Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Premiere Frank Capra Collection |
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / It Happened One Night / You Can't Take It with You / Mr. Deeds Goes to Town / American Madness / Frank Capra's American Dream
Actors: Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold, Guy Kibbee
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Designated the "Number One Director in Hollywood" by Time Magazine in 1938 and voted by Entertainment Weekly (April 19th issue, 1996) as one of the greatest directors of all time, Capra has received numerous industry awar... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Michael S. from MASSAPEQUA PK, NY
Reviewed on 12/18/2009...
A selection of 5***** star movies with the most spectacular array of stars: Gable,Stewart,Cooper,Rains,Colbert and Arthur.
Idealism, History, And Movie Magic In An Incredible Classics
K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 12/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Let's be honest--what movie-loving individual would dare to rank this collection of Capra classics at less than 5 stars? It's inconceivable, especially with the noteworthy titles included in this handsome set. As an early Christmas present to myself, I had to pick up this collection--I've been good this year. I have, thus, been revisiting some of these all time greats. Capra was an idealist, to be sure, and such wide-eyed optimism as a world view might be foreign to modern day audiences--but there is no denying the universal appeal inherent in the films of Frank Capra. Long considered one our finest directors, Capra won three directing Oscars and all of those films are included here!
"It Happened One Night" is the quintessential screwball romantic comedy. In 1934, it captured all 4 major Oscars--Film, Actor, Actress, and Director--and in history, that has only been done by two other films ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "The Silence of the Lambs"). Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert shine in this great road-trip picture that seems remarkably progressive for its day. This formula is often copied, but rarely equaled--this is probably the least dated film in the set. "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington," of course, is the classic tale of political endurance and ethics triumphing over corruption. Still a powerful indictment and rousing drama, this is Jimmy Stewart in his most iconic performance. "You Can't Take It With You" is another Best Picture and Director winner. Starring Stewart, again, and Jean Arthur--this is a funny, but slight tale of a family of eccentrics teaching valuable life lessons to an uptight financier. A great film for lovers of screwball wackiness, it might have lesser appeal to younger audiences as "quirky" is such an overdone modern movie device. "Mr. Deeds Goes To Town" wraps up Capra's Best Director Oscars. This classic stars Jean Arthur and Gary Cooper--who as Mr. Deeds wants to give away his inheritance to aid the nation's poor. Idealistic and sweet, this shares a similar theme with the lesser know "American Madness" which is the fifth film in this box set. An unlikely hero, Walter Huston as a bank president, uses his bank to fight against the Depression. "Deeds" has the more enduring appeal, though, as this was a role that became closely identified with Cooper. (Please disregard Adam Sandler's nightmare of the same title--it's not even appropriate to link it as a remake.)
As if the films were not reward enough, this set also comes with the feature length documentary "Frank Capra's American Dream" hosted by Ron Howard. Engaging and informative, many major directors (including Altman, Scorcese, Stone, etc.) weigh in with the impact Capra's work has had on them. And if you want more, there's a 96 page movie scrapbook as well.
Easily one of the greatest values for its price, I definitely recommend this set. It is essential viewing for anyone who loves film! The movies themselves will entertain and you'll learn a little bit about film history, too. KGHarris, 12/06."
FIVE FILMS from the one of the GREATEST AMERICAN DIRECTORS!!
Paulo Leite | Lisbon, Portugal | 10/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Frank Capra's films were always a joy to watch.
They had those characters whose goodness, honesty and will were enough to take America away from the Great Depression era. Something that could only inspire and make you look at the world with brighter eyes.
This box contains FIVE trully memorable films from his best period. FIVE films that really are among his BEST.
MR.SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON is one of his best films. In it, James Stewart gives one of his best performances as the young idealist who fights corruption in the Senate. A major American film.
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT is a legendary romantic comedy with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert - the first film to win all five major Oscars (go figure why... :P). Delightful!
MR.DEEDS GOES TO TOWN stars the great Gary Cooper who just inherits 20 million Dollars and feels he must give it to those who really need it.
YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU packs another stellar cast with James Stewart, Jean Arthur and Lionel Barrymore. The best corn you'll ever see!! (-laughs)
AMERICAN MADNESS is a lesser gem with Walter Huston as a bank president in the depths of the Great Depression.
PLUS: a great documentary about Capra's life, style and work filled with great insight by many top names like ROBERT ALTMAN.
This box contains 5 films not to be missed at a great price... full of extras... commentaries, remastered picture and sound... everything to give you a great in-depth look into one of the greatest director who ever lived.
...Someone who really had something to say.
Get this box and treasure it."
All I can say is "WOW!
M. A Newman | Alexandria, VA United States | 06/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was a happy day for me when I learned that this collection was being isssued and when it arrived from Amazon my first act was to cancel all my appointments, take the phone off the hook and settle down with a bowl ofpopcorn and discover just what made Frank Capra one of the leading directors of his day and indeed for all time. I was not disappointed. Along with favorites like "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and "You Can't Take it with You" were "It Happened One Night" (which I had not seen in years and did not recall how good it was) and "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town." Also included in this set is a fabulous collection of films documenting just how Frank Capra was able to produce his fabulous collection of films. It is rare that great classics of American cinema get the attention and treatment that they deserve, but this is one of those rare instances of the material being treated in the appropriate manner.
It really would be silly for me to try to capture the magic and craftsmanship that went into making these fabulous films. Capra had a particular talent for being to tap into the fundamental aspects of what it meant to be an American in the 1930s and 1940s and this talent is on full display in this collection. They contain some marvelous performances, particularly by Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Claudette Caulbert and in particular Jean Arthur. While Capra's autobiography does contain it share of myths, the chapters that detail the efforts it took to get these performances down on film is probably worth consulting for the insights it provides.
If I were to fault it for one or two things it would be the omission of two classics in the Capra canon. These are "Meet John Doe" which really is crying out for a restoration and a proper release on DVD and "It's a Wonderful Life." These movies are probably excellent examples of Capra's creativity, but as this fine collection proves, they are by no means the only ones.
I hope that other directors are in line for similar treatments in the future. However it is doubtful if future efforts will surpass this one for its overall excellence."