Classic Movie Reviews

Its a Wonderful Life

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FRANK RUSSELL CAPRA (May 1897 -- Sep 1991)  

Born in Sicily as Francesco Rosario Capra, Frank Capra became an embodiment of the American rags-to-riches experience. He came to the U. S. at age six and later worked his way through college. He served in the Army in both WWI and WWII. In the second war he directed 11 documentary films in the Army series, Why We Fight, and received an Oscar for one of them. Among his films now regarded as classics are: It Happened One Night (1934) (the first film to receive all five of the major Oscars); Mr. Deeds Goes To Town (1936); Lost Horizon   (1937); You Can't Take It With You (1938); Mr. Smith Goes To Washington   (1939); Meet John Doe (1941); Arsenic and Old Lace   (1944); State of the Union (1948) and, of course, It's A Wonderful Life (1946). His status was such that his name appeared above the title on his films and he was awarded three Best Director Oscars. After WWII, the mood of the country changed and Capra's idealistic and hopeful style of movie was no longer in fashion in Hollywood and his career declined. But audiences still loved his movies and many of them appear regularly on television to this day. Wonderful Life hasn't missed a Christmas season airing since the 1950s.


It's a Wonderful Life Snow Globe

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From Hallmark

Its a Wonderful Life Stepping Stone

My 'MUST SEE' Movies

There have been a relative few movies that had something important to say and said it in a profoundly moving way, becoming classics. These are movies worth seeing more than once. Some of these are identified and described on this and the following pages


     "They're not there either, George."
 "What are not there?"
"Zuzu's petals."  

A perennial TV favorite at Christmas time, this tale revolves around George Bailey (James Stewart) who, deep in despair as his world seems to be crumbling about him, declares it would have been better if he had never been born. His guardian angel, Clarence (Henry Travers) has to prove to George that he's not the failure he thinks he is, that the world would be a worse place if he had never been born.
An outstanding cast and Frank Capra's deft direction keep this film from being just maudlin sentimentality. The cast includes Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Ward Bond, Gloria Graheme and Beulah Bondi.

1946, Directed by Frank Capra.

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  Complete List of all the Movie Reviews:

A Face in the Crowd     
The African Queen       All Quiet on the Western Front    The Apartment    Bambi    Ben Hur    
The Best Years of Our Lives 

Bugsy Malone    Cabaret    The Caine Mutiny    Casablanca    Chicago    The Defiant Ones     Doctor Strangelove 

Double Indemnity
    El Cid    Elmer Gantry    Fantasia    Fiddler on the Roof    For Whom the Bell Tolls  

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

From Here To Eternity
    Funny Girl    Glory    Go For Broke    The Grapes of Wrath    Hamlet    

The Iceman Cometh   Inherit the Wind    It’s a Wonderful Life    Jesus Christ Superstar    Judgment at Nuremburg    

Julius Caesar    Key Largo Lawrence of Arabia    The Learning Tree    The List of Adrian Messenger     Little Big Man

My Fair Lady
The Neverending Story    North by Northwest    The Owl and the Pussycat    Porgy and Bess    

Pride of the Yankees
   The Producers    Purlie    Quo Vadis    The Red Badge of Courage    Requiem for a Heavyweight    

Rhapsody in Blue
     The Sand Pebbles    The Sea Wolf    Seven Samurai    Ship of Fools    Some Like It Hot   

The Sound of Music    South Pacific   Spartacus    The Spirit of St. Louis    Stalag 17    

Sunset Boulevard

To Kill a Mockingbird      The Treasure of the Sierra Madre       Twelve Angry Men       Twelve O’Clock High    

2001 A Space Odyssey    The Victors     Victor Victoria   Watership Down     West Side Story    

The Wizard of Oz
    Yankee Doodle Dandy  

The Yearling

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