Kaufman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play.
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This was so much fun! I laughed all the way through. Lionel Barrymore gives such a tender, lovely performance. I wish Capra didn't change the play so much (it was perfect as it was), but I am happy that the overall message of the film stays perfectly intact.
The deeper I delve in the history of American cinema, and really just the more movies I watch, the greater my appreciation of Capra grows. Just so charming. My tastes of favorite Capras of this era are a little unconventional (American Madness is my favorite of his 30s films, as of now), but this one is a legendary film that deserves its strong reputation.
Best picture and best director, 1938. Given his right wing politics, it's rather surprising that Capra would choose to direct this rather left-leaning, anti-big business film but a delightful and spry film it is!
11 films and I have had it with Capra. His exaggerated stories with exaggerated performances are intended to be happy morality lessons, but his morality always has the end spin that humanity is basically good and decent (which isn't true) and this goodness seems reserved for whites. Black characters are servants, accessories, or on "relief". Star turns here by E. Arnold & J. Stewart but I am so done with Frank Capra.
A weird combination. Pure delight when it sticks to the play, but pure torture when Capra starts spewing his common man shit all over the place. James Stewart never looked so uncomfortable as he does in this film.
Another classic from Frank Capra, this features great turns from James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore, Edward Arnold, and many more. It's a tale of love affected by money and class, perfectly paced, and with a couple of major highlights that rank up there with the best comedy moments (the main one being Stewart turning up unexpectedly to visit his beloved with his parents in tow).
There seems to be a notion going around that whoever doesn't like Capra is a cynical fool. Well, I'm sorry. There's nothing touching about a film that is calculated to play with viewers' emotions, presents life through black and white (and ridiculously goofy and cutesy) characters, and preaches so fiercely that the agenda is oozing through the screen. Not my idea of charm, it's just childish and silly.