Archive for January 6th, 2009


by Allan Fish

(USA 1946 129m) DVD1/2

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p  Frank Capra  d  Frank Capra  w  Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Jo Swerling, Frank Capra  story  “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern  ph  Joseph Walker, Joseph H.Biroc  ed  William W.Hornbeck  m  Dimitri Tiomkin  art  Jack Okey  spc  Russell A.Cully  cos  Edward Stevenson

James Stewart (George Bailey), Donna Reed (Mary Hatch), Lionel Barrymore (Henry F.Potter), Thomas Mitchell (Uncle Billy Bailey), Beulah Bondi (Ma Bailey), Henry Travers (Clarence Oddbody), Frank Faylen (Ernie the taxi driver), Ward Bond (Bert the cop), Gloria Grahame (Violet Bick), H.B.Warner (Mr Gower), Samuel S.Hinds (Peter Bailey), Frank Albertson (Sam Wainwright), Todd Karns (Harry Bailey), Mary Treen (Cousin Millie), Ellen Corby (Miss Davis), Sheldon Leonard (Nick), Charles Halton (Carter, the bank examiner), Virginia Patton (Ruth Dakin), Charles Williams (Cousin Eustace), Sarah Edwards (Mrs Hatch), Bill Edmunds (Mr Martini), Charles Lane (the architect), Al Bridge (arresting sheriff), Roscoe Karns, J.Farrell MacDonald, Almira Sessions, Tom Fadden, Halliwell Hobbes,

Though films such as Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca and more recently, Star Wars, are beloved of seemingly everybody, I think it’s fair enough to say that Frank Capra’s 1946 masterpiece is the most beloved film of all time.  A fact that is all the more amazing when you consider that it was a flop when released.  Maybe people couldn’t see how dark a film it really was, under all the tinsel of the Bailey family Christmas tree.  Maybe they just didn’t want any light fare after the war and were too cynical for such sentiment.  (Never mind the glaring fact that the photography at times resembled that of a film noir.)  Either way, as with other such classics as Bringing up Baby, they were myopic.  (more…)

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