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Though Frank Capra is known for his humanist films that are often about great men who fight for social justice, one of his best works is (arguably) the first screwball comedy that backgrounds class issues for a rollicking adventure about a dizzy heiress and a hard-boiled reporter. That film is It Happened One Night, and it’s rightfully received a place in the Criterion Collection. Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert star, and my review of the film on Blu-ray follows after the jump. The film opens with Colbert’s Ellie Andrews having just married King Wesley, but her father (Walter Connolly) disapproves of the man and the marriage, so he tries to take her to get it annulled. She rejects this and literally jumps off his boat in Florida. She decides to take a bus to New York to meet her new husband, and hopes to dodge the men her »
- Andre Dellamorte
Directed by Frank Capra
Written by Robert Riskin
When Frank Capra came upon the 1933 Samuel Hopkins Adams story “Night Bus,” he thought it would make a great film. He bought the property and took it to screenwriter Robert Riskin, with whom he had worked a few years prior on Platinum Blonde (1931). The script was set to be Capra’s next feature for Columbia, then a lower-rung studio where he was their preeminent director. The problem? Nobody wanted to make the film. Several top actors and actresses of the day turned down the picture, Robert Montgomery, Carole Lombard, and Myrna Loy among them. Clark Gable, not yet the caliber of star he would become, eventually accepted the male lead, and Claudette Colbert eventually (and reluctantly) took the female lead … under the condition that her $25,000 salary would be doubled, which it was. The film’s entire budget »
- Jeremy Carr
In today's roundup of news and views: Genevieve Yue on the importance of the academy to experimental film, Steve Presence on the Radical Film Network, Slant on Frank Capra's It Happened One Night, Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist and Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Avventura (1960), The Dissolve on Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away, Nastassja Kinksi and Mario Monicelli in New York and early word on forthcoming work from Clio Barnard and Ulrich Seidl. Plus, while Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman head to television, Paul Schrader's planning a ten-episode Web series. » - David Hudson »
We're very excited that Lola, one of our favorite film journals, has started to roll out its 5th issue entitled "Shows." The pieces published so far include Joe McElhaney on German filmmakers in Hollywood, Lesley Stern on the "Ghostliness of Gesture", and Dorian Stuber & Marianne Tettlebaum on To Be or Not to Be. Still to come: "essays on Claire Denis, Eduardo Coutinho, anime, Blade Runner, the filmic object, film criticism, and more ... plus a special interview with James Benning." The Museum of the Moving Image's "First Look" lineup has been announced and includes new films by Ulrich Seidl, Ken Jacobs, and Gina Telaroli. The series will be running between January 9th and 18th. For Criterion, Farren Smith Nehme writes on Frank Capra's It Happened One Night:
"An ideal romantic comedy doesn’t ignore reality; it converses with it. The Depression may be softened by moonlight and shining eyes, »
The first time a comedy swept the Academy Awards was in 1934, when Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night took home the prizes for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Clark Gable), Best Actress (Claudette Colbert), and Best Screenplay. (The next time all five major awards were snagged by one picture was in 1975 for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.)
It was the beginning of the screwball comedy movement. It Happened One Night may not have been the first screwball comedy, and it may not even really be a screwball comedy (according to critics Molly Haskell and Phillip Lopate, in a video conversation supplement in which they discuss screwball comedies, Happened is lacking in the chaotic elements that one would find in, say, Twentieth Century, which came out the same year, or even Bringing Up Baby, perhaps the quintessential screwball comedy). But while Capra »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
It was all in theaters this week, though I did continue to go through the supplemental material on the new Criterion release of It Happened One Night, but other than that it was three screenings in theaters and it wasn't all bad, one was The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, which we all know how that turned out, but then I saw Horrible Bosses 2 on Wednesday night and Clint Eastwood's American Sniper on Friday. As for how those turned out, one was good, the other was mediocre at best... I'll elaborate down the line. Otherwise, next week I only have a screening for A Most Violent Year in theaters, but I do have screeners of both Belle and The BoxTrolls and I may give Foxcatcher a watch this week and see how it sinks in the second time around, only this time on a much smaller screen. »
- Brad Brevet
This week’s new Blu-ray releases include one of the best comedy sequels ever made, another sequel that was at one point highly anticipated but bombed on release, a Frank Capra classic on Criterion, HD upgrades for Studio Ghibli fetaures, and more. Briefly: 22 Jump Street (2 Discs) [Blu-ray] - $19.98 (51% off) Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For [Blu-ray] - $19.99 (50% off) The Wind Rises (2-Disc Blu-ray +DVD Combo Pack) - $22.98 (38% off) If I Stay [Blu-ray] - $19.99 (50% off) Automata (Blu-ray) - $12.99 (48% off) Into the Storm (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack) - $19.99 (44% off) And So It Goes [Blu-ray] - $14.99 (50% off) It Happened One Night [Blu-ray] - $26.71 (33% off) Princess Mononoke [Blu-ray] - $22.99 (38% off) Kiki's Delivery Service [Blu-ray] - $24.99 (32% off)
The post New to Blu-ray: 22 Jump Street, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, The Wind Rises, and More appeared first on Collider. »
- Adam Chitwood
Winner of five Oscars, Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night remains an outstanding entertainment, and a touchstone of Hollywood’s most enduring cinematic genre: the Romantic Comedy. Filled with naughty, cloying sexuality and a lovable slate of archetypal characters, the film encapsulated the aspirations and desperations of 1930s America, even while evoking giggles of delight from a battered audience facing a dark and uncertain future. While the Great Depression is never addressed directly, the pressures of those days infuse every aspect of It Happened One Night, from its depiction of pampered, frivolous one per-centers to its array of dodgy conmen, hapless working stiffs and penniless drifters. The fact that love continued to find a way through the world’s political and economic maelstroms was a comforting notion in 1934; a notion perfectly suited to Capra’s trademark optimistic populism.
