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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Idealism, History, And Movie Magic In An Incredible Classics Collection By Frank Capra
Let's be honest--what movie-loving individual would dare to rank this collection of Capra classics at less than 5 stars? It's inconceivable, especially with the noteworthy titles included in this handsome set. As an early Christmas present to myself, I had to pick up this collection--I've been good this year. I have, thus, been revisiting some of these all time greats...
Published on December 10, 2006 by K. Harris

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars All Films Recieved expect You Can't Take It With You
I received the collection and it has everything except Capra's You Can't Take it With You. This is not acceptable seeing this as a cruel trick and disappointing since Value Clicks is suppose to be fulfill by Amazon due to having prime. I don't recommend anyone to purchase items from Value Clicks in the future. Customers Be Warn!
Published 7 months ago by Emilio Garcia


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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Idealism, History, And Movie Magic In An Incredible Classics Collection By Frank Capra, December 10, 2006
This review is from: The Premiere Frank Capra Collection (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / It Happened One Night / You Can't Take It with You / Mr. Deeds Goes to Town / American Madness / Frank Capra's American Dream) (DVD)
Let's be honest--what movie-loving individual would dare to rank this collection of Capra classics at less than 5 stars? It's inconceivable, especially with the noteworthy titles included in this handsome set. As an early Christmas present to myself, I had to pick up this collection--I've been good this year. I have, thus, been revisiting some of these all time greats. Capra was an idealist, to be sure, and such wide-eyed optimism as a world view might be foreign to modern day audiences--but there is no denying the universal appeal inherent in the films of Frank Capra. Long considered one our finest directors, Capra won three directing Oscars and all of those films are included here!

"It Happened One Night" is the quintessential screwball romantic comedy. In 1934, it captured all 4 major Oscars--Film, Actor, Actress, and Director--and in history, that has only been done by two other films ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "The Silence of the Lambs"). Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert shine in this great road-trip picture that seems remarkably progressive for its day. This formula is often copied, but rarely equaled--this is probably the least dated film in the set. "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington," of course, is the classic tale of political endurance and ethics triumphing over corruption. Still a powerful indictment and rousing drama, this is Jimmy Stewart in his most iconic performance. "You Can't Take It With You" is another Best Picture and Director winner. Starring Stewart, again, and Jean Arthur--this is a funny, but slight tale of a family of eccentrics teaching valuable life lessons to an uptight financier. A great film for lovers of screwball wackiness, it might have lesser appeal to younger audiences as "quirky" is such an overdone modern movie device. "Mr. Deeds Goes To Town" wraps up Capra's Best Director Oscars. This classic stars Jean Arthur and Gary Cooper--who as Mr. Deeds wants to give away his inheritance to aid the nation's poor. Idealistic and sweet, this shares a similar theme with the lesser know "American Madness" which is the fifth film in this box set. An unlikely hero, Walter Huston as a bank president, uses his bank to fight against the Depression. "Deeds" has the more enduring appeal, though, as this was a role that became closely identified with Cooper. (Please disregard Adam Sandler's nightmare of the same title--it's not even appropriate to link it as a remake.)

As if the films were not reward enough, this set also comes with the feature length documentary "Frank Capra's American Dream" hosted by Ron Howard. Engaging and informative, many major directors (including Altman, Scorcese, Stone, etc.) weigh in with the impact Capra's work has had on them. And if you want more, there's a 96 page movie scrapbook as well.

