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Premiere Frank Capra Collection
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The Premiere Frank Capra Collection

4.5 4
Director: Kenneth Bowser

Cast: Frank Capra, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper

Bank president Thomas Dickson (Walter Huston) has instituted a lending policy that shows great faith in ordinary people but which also irritates his board of directors, as does his claim that an increased money supply will help end the Depression. Elsewhere in the bank, criminal Dude Finlay (Robert Ellis) has coerced head cashier Cluett


Bank president Thomas Dickson (Walter Huston) has instituted a lending policy that shows great faith in ordinary people but which also irritates his board of directors, as does his claim that an increased money supply will help end the Depression. Elsewhere in the bank, criminal Dude Finlay (Robert Ellis) has coerced head cashier Cluett (Gavin Gordon) into cooperating with a robbery by threatening to reveal Cluett as a habitual gambler. Dickson's neglected wife Phyllis (Kay Johnson), upset that Thomas has forgotten their anniversary, agrees to go out with Cluett, but they're spotted by head teller Matt Brown (Pat O'Brien). Matt goes to Cluett's apartment and convinces Phyllis to leave with him just as the robbery takes place back at the bank. Because he was responsible for locking the vault, Matt is assumed to be in league with the robbers, and he's arrested. News of the robbery leads to frantic depositors demanding their money back from the bank; Dickson cannot talk them out of it, and the bank is running out of money. This gives the board of directors the leverage over Dickson that they've been seeking, and they try to force his resignation.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Almost single-handedly, director Frank Capra turned Columbia -- still thought of as a Poverty Row outfit at the beginning of the sound era -- into a major studio. Capra’s succession of sensational Depression-era films won glowing reviews as well as the approbation of moviegoers, who rendered their own judgments at the nation's ticket booths. This long-overdue box set collects five of the most acclaimed and best loved of Capra’s '30s classics. American Madness (1932), starring Walter Huston and Pat O'Brien, contains the filmmaker's first use of a soon-to-be familiar plot device: the last-reel uniting of ordinary, working-class people to save a beleaguered protagonist. It Happened One Night (1934) took the "runaway bride" variation of the screwball-comedy format to new heights, showcasing Claudette Colbert as a madcap heiress and Clark Gable as the determined reporter who catches up to her. (The duo’s famous hitchhiking scene and the bus sing-along to “The Man on the Flying Trapeze” are among the most memorable film sequences of the era.) Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) stars Gary Cooper as one of Capra's Everyman heroes, a small-town guy who inherits a fortune and becomes a target of cynical big-city types (including Jean Arthur's fast-talking "sob sister") eager to exploit the well-meaning rube. You Can't Take It with You (1938), adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway smash, stars Lionel Barrymore as the patriarch of a wildly eccentric family whose members are determined to shut out the world's unpleasantness. James Stewart plays the wealthy young man who falls for Jean Arthur, portraying Barrymore's "normal" granddaughter. Stewart and Arthur were re-teamed the following year in Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, the improbable but still affecting story of an idealistic young man, newly elected to Congress, who finds the nation's capital awash in corruption and hypocrisy. Each of these movies boasts that calculated appeal to the emotions once derided by the director's detractors as "Capra-corn" -- but now considered a term of endearment. — Ed Hulse

Product Details

Release Date:
Sony Pictures

Special Features

Frank Capra's American Dream: hosted by Ron Howard - go behind the scenes into the Hollywood legend's professional and family life. Features interviews with Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone and more