The film’s stagebound, talky exposition scene may feel awkward at first, »
- David Anderson
It Happened One Night (Criterion Collection) Blu-ray It's a busy week for new releases of 2014 movies, but I have to start with the one new release this week I hope all of you at least give a brief moment of your time. I've watched Criterion's new Blu-ray release of It Happened One Night and gone through half of the special features and it's a great release, well worth your money and with Barnes & Noble having their half-price event right now you can save $8 compared to the Amazon price, just click here.
22 Jump Street For whatever reason I thought this had already been released, but I guess not. Nevertheless, here's the sequel to 21 Jump Street, a movie that's filled with jokes about how it's a sequel to 21 Jump Street. Go ahead, buy it, I'm sure those jokes will never get old.
The Dark Half I already reviewed this Blu-ray (read that »
- Brad Brevet
I did a little better this past week in the movie department, watching five films including a couple of film noir classics last Sunday evening when I finished Kiss of Death and then watched Jules Dassin's The Naked City. Kiss of Death is decent enough, but The Naked City is pretty great, even though it is driven by a voice over narration, something that typically turns me right off, but the narration here isn't necessarily filling in blanks in the story as much as it is accompanying it. There's a tongue-in-cheek, matter of fact nature to the voice over dialogue that elevates the story. The film could still exist without it and, in my opinion, would probably be better without it, but it also doesn't entirely take away from what you're watching as the story of just another day in New York City unfolds, which is what I most certainly liked most. »
- Brad Brevet
While we have some new titles to look at this week, I want to point out to you that Barnes & Noble is having its 50% off Criterion sale right now and I've already posted a massive article offering a look at several titles I would personally recommend, including The Complete Jacques Tati and Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman as well as a selection of favorites and new 2014 titles to consider... Here's a snippet of that: A Selection of My Absolute Favorites Persona Breathless 8 1/2 Seven Samurai Yojimbo and Sanjuro The Battle of Algiers The Seventh Seal Sweet Smell of Success The Wages of Fear The Night of the Hunter New Recommendations for 2014 2014 offered plenty of new titles to consider from top directors and classics in desperate need of a proper upgrade. Here are a few of my favorites. New David Lynch and David Cronenberg Eraserhead Scanners read my review here New Federico Fellini »
- Brad Brevet
Yesterday’s fourth annual The Contenders event at the DGA was a smash hit as 13 studios and distributors, along with their stars and filmmakers, got to show off their awards season slate to an audience heavy with Academy and key Guild voters. And those companies with big Oscar hopes showcased all the usual suspects this year from The Imitation Game to Birdman to Foxcatcher to The Theory Of Everything and on and on with the kinds of films that are usually awards fodder this time of year.
But perhaps the most surprising inclusion was the sudden presence of none other than Chris Rock in the race. Although Chris wasn’t there in person for the large industry crowd (he was busy in NYC boosting Saturday Night Live to its best ratings of the season), his movie Top Five was prominently included in Paramount’s reel right alongside their other upcoming »
- Pete Hammond
At the turn of the decade, World War II was very much over and prosperity was on the world’s agenda – this was to be a time of peace and regrowth.
However, best laid plans are just that, and by the time the clock struck midnight on December 31st, 1959, wars had been waged in Korea; the Suez Crisis sent shockwaves through Africa; the Cuban Revolution brought communism to American shores and society was finally breaking from the stuffy shackles of decades long passed.
Mirroring these tumultuous times were the movies. Those fabulous celluloid reference points for how society is faring and what the signs of the times really mean.
If the 1930s and 1940s are best remembered for being a glittering Golden Age, synonymous with wholesome images such as Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable gazing at each against the backdrop of starlight, a la It Happened One Night, the 1950s was our blistering Gritty Age. »
- Shaun Davis
In this charming 14-minute interview at his California ranch in 1982, cinematic titan Frank Capra candidly recounts how he got his first shot at directing, his philosophy of “one man, one film,” the learning curve he faced as a young filmmaker, and important storytelling lessons such as the fact that drama should encourage the audience to shed tears, not the actors. Capra is a true Hollywood legend, having ascended from humble origins in Sicily to being an Oscar-winning director three times over for “It Happened One Night,” “Mr. Deeds Goes To Town,” and “You Can’t Take It With You.” In the interview, he discusses strategies to get the best performance out of your actors: namely, rehearse minimally and always provide an audio recording of a scene when an actor has to reshoot their lines in close-up. He also talks about holding the audience’s attention by increasing the tempo of scenes, »
- Tess Hofmann
Throughout the summer, an admin on the r/movies subreddit has been leading Reddit users in a poll of the best movies from every year for the last 100 years called 100 Years of Yearly Cinema. The poll concluded three days ago, and the list of every movie from 1914 to 2013 has been published today.
