The Premiere Frank Capra Collection

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manicsounds
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#1 Post by manicsounds » Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:48 am

It Happened One Night, You Can't Take It With You, Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

also with a collectible scrapbook, behind the scenes featurettes, photos, and Frank Capra Jr interviews

Official announcement for Dec 5th

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Antoine Doinel
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#2 Post by Antoine Doinel » Fri Apr 07, 2006 2:01 pm

I will definitely be picking this as these are all titles I've been waiting to get on DVD but never got around to it. It's not on Sony's coming soon section so I'm presuming fall release on this. Where did you see the trailer?

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manicsounds
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#3 Post by manicsounds » Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:12 pm

Memoirs of a Geisha DVD disc 1 previews
(its only in the previews menu, not before when the disc starts)

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Gregory
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#4 Post by Gregory » Sun May 14, 2006 6:26 pm

Memoirs of a Geisha was released about 5 months ago and still no announcement of the Capra set. Can the fact that this is taking so long mean new transfers? They did a pretty horrible job with You Can't Take it With You the first time out. The others were a bit soft but most of the problems with them (dirt, grittiness, scratches, noise) evidently had to do with source materials. It would be nice if they could find better elements to work from, but my hopes aren't too high for any of this.

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Antoine Doinel
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#5 Post by Antoine Doinel » Sun May 14, 2006 8:18 pm

The movie was released six months ago, but the DVD was released at the end of March.

Seeing as how the Cary Grant collection from Sony didn't have new transfers (or the old transfers were digitally cleaned up) I'm not holding my breath for new transfers for this set.

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Gregory
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#6 Post by Gregory » Sun May 14, 2006 8:47 pm

You're right -- I checked the release date at Amazon.com. The search results say "original release date: December 23, 2005." I didn't think they'd have the theatrical release date for the film listed on Amazon. Checking a few other examples I see that often is the case.
Anyway, about the Cary Grant set, I thought there was a huge improvement between the old release of The Awful Truth and the disc included in the box set.

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life_boy
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#7 Post by life_boy » Sun May 14, 2006 9:35 pm

I got excited when I saw the title for the thread, thinking there was going to be information on a box set containing American Madness and The Bitter Tea of General Yen. Too bad...

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manicsounds
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#8 Post by manicsounds » Sun Nov 26, 2006 10:48 pm

dvdtalk has a review.

Commentaries, documentaries, featurettes not even mentioned on the press release or even the box? Sony, good job, in a way.

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Antoine Doinel
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#9 Post by Antoine Doinel » Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:03 pm

I just got this and Sony really dropped the ball on promoting this. The "scrapbook" that comes with this is a thick book and absolutely gorgeous with lots of stills, lobby cards and info about the films.

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Scharphedin2
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#10 Post by Scharphedin2 » Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:38 pm

Sounds great... Antoine, can you give more of a report on the quality of the transfers and the extras?

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Ashirg
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#11 Post by Ashirg » Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:59 pm


filmnoir1
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#12 Post by filmnoir1 » Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:26 am

I just purchased this today. The set is nicely packaged with an informative book (96 pages of detail about the individual films, brief history of Columbia studios) and of course the book also contains several of Capra's witty aphorisms about filmmaking and his own career from his autobiography The Name Above the Title.

I have seen all the films except American Madness multiple times therefore I put American Madness in to view this afternoon. This film is really interesting with its commentary about the evils of greedy capitalists, and the danger of crime in American culture. Walter Huston is perfect as a no nonsense bank president and Pat O'Brien is fantastic as a young bank teller with a criminal past who seeks a second chance.

Equally interesting is the way the film displays Capra's populist mentality about America, especially its citizenry and politics. This film alone makes purchasing this new collection from Sony a wise investment.

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Antoine Doinel
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#13 Post by Antoine Doinel » Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:31 am

I also watched American Madness recently and enjoyed it. It's not a great film, but many of the themes that Capra will enhance in later films are present here. The half hour and suprisingly indepth making-of documentary is very very fascinating. It goes into great detail about the inspiration for Huston's character who is based on a real banker in San Francisco during the turn of the century. I'm looking forward to checking out the features on the other films.

Oh yeah, the transfer was very, very good. No problems from what I could see.

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Lino
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#14 Post by Lino » Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:14 pm

So, as I see it there are still a few Sony/Columbia Frank Capra titles out on DVD and VHS that could warrant a second set.

We have: The Matinee Idol, Platinum Blonde, The Bitter Tea of General Yen, Lost Horizon, and these are only the ones that are still in print -- there are still plenty of Columbia Capra titles not out on either format.