Easily one of the greatest values for its price, I definitely recommend this set. It is essential viewing for anyone who loves film! The movies themselves will entertain and you'll learn a little bit about film history, too. KGHarris, 12/06.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All I can say is "WOW!, May 31, 2007
By 
M. A Newman (Alexandria, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Premiere Frank Capra Collection (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / It Happened One Night / You Can't Take It with You / Mr. Deeds Goes to Town / American Madness / Frank Capra's American Dream) (DVD)
It was a happy day for me when I learned that this collection was being isssued and when it arrived from Amazon my first act was to cancel all my appointments, take the phone off the hook and settle down with a bowl ofpopcorn and discover just what made Frank Capra one of the leading directors of his day and indeed for all time. I was not disappointed. Along with favorites like "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and "You Can't Take it with You" were "It Happened One Night" (which I had not seen in years and did not recall how good it was) and "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town." Also included in this set is a fabulous collection of films documenting just how Frank Capra was able to produce his fabulous collection of films. It is rare that great classics of American cinema get the attention and treatment that they deserve, but this is one of those rare instances of the material being treated in the appropriate manner.

It really would be silly for me to try to capture the magic and craftsmanship that went into making these fabulous films. Capra had a particular talent for being to tap into the fundamental aspects of what it meant to be an American in the 1930s and 1940s and this talent is on full display in this collection. They contain some marvelous performances, particularly by Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Claudette Caulbert and in particular Jean Arthur. While Capra's autobiography does contain it share of myths, the chapters that detail the efforts it took to get these performances down on film is probably worth consulting for the insights it provides.

If I were to fault it for one or two things it would be the omission of two classics in the Capra canon. These are "Meet John Doe" which really is crying out for a restoration and a proper release on DVD and "It's a Wonderful Life." These movies are probably excellent examples of Capra's creativity, but as this fine collection proves, they are by no means the only ones.

I hope that other directors are in line for similar treatments in the future. However it is doubtful if future efforts will surpass this one for its overall excellence.
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FIVE FILMS from the one of the GREATEST AMERICAN DIRECTORS!!!, October 30, 2006
By 
Paulo Leite (Lisbon, Portugal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Premiere Frank Capra Collection (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / It Happened One Night / You Can't Take It with You / Mr. Deeds Goes to Town / American Madness / Frank Capra's American Dream) (DVD)
Frank Capra's films were always a joy to watch.

They had those characters whose goodness, honesty and will were enough to take America away from the Great Depression era. Something that could only inspire and make you look at the world with brighter eyes.

This box contains FIVE trully memorable films from his best period. FIVE films that really are among his BEST.

MR.SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON is one of his best films. In it, James Stewart gives one of his best performances as the young idealist who fights corruption in the Senate. A major American film.

IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT is a legendary romantic comedy with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert - the first film to win all five major Oscars (go figure why... :P). Delightful!

MR.DEEDS GOES TO TOWN stars the great Gary Cooper who just inherits 20 million Dollars and feels he must give it to those who really need it.

YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU packs another stellar cast with James Stewart, Jean Arthur and Lionel Barrymore. The best corn you'll ever see!! (-laughs)

AMERICAN MADNESS is a lesser gem with Walter Huston as a bank president in the depths of the Great Depression.

PLUS: a great documentary about Capra's life, style and work filled with great insight by many top names like ROBERT ALTMAN.

This box contains 5 films not to be missed at a great price... full of extras... commentaries, remastered picture and sound... everything to give you a great in-depth look into one of the greatest director who ever lived.

...Someone who really had something to say.

Get this box and treasure it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great transfers of great Jems, January 3, 2007
By 
Jesus follower (Temple, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Premiere Frank Capra Collection (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / It Happened One Night / You Can't Take It with You / Mr. Deeds Goes to Town / American Madness / Frank Capra's American Dream) (DVD)
A wonderful deal! These films are remastered and corrects flaws found in the previous releases. I cannot express now important and entertaining these films are!

IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT- Best romantic comedy ever..Period..everything else is a copycat

MR SMITH- small honest hick VS big corrupt politics. The best movie hero ever portrayed!

YOU CANT TAKE IT WITH YOU- caused me to actually live my life the way I want to without worrying about what others think. This is a riot!! Best version of 'Meet the Parents'

MR DEEDS- is 100times better than the remake. The best courtroom scene I ever saw!

