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Beauty Day (2011)

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Before the body-threatening antics of Jackass came crashing into public consciousness, there was Ontario's Ralph Zavadil, aka Cap'n Video, who cascaded off roofs into snowbanks, jumped off ... See full summary »



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Title: Beauty Day (2011)

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Cast overview:
Ralph Zavadil ...
Robert Buick ...
Nancy Dewar ...
Barbara Zavadil ...
John Law ...
Jordyn Leppard ...
Matt Lyon ...
Zain Dinath ...
Malcolm Glassford ...
William Alexander ...
Peter Gudrunas ...
Andre Zeman ...


Before the body-threatening antics of Jackass came crashing into public consciousness, there was Ontario's Ralph Zavadil, aka Cap'n Video, who cascaded off roofs into snowbanks, jumped off ladders into half-empty swimming pools, and drank eggs through his nostrils. Beauty Day is a rambunctious documentary about this irrepressible pioneer of local-access cable shenanigans who entertained and outraged viewers in the small city of St. Catharines-until a special Easter Show, featuring a fat rabbit and adorable puppies (none of which were hurt), got him kicked off the air for good. With a nod to Werner Herzog, Cheel follows the life and times of Cap'n Video and finds that the Cap'n is still quite a firecracker. Written by Laurence Kardish

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Release Date:

10 June 2011 (Canada)  »

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


No Way Back
Written by Dave Grohl (as David Eric Grohl), Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel and Chris Shiflett(as Christopher A. Shiflett)
Used courtesy of Universal Music Publishing Group
A division of Universal Music Canada Ltd.
Bug Music Inc. (BMI) obo Flying Earform Music (BMI)
c/o Casablanca Media Publishing (SOCAN)
Kobalt Music Publishing America Inc. o/b/a Flying Earform Music
Performed by Ralph Zavadil
See more »

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User Reviews

27 May 2012 | by (South Korea) – See all my reviews

I had no idea what this documentary was about before watching it. The blurb said something about, "Before there was Jackass, there was Cap'n Video..." Frankly, this didn't enthuse me so much. I'm lukewarm at best about Jackass. If you feel the same way, forget about the whole Jackass thing and just watch "Beauty Day". There is so much more here to enjoy.

As with any documentary, the subject is key to how interesting you will find it. If the subject is a person, then that person needs to be interesting or special or exemplary in some way. Or all of the above and more. In Ralph Zavadil, director Jay Cheel has a unique and endearing subject. Yes, Zavadil is the creator of a pre-Jackass cable TV show that featured him jumping off stuff, setting stuff on fire, rigging up motorized stuff, and just generally playing the fool, but the man, Ralph, turns out to be much more than that.

He's had some hardships, but nothing TOO disadvantageous. He's injured himself; one crucial time quite seriously, but he's recovered fully. He's had and then lost true love, but he's coping with that OK it seems. His old career is over, but he's got a job with a close friend that he seems to enjoy and is good at. He tries to resurrect the Cap'n Video show and it doesn't quite work out, but he's not depressed about it. In other words, Ralph is an optimist and a big-hearted positive force in the world. If he never even thought up Cap'n Video (though that seems unlikely) he would still be an interesting and lovable specimen. Actually, it's his intelligence and balanced world-view that come across so strongly; more so than any Jackass-like tom-foolishness.

It's Ralph that makes this documentary and Jay Cheel is wise enough to let it happen that way. He doesn't get in the way (Gasland!!!) and you might even assume that this is Ralph's own project a la Cap'n Video, although production values are...ahem...CONSIDERABLY higher.

This reminded me of my very favorite documentary, "The Devil at Your Heels" (Robert Fortier, 1980), which, coincidentally, is also Canadian. Both feature characters that effect you as you watch them; characters that remain in your heart and mind long after meeting them. The difference being that Ralph is a smarter and more positive force than the poor doomed Ken Carter. (If you haven't seen "The Devil at Your Heels", seek it out. It's quite remarkable.)

Thanks Ralph and Jay. You made my day.

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