Such an emotional roller coaster, I had to watch a film noir afterward as a chaser and settle my nerves. The film swings broadly between high idealism (who should pay federal taxes, anyway?) and hard consequences; screwball antics and what I swear is a one minute sequence of life-altering, silent contemplation. Writing, direction, and acting rise to match the themes.
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.
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).
Frank Capra's heart-lifting familial comedy emanates support for the eccentric. With an array of punchy characters and well-crafted scenes, this film still seems highly relevant to a 21st century audience. The idea of celebrating difference, embracing who you are, and being wary of the toxicity of money, are at the centre of this film - a strong set of messages we all need reminding of!
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.
i'm surprised that stewart and arthur didn't have chemistry in this because the pair really delighted me in "mr.smith goes to washington." honestly, though, i felt like stewart and arthur were uninspired. i understand they were the cohesion of the story but everything else they were supporting was much more interesting to watch. great performance by barrymore.
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.