Get this Box! Even if you have the other films on DVD allready! Give the old ones to a friend (or better yet an enemy). After all...You Cant Take it with You!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great films, great quality, February 2, 2007
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This review is from: The Premiere Frank Capra Collection (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / It Happened One Night / You Can't Take It with You / Mr. Deeds Goes to Town / American Madness / Frank Capra's American Dream) (DVD)
I bought the Premiere Frank Capra Collection for my brother's birthday. He's a big Capra fan, but he was concerned that the film quality would not be good, given the low price. He was quite pleased to discover the quality was excellent.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FRANK CAPRA'S AMERICAN DREAM, December 7, 2009
By 
Tom Without Pity (A Major Midwestern Metropolis) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Premiere Frank Capra Collection (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / It Happened One Night / You Can't Take It with You / Mr. Deeds Goes to Town / American Madness / Frank Capra's American Dream) (DVD)
This is a review of the five film box set entitled THE PREMEIERE FRANK CAPRA
COLLECTION released by Sony. It contains five of Mr.Capra's biggest movies plus
a bonus disc with a documentary entitled "Frank Capra's American Dream."

The films included are:

AMERICAN MADNESS (1932) Walter Huston, Pat O'Brien, Kay
Johnson, Constance Cummings. Supposedly the only time Capra used a
sympathetic portrait of a banker, I guess savings and loan officials aren't
bankers, this is a really fine piece of movie artistry made just as Capra
really found his voice and all the elements are already here.
Beleagured hero saved by his own pluck and his many friends' willingness to
believe in his honesty and acumen. Truly enjoyable, another Depression era
classic...and still relevant today almost eighty years later.

IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT(1934). Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert,
Walter Connoly, Rosco Karns. It's impossible to over- rate this comedy
classic, one fine scene after another. From a hitch hikiing tutorial to
donut dunking lessons and learning the second chorus of "The Man On the
Flying Trapeze" to discovering The Walls of Jericho this multi- Oscar winner
as it all. Worth seeing many times over.

MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN (1936). Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur,
George Bancroft, Lionel Stander, Douglas Dumbrille. Frank Capra and writer
Robert Risken hit thier stride with this Depression era comedy drama
featuring wonderful performances by Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur. At this
point Cooper almost didn't have to say anything, his facial expressions and
body language acted for him. Another marvelous film, one to watch
repeatedley.

YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU (1938). Jean Arthur, Lionel
Barrymore, James Stewart, Edward Arnold, Spring Byington. Film version of a
hit Broadway play seems kind of flat to me. I thnk that it was filmed a
little late to be effective, again the Depression seems to hang over the
proceedings despite the protagonsits insistance that they are going to go
through life doing whatever they and the other household members want to do.

That ideology does not include the two servants who are treated qiute well
although it's doubtful that they enjoy doing most of the laundry, cleaning
and cooking, freeing everyone else to pursue their artistic careers. In any
event, the big bad wolf comes knocking at the door and somehow everyone's
bacon is eventually saved.
The weakest film in the five movie Capra box set but still interesting.

MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939). James Stewart, Jean
Arthur, Thomas Mitchell, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold. A Capra milestone,
controversial in its time as well as instructive and almost hopelessly
idealistic. A truly terrific film with great performances and chock full of
drama and comedy as well as a bucket full of freshly popped "Capra corn."
An important movie which presented a pretty fair picture of our democracy to
the world just before WWII broke out. Even places that didn't have elections
still had greed and corruption and could understand and identify with our
problems.

Even the least of these movies is well worth seeing more than once and also
included is a documentary entitled "Frank Capra's American Dream," which just
adds even more value to this excellent box set.