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Frank Capra Primary Artist
Clark Gable Peter Warne
Gary Cooper Longfellow Deeds
James Stewart Jefferson Smith,Tony Kirby
Jean Arthur Alice Sycamore,Babe Bennett,Clarissa Saunders
Ron Howard Narrator
Walter Huston Thomas Dickson
Claudette Colbert Ellie Andrews
Lionel Barrymore Grandpa Martin Vanderhof
Pat O'Brien Matt Brown
Claude Rains Sen. Joseph Paine
George Bancroft MacWade
Kay Johnson Mrs. Dickson
Walter Connolly Alexander Andrews
Constance Cummings Helen
Edward Arnold Anthony P. Kirby,Jim Taylor
Lionel Stander Cornelius Cobb
Roscoe Karns Oscar Shapeley
Douglas Dumbrille John Cedar
Gavin Gordon Cyril Cluett
Jameson Thomas King Westley
Mischa Auer Kolenkhov
Thomas Mitchell Diz Moore
Ann Miller Essie Carmichael
Claire McDowell Mother
Guy Kibbee Gov. Hubert Hopper
H.B. Warner Judge Walker
Robert Ellis Dude Finlay
Eugene Pallette Chick McGann
Spring Byington Penny Sycamore
Beulah Bondi Ma Smith
Harry Carey President of the Senate

Technical Credits
Frank Capra Director
Kenneth Bowser Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Premiere Frank Capra Collection: American Madness
1. Start [5:53]
2. Thomas Dickson [6:26]
3. Two Men Under Pressure [6:50]
4. Disagreement With the Board [5:53]
5. Brown Keeps Quiet [4:59]
6. Prepping the Vault [5:21]
7. Theft and Murder [7:11]
8. Cascading Rumor [5:49]
9. Standing Up for Brown [2:43]
10. Crowd Control [7:20]
11. Catching Cluett [7:53]
12. Coming Through the Dickson [9:57]
Disc #2 -- Premiere Frank Capra Collection: It Happened One Night
1. Start [1:02]
2. Hunger Strike [2:32]
3. History in the Making [2:25]
4. Last Seats [3:08]
5. Stolen Luggage [3:46]
6. "Wait for Me" [1:40]
7. Missed Connections [3:12]
8. Collect Telegram [:46]
9. "My Name's Shapeley" [4:39]
10. Dyke's Auto Camp [3:49]
11. Walls of Jericho [7:31]
12. Ladies Shower [1:31]
13. Art of Dunking [2:31]
14. "Quit Bawlin'!" [4:51]
15. "The Man on the Flying Trapeze" [4:31]
16. "Machine Gun" Shapeley [6:09]
17. Haystacks for Two [5:14]
18. Hitchhiker's Guide [4:30]
19. Road Thief [5:54]
20. Cabin for the Night [9:16]
21. On the Level [1:35]
22. "You'll Have to Get" [3:18]
23. Ellie Goes Home [4:27]
24. "What's the Matter?" [7:04]
25. $39.60 [4:28]
26. The Wedding [2:26]
27. Runaway Bride [:35]
28. "Let'em Topple" [1:56]
Disc #3 -- Premiere Frank Capra Collection: Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
1. Start [1:03]
2. Semple Heir Search [3:23]
3. Longfellow Deeds [5:53]
4. A Lot of Friends [2:28]
5. C's & Little B [1:49]
6. Babe Bennett [4:51]
7. Gentlemen From the Opera [3:41]
8. "Lamb Bites Wolf" [4:54]
9. Lady in Distress [5:04]
10. Literati [4:50]
11. Cinderella Man [1:47]
12. "Quite a Bender" [4:31]
13. A Date With Mary [3:19]
14. Nuisance Value [1:07]
15. "Swanee River" [4:56]
16. What's Eating Babe [2:54]
17. Echoes [6:04]
18. Longfellow Proposes [3:46]
19. Quitting [3:17]
20. The Truth [3:08]
21. End of His Rope [4:06]
22. Giving His Dough Away [4:34]
23. Insanity Warrant [4:14]
24. Sanity Hearing [7:23]
25. Pixilated [3:04]
26. Dr. Emile Von Hallor [7:15]
27. Deeds' Two Cents [9:39]
28. Case Dismissed [2:28]
Disc #4 -- Premiere Frank Capra Collection: You Can't Take It With You
1. Start [:56]
2. Kirby and Company [4:33]
3. Mr. Poppins [5:28]
4. A Free-Spirited Family [6:44]
5. Ism' Mania [1:29]
6. The VP & His Stenographer [7:27]
7. Neighborhood Meeting [3:36]
8. The Town Crier [2:07]
9. Alice & Grandpa [4:12]
10. Wilbur G. Henderson, IRS [8:04]
11. Kolenkhov [1:49]
12. Family History [6:21]
13. The Big Apple [4:26]
14. Feeling a Scream Coming On [8:01]
15. Right Hour, Wrong Day [10:14]
16. A Wrestler Never Forgets [1:55]
17. Disturbing the Peace [3:31]
18. In the Drunk Tank [4:29]
19. "You're an Idiot, Mr. Kirby" [6:25]
20. Night Court [9:12]
21. A Letter From Alice [1:51]
22. Grandpa Sells Out [3:04]
23. The Kirby Munitions Merger [3:26]
24. Tony Resigns [5:35]
25. Moving Day [2:01]
26. Alice Returns [4:31]
27. "Polly Wolly Doodle" [2:40]
28. A Family Dinner [1:50]
Disc #5 -- Premiere Frank Capra Collection: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
1. Start [2:22]
2. Having Kittens [4:15]
3. The Hopper Family [4:45]
4. Star-Spangled Banquet [5:47]
5. At the Station [2:48]
6. Saunders [5:56]
7. Daniel Boone Arrives [5:31]
8. Press Conference [2:02]
9. Paine & Saunders [1:10]
10. The U.S. Senate [7:05]
11. Washington Press Corps [2:35]
12. Paine's Recommendation [2:43]
13. National Boys Camp [10:21]
14. New Bills & Resolutions [8:48]
15. "Let's Get Married" [3:33]
16. Whistle-Blower [2:47]
17. Taylor Meets Smith [6:46]
18. "I Compromised" [2:45]
19. Yielding to Paine [3:19]
20. Committee Hearing [3:45]
21. The Lincoln Memorial [7:30]
22. Smith Is Recognized [3:42]
23. Paine Walks Out [2:41]
24. Filibuster! [7:40]
25. Democracy in Action [8:24]
26. "Tell Jeff to Stop" [1:52]
27. 23 Hours, 16 Minutes [7:00]
28. Paine Breaks [1:51]

