Although of course he's made more than just It's a Wonderful Life, if that was all he made, I would still consider him one of my favorite directors. Everything I've seen from him is totally charming and loveable and makes you love life.
Mr. Deeds Goes To Town (1936) -- Charming movie with Gary Cooper as a handsome befuddled naive who you love in spite of the fact that he punches every guy in sight and is (psychotically, in spite of his being legally -- and wonderfully -- declared "the sanest man who ever walked into this courtroom") looking for a "damsel in distress." Great scenes.
You Can't Take It With You (1938) -- It retains some of the more play-like qualities of the Hart and Kaufman play (girl dancing around the room, firecrackers going off, the use of a room, general zaniness and use of dialogue, etc.), but becomes more rounded out as it goes with all the great Frank Capra stuff. It's great to watch Lionel Barrymore tell off Edward Arnold in almost exactly the same way that he will be told off by Jimmy Stewart a few years later in It's a Wonderful Life. Another good philosophy of life movie.
Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939) -- Probably my second-favorite Jimmy Stewart role (George Bailey is the first, of course), this movie has all those good ol' American elements that make Capra movies so fun and touching.
It's a Wonderful Life (1946) -- Certainly you should watch this at Christmas, but it's not just a Christmas movie. In fact, the first time I saw it (and A Christmas Story, the same week, as a matter of fact) was during the middle of summer. This is one of my top five movies. I just love the world that Capra has invented. As far as I'm concerned, Bedford Falls really exists. It's certainly more real than any place I've ever lived. And there is no one more real than Jimmy Stewart, in what is probably his best role. Each scene in this movie is a classic and I never get tired of seeing them.
Copyright (c) Mar 2001 - Aug 2007 by Rusty Likes Movies