You cannot go wrong with this fine collection of classic Capra.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This will not dissapoint!, January 15, 2007
By 
This review is from: The Premiere Frank Capra Collection (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / It Happened One Night / You Can't Take It with You / Mr. Deeds Goes to Town / American Madness / Frank Capra's American Dream) (DVD)
Purchased this for my husband who is a true Frank Capra fan. I already new he loved all of the movies in the collection but didn't realize it also had a section devoted to interviews and the personal life of Frank Capra. My husband went on for days about all the new info he had learned about his favorite director of all time!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding value DVD set, May 30, 2007
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This review is from: The Premiere Frank Capra Collection (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / It Happened One Night / You Can't Take It with You / Mr. Deeds Goes to Town / American Madness / Frank Capra's American Dream) (DVD)
This DVD collection is obviously going to be popular with sure fire entertainments such as "You Can't take it with You" and "Mr Smith goes to Washington" but the package goes much further by providing lengthy interviews with Capra's son about each of the films, a detailed documentary about Capra himself, expert commentaries with each film and a detailed booklet. This is outstanding value.

All of the films are excellent and Amazon themselves provide worthwhile summaries. Here are a few observations:

- "Mr Deeds goes to Town" is my least favourite and probably most guilty of what is called "Capra corn". Gary Cooper was often a mannered actor and for me he overdoes his "Aw shucks" country bumpkin. Jean Arthur compensates enormously, making believable that this worldly "babe" could fall for Mr Deeds. She helps Cooper enormously to pull off his performance.
- "American Madness", made in 1932 before Capra really hit the bigtime, benefits from a shorter running time with a fast pace created by the editing. At the height of the Depression, a story about a run on a bank was timely and the note of optimism sounded by the resolution was refreshing. Walter Huston is outstanding as the head of the bank and the serene Kay Johnson, a poised and beautiful presence in any film, plays his wife. The film has one great set and Capra moves his camera around it, including some powerful overhead shots. His crowd scenes are outstanding as always.
- Jean Arthur was a wonderful actress and if her parts in each film are quite similar, it doesn't matter. With her husky inimitable voice and warm smile, she is memorable.
- Clark Gable is very funny in "It happened One Night", a very underrated comedian.
- "Mr Smith goes to Washington" has similarities to "Mr Deeds" but is superior in every way. The documentaries tell that in fact, it was originally conceived as a sequel. James Stewart is much more convincing than Gary Cooper and the yarn has far more tension then the earlier film. It is much less dated. The film was very popular on its release except in Washington where the depiction of political corruption was considered "un-American".

All of the prints are good, although "It happened One Night" suffers from grainy scenes. The films benefit from Capra's attention to detail, particularly the character actors which populated his films. The documentaries tell us that actors lived to appear in a Capra film because they knew that even the smallest part would be treated with loving attention. The most amusing story about this is the casting of Harry Cary in "Mr Smith" as the Speaker in the Senate. On paper, the part was minor but there are numerous telling close ups as he reflects the audience reaction to what is happening. It is a very important role.

The documentary about Capra himself tells of his beginnings as an Italian immigrant. Undoubtedly, his own rise from humble beginnings influenced his view of America as the land of opportunity and his depiction of the power of the people. He lived the "American Dream". Even if you are uncomfortable with the idealism expounded in most of the films (Capra corn), each film tells a good story and provides great entertainment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars All Films Recieved expect You Can't Take It With You, January 29, 2014
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This review is from: The Premiere Frank Capra Collection (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / It Happened One Night / You Can't Take It with You / Mr. Deeds Goes to Town / American Madness / Frank Capra's American Dream) (DVD)
I received the collection and it has everything except Capra's You Can't Take it With You. This is not acceptable seeing this as a cruel trick and disappointing since Value Clicks is suppose to be fulfill by Amazon due to having prime. I don't recommend anyone to purchase items from Value Clicks in the future. Customers Be Warn!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Upbeat Movies, August 17, 2013
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This review is from: The Premiere Frank Capra Collection (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / It Happened One Night / You Can't Take It with You / Mr. Deeds Goes to Town / American Madness / Frank Capra's American Dream) (DVD)
All of these movies are fun to watch. Certainly some are better than others but they are all worth owning and watching. The documentary is also helpful to understand Frank Capra himself. I highly recommend this great collection!
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