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The Premiere Frank Capra Collection 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
poughkeepsiejohn More than 1 year ago
Now that Christmas is upon us, I'm sure a lot of people will watching Frank Capra's 1946 classic, "It's A Wonderful Life". Yet, I find myself going back to the movies that Capra made before "Life" that made him into a major filmmaker. "The Frank Capra Collection" contains five of the best films he did in the 1930's while working for Columbia Pictures. A few of them are films that we already know---such as the Oscar-winning "It Happened One Night", the poor-man parable of "Mr. Deeds Goes To Town" and the political dramedy that is "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington". However, there are two lesser known films that make this all the more commendable. One of them is "You Can't Take It With You", a delightful comedy about a family full of eccentrics that sort of lays the groundwork for Capra's equally eccentric "Arsenic And Old Lace". This film, like many of other Capra films, features his stock company of actors including James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, Jean Arthur and an almost teenage dancer named Ann Miller. The other film here is "American Madness", made in 1932 at the height of The Great Depression, it deals with the subject of bank panics. Walter Houston plays a thoughtful and over-trusting bank president who nearly faces ruin when his bank is robbed. When word gets out about the robbery, the public panics and we witness something which is sadly and timely in these financially depressed times. My only complaint with this brilliant boxed set is why they didn't include "Lost Horizon", Capra's much-maligned fantasy fable from 1939? Or "The Miracle Woman", which he made back in 1931 in which Barbra Stanwyck portrayed a not-so-honest radio evangelist? Including those movies would've made this collection indespensible. Still, you can't complain with these five movies, two of which hardly ever get shown on television these days.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FrankFitz More than 1 year ago
Item received as advertised and I was very pleased.
evie-Z More than 1 year ago
All five movies are great if you like this classic era output. They become progressively better from the early 30's to to 1939, which shows that Capra was in a learning mode. . And they get longer too , with the first movie "American Madness" at 76 minutes(!) to " Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" at 129 minutes - still short by today's standards. The corny award goes to " It Happend One Night" but it was fun. My favorites are "You Can't Take It With You" and "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington". Am I a Jimmy Stewart fan or what? Try it. You'll likeit. Evie Z