The Beginning of the Frank Capra legend
Barbara (Burkowsky) Underwood | Manly, NSW Australia | 08/28/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Nearing the end of the silent era in 1928, Frank Capra directed his first film for Columbia, assisting in the writing and producing as well, resulting in this nice romantic comedy, "That Certain Thing". It soon led to bigger and better things for Capra, but it's good to have some of his early silent films available as well. Unfortunately, the picture quality is rather poor at times, being blurry and having too much white, and the accompanying music is a hotchpotch of various tunes from all sources which I found unsettling at first. As a result, I was a little disappointed during the first 20 minutes or so when the story seemed to be rather predictable: Molly from the poor part of town struggling to make ends meet dreams of marrying a millionaire, and soon traps the son of the famous `Restaurant King'. But her bliss lasts less than a day when it is revealed that the wealthy father has reasons for disinheriting his son, leaving the newlyweds homeless and penniless. And that's when the story gets interesting! Was she really just a gold-digger like the wealthy father claimed, or did she marry for love after all? Will the spoilt son prove his worth and make his own way in the world, thus winning back his father's love, approval - and money? Along with these timeless and ever-popular issues, it is interesting to see what happens when the young couple plans to start their own business in boxed lunches with special sandwiches, which ends up becoming the Restaurant King's competition. While there is nothing outstanding about "That Certain Thing", there is also nothing wrong with it either, and ends up being a nice and entertaining story running nearly 90 minutes. The acting is good and the main characters are likeable and realistic. In a very similar vein to this film is another silent, "The Matinee Idol", which Capra directed not long after "That Certain Thing", and viewing both shows his quick progress and development as a filmmaker.
She does care too much for money-- Money can buy her love
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 07/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Frank Capra's motion picture career began inauspiciously, as a prop man. He soon learned editing, composed title cards and worked behind the camera. Capra was a gag writer for Sennett and then Roach studios, where he went on to direct several shorts for their Our Gang and Harry Langdon franchises. After Langdon chose to direct his own films, Capra moved to First National and made FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE, which he considered his very worst effort (although it's highly regarded now).
Capra was next at Columbia, the studio that released his greatest movies, starting with Jean Harlow in PLATINUM BLONDE (1931). That was three years in the future, however. His first Columbia picture was THAT CERTAIN THING, which has its DVD premiere with this JEF FILMS release. The witty title cards were written by Al Boasberg, who later provided dialogue for the Marx Bros. and The Jack Benny Program.
THAT CERTAIN FEELING is the story of Molly, an ambitious girl who rejects the love of a streetcar conductor to follow her dream of marrying a millionaire. She eventually meets the son of a restaurant chain owner and they're quickly wed, but the father disowns his boy when he finds out his new daughter-in-law is a gold digger. Will Molly stay with her now-penniless husband or divorce him and continue her quest for financial security?
SONY's DVD of Frank Capra's third Columbia silent film, THE MATINEE IDOL also includes "Frank Capra's American Dream." This excellent two-hour made-for-TV documentary is narrated by Ron Howard, and features commentary from Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Frank Capra Jr., Oliver Stone, Richard Dreyfuss, Peter Falk, Garry Marshall, Fay Wray, Angela Lansbury, Michael Keaton, Arthur Hiller, Jane Wyatt, John Milius and more!
Parenthetical number is a viewer poll rating found at a film resource website.
(7.5) That Certain Feeling (silent-1928) - Viola Dane/Ralph Graves/Burr McIntosh/Aggie Herring/Carl Gerard/Syd Crossley"