A. Grossman | Florence, Oregon USA | 11/06/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This wonderful film is a total disaster in its DVD format. Frank Capra Junior calls it a restored print which is a joke. The film is often dark, details are hard to see and there are sprocket holes, white spots and all kinds of detractions in the film. How could Image and Capra release this mess on DVD! This outstanding film deserves much better than is offered."
A Good Capra DVD
Mr Peter G George | Ellon, Aberdeenshire United Kingdom | 11/08/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lady for a Day is a fine Capra film. The story concerns a street vendor Apple Annie (May Robson) who has deceived her daughter that she is a High Society lady. The daughter, who has been living in Spain, decides to visit and what's more brings along her prospective fiancé plus his father, a Spanish count. So as not to scupper her daughter's marriage, Annie must enlist the help of her underworld friends to continue the deception. The film is at times very funny with a tone which looks ahead to the Screwball comedies of the later thirties. It is also often rather moving, with May Robson's terrific performance eliciting a great deal of sympathy. The rest of the cast is equally fine. Warren William as Dave the Dude is that most unusual of characters a gangster with a heart of gold. Guy Kibbee, familiar from so many thirties films, is always fun to watch. This time he plays a pool shark who agrees to pretend he is Apple Annie husband. Jean Parker, as Apple Annie's daughter Louise, will be familiar to anyone who has seen the 1933 version of Little Women in which she plays Beth. Her role in Lady for a Day could hardly match that role, but she still performs well with her memorably unusual voice. She also looks absolutely stunning. It's even possible to glimpse a young Ward Bond, as a policeman on a horse, obtaining an apple from Annie. The print used for the Image DVD is not perfect. The main problem is that towards the end of the film, the right hand edge of the picture has been damaged so that white marks appear on the print. This only affects a small portion of the picture, but it is a little bit distracting. For the most part however, the print is clear and sharp. Even when there is some damage, the rest of the picture is fine. I have seen any number of thirties and forties films which have survived in worse condition than Lady for a Day. Moreover the sound quality on this DVD is above average for a film from this period. The wonderful dialogue is easily audible and the soundtrack has very little background noise. As an extra the DVD includes a commentary by Frank Capra Junior. This is a DVD which Capra fans should enjoy."
Warren William Appreciation Thread
Kevin Killian | San Francisco, CA United States | 07/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Not a good transfer but the price is still affordable, and I don't think the white streaks made the film totally unwatchable. Wonder how something like that happens and how it could be restored?
Warren William, the leading character actor, is dapper and sophisticated, funny and downright hot. Underrated for many years, Warren William's films are undergoing a revival in film circles today, coinciding with a renewed interest in so-called "Pre Code" films, of which he was just about the biggest star in the world, for a brief time. This picture is just one of five he starred in that were released in 1933, and the actor stayed pretty busy, even as the quality of his movies went downhill, until his too early death in 1948. What he had to offer was a combination of assets, a particular alchemy he shared with someone like Clark Gable. Where Gable was straight up, however, Warren William was sort of shifty, you didn't really know where you were with him. If both Gable and William offered Depression audiences slightly competing versions of optimism, William was also far more capable than Gable of showing life's bleaker side. He was one man whom the heroine actually might not be able to make over into her bourgeois hero.
Capra captures William's anarchic, slightly dangerous spirit well as Dave the Dude in LADY FOR A DAY. His interactions with Glenda Farrell, who plays Missouri the Texas Guinan-style nightclub hostess with the mostest, are clever studies in sex appeal and a knowing, sort of alcoholic ease with each other. And his compulsion for the apples that May Robson provides (they bring him luck in his gambling ventures) is just that sort of obsessive twist that Warren William could really go to town on.
I like the remake too, with Glenn Ford and Hope Lange, but let's face it, Glenn Ford just didn't have the (only slightly hidden) nuttiness Dave the Dude's just got to have."
Still worth a look!
Perm Damage "Martin" | Pawtucket, RI USA | 04/04/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Sad to say, I have to agree with the previous reviews of the dvd. I saw this film on AMC years ago and recently rented the dvd, only to discover a somewhat inferior print. That's not to say, however, that it was unwatchable. "Lady for a Day" is still a great movie (way better than the watered-down remake "A Pocketful of Miracles") and deserves a larger audience. Until a better dvd master comes along, I'll endorse this one."