Of these, I'm most interested in Lost Horizon. Is it as good as the reviews say it is?

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tryavna
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#15 Post by tryavna » Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:50 pm

Lino wrote:Of these, I'm most interested in Lost Horizon. Is it as good as the reviews say it is?
It's good, but it's nowhere as atmospheric or as compelling as the novel, which I think is much better than most people give it credit for. In the end, it strikes me as the kind of movie another director would have done much better -- like, say, Frank Borzage. But the production values are extraordinary, and Ronald Colman gives a typically fine performance. It's certainly worth making an effort to see if haven't seen it already.

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Lino
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#16 Post by Lino » Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:10 am

Thank you for your words. I am very curious about it especially because it doesn't sound like a novel Capra would tackle. But if you think about it, it does fit in with his ideal of a kind of utopian society, his dream of a better America with higher values where his "John Doe" (the title of one of his own movies, actually) could finally be the hero and not the underdog.

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tryavna
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#17 Post by tryavna » Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:00 pm

Lino wrote:I am very curious about it especially because it doesn't sound like a novel Capra would tackle. But if you think about it, it does fit in with his ideal of a kind of utopian society, his dream of a better America with higher values where his "John Doe" (the title of one of his own movies, actually) could finally be the hero and not the underdog.
Yes, you are definitely right -- it doesn't fall entirely outside the Capra canon/universe. One could even argue that the film's fantasy elements anticipate the fantasy-run-amok of It's a Wonderful Life.

Still, it's just not an entirely satisfying movie because Capra doesn't handle the "magical" or "transcendent" aspects of the story very well. That's why I wondered what the film would've been like in the hands of Borzage. (I've just happened to see both Farewell to Arms and Three Comrades within the past month.) I also wonder what Powell and Pressburger would've done with the material ten years later....

But this is admittedly another example of how my familiarity with a novel has negatively affected my opinion of the cinematic adaptation, just like Scorsese's Age of Innocence and Stevens' Place in the Sun. As good as each of these films are, they're just not as rich as the original novels.

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Scharphedin2
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#18 Post by Scharphedin2 » Sat Mar 10, 2007 2:24 pm

I agree with everything you write Tryavna.

If one has not read the book beforehand, the story itself, and the high production values of the film, will surely impress. I saw it before I read the book -- admittedly at a very tender age, and there are moments of the film that completely attached themselves to my imagination (for life). Some years ago, I viewed the film again, and my experience was closer to what you describe (having read the book in the interim). The film was still a good view, but age and knowledge of the text made me feel that the film was not all it could have been. Also, I do not remember if the DVD release gives you a choice to view the film "unrestored," but when I viewed the DVD, they had reconstituted a couple of scenes, where the image had been lost, and the scenes were represented by some stills and the soundtrack. This practice obviously has its pros and cons.

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dx23
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#19 Post by dx23 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:39 pm

From thedigitalbits.com:
Finally, Sony has announced newly remastered DVD versions of Frank Capra's Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It Happened One Night and You Can't Take It With You for release on 12/9 (SRP $19.94 each).

I believe that these are just individual re-releases of films in the boxset, but I'm a little intrigued about the newly remastered mentioning in the blurb above.

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domino harvey
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#20 Post by domino harvey » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:49 pm

The elements on all the films in the set are so terrible that any improvement would be a huge improvement-- but I suspect you're right and they're just the ones in the box

Anonymous

#21 Post by Anonymous » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:51 pm

manicsounds wrote:It Happened One Night, You Can't Take It With You, Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

also with a collectible scrapbook, behind the scenes featurettes, photos, and Frank Capra Jr interviews

Official announcement for Dec 5th
I have this, and even though I understand what critics mean by "Capracorn", I love these films. We cannot watch Lynch or Godard every time, can we? :)

OliverB
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#22 Post by OliverB » Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:02 am

I've been meaning to pick up this set for the longest time; in fact it was my plan for today. But I may just hold off now for further news of these "newly remastered" releases. And what about "American Madness"?

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domino harvey
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#23 Post by domino harvey » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:31 pm

OliverB wrote:I've been meaning to pick up this set for the longest time; in fact it was my plan for today. But I may just hold off now for further news of these "newly remastered" releases. And what about "American Madness"?
If memory serves, it actually had the best-looking transfer of all five in the box!

videozor
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#24 Post by videozor » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:56 pm

Actually SRPs for It Happened and Mr. Smith are 24.95 and 27.95 - they might well be 2-disk editions!
Last edited by videozor on Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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domino harvey
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#25 Post by domino harvey » Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:23 pm

They're Columbia DVDs though-- all their classic films are that expensive regardless of extras.

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