Users were asked to nominate films from a given year and up-vote their favorite nominees. The full list includes the outright winner along with the first two runners-up from each year. The list is mostly a predictable assortment of IMDb favorites and certified classics, but a few surprise gems have also risen to the top of the crust, including the early experimental documentary Man With a Movie Camera in 1929, Abel Gance’s J’Accuse! in 1919, the Fred Astaire film Top Hat over Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps in 1935, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing over John Ford’s »
- Brian Welk
Bill Hader has come a long way since his stint on Saturday Night Live, creating many popular characters and impersonations such as Stefon, Vincent Price and CNN’s Jack Cafferty. He is one of the highlights in such films as Adventureland, Knocked Up, Superbad and Pineapple Express, and so it is easy to see why author Mike Sacks interviewed him for his new book Poking A Dead Frog. In it, Hader talks about his career and he also lists 200 essential movies every comedy writer should see. Xo Jane recently published the list for those of us who haven’t had a chance to read the book yet. There are a ton of great recommendations and plenty I haven’t yet seen, but sadly my favourite comedy of all time isn’t mentioned. That would be Some Like It Hot. Still, it really is a great list with a mix of old and new. »
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Nov. 18, 2014
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
Opposites attract with magnetic force in 1934’s It Happened One Night, a romantic road-trip delight from Frank Capra (It’s a Wonderful Life), about a spoiled runaway socialite (Sleep My Love’s Claudette Colbert) and a roguish man-of-the-people reporter (Gone with the Wind’s Clark Gable) who is determined to get the scoop on her scandalous disappearance.
Featuring two actors at the top of their game, sparking with a chemistry that has never been bettered, It Happened One Night represents the birth of the screwball comedy.
The first film to accomplish the very rare feat of sweeping all five major Oscar categories (best picture, best actor, best actress, best director, and best screenplay), It Happened One Night is among the most gracefully constructed and edited »
Claudette Colbert movies on Turner Classic Movies: From ‘The Smiling Lieutenant’ to TCM premiere ‘Skylark’ (photo: Claudette Colbert and Maurice Chevalier in ‘The Smiling Lieutenant’) Claudette Colbert, the studio era’s perky, independent-minded — and French-born — "all-American" girlfriend (and later all-American wife and mother), is Turner Classic Movies’ star of the day today, August 18, 2014, as TCM continues with its "Summer Under the Stars" film series. Colbert, a surprise Best Actress Academy Award winner for Frank Capra’s 1934 comedy It Happened One Night, was one Paramount’s biggest box office draws for more than decade and Hollywood’s top-paid female star of 1938, with reported earnings of $426,944 — or about $7.21 million in 2014 dollars. (See also: TCM’s Claudette Colbert day in 2011.) Right now, TCM is showing Ernst Lubitsch’s light (but ultimately bittersweet) romantic comedy-musical The Smiling Lieutenant (1931), a Best Picture Academy Award nominee starring Maurice Chevalier as a French-accented Central European lieutenant in »
- Andre Soares
Criterion has announced their November slate of releases and among them is Frank Capra's romantic-comedy classic It Happened One Night and Blu-ray upgrade of Michelangelo Antonioni's L'avventura and Sydney Pollack's Tootsie starring Dustin Hoffman. First off, and most exciting as far as I'm concerned, is Capra's It Happened One Night, which I speculated previously would be added to the collection sooner rather than later. Starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, this is an all-timer in terms of romantic comedies and Criterion is delivering it with an all new 4K digital restoration, new conversation between critics Molly Haskell and Phillip Lopate, the 1997 feature-length documentary Frank Capra's American Dream, Capra's first film, the 1922 silent short The Ballad of Fisher's Boarding House, the American Film Institute's tribute to Capra from 1982 and the film's trailer. The release arrives on November 18. The other title I'm excited about is Antonioni's L'avventura, the »
- Brad Brevet
The Criterion Collection is always guaranteed to earn some of our money each month, but what to do when some of the big movies they've got coming have already been on home video for years? Is it really worth it just to get a wacky C on the cover? You tell us, but this lineup for November is still pretty solid all around. Leading the way is Frank Capra's comedy classic "It Happened One Night," the first movie in Oscar history to sweep all five top categories —Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay. As per usual, this edition is coming fully loaded, with a feature length documentary about the director, his first silent film and much more. And while this movie has been around on DVD for a while, perhaps this dazzling new 4K reproduction will indicate new depths in the film. Speaking of classics, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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