A Few Words About A few words about...™ Mr. Smith Goes to Washington -- in Blu-ray

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
12,786
Reaction score
16,397
Points
9,110
Real Name
Robert Harris
XenForo Template

It's a extraordinary thing that a man who emigrated from his native Italy to America, arriving in 1903 as a 6 year-old, would create some of the most American of films during his half a century in Hollywood.

While everyone seems to know It's a Wonderful Life (1946), which Mr. Capra created after returning to civilian life at the end of WWII, there are half a dozen films, all except one made for Columbia, that are full-bore, running on all 16-cylinders quintessential Capra.

I'm not a fan of the term Capra-corn.

To me, these are great films.

To have to of them released at virtually the same time on Blu-ray is something devoutly to be wished.

First, It Happened One Night (1934), and now Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) -- one of the most beautifully patriotic films to come out of Hollywood.

​Sourced from extant original negative, mixed and matched with other surviving elements, the film, as both preserved and as released via Blu-ray, is a perfect example of the art and science of digital film restoration.

With printer functions built-in to the original cut and conformed negative, dupes are an essential part of the look, feel and textures of the film -- but they've always been there.

Not so, shots missing from the original elements.  And some of the more interesting tricks in the our tool box has been used to make this restoration both as seamless as well as transparent to the original as possible.

To put it plainly, once again, the crew at Columbia / Sony has knocked another one out of the park.

One of the truly great films in cinema, beautifully restored, and brought to Blu-ray.

Those in front of and behind the camera reads like a "who's who" of 1939 cinema:  From the leads, James Stewart, Claude Rains, Jean Arthur, Thomas Mitchell, Guy Kibbe and Edward Arnold, down to the supporting players, Eugene Pallette, Beulah Bondi, H.B. Warner (yes, That H.B. Warner), Harry Carey and all the bit players -- perfect casting, perfectly played.

A score composed by Dimitri Tiomkin, cinematography by Joseph Walker, and the montage work of the great Slavko Vorkapich...

For those desirous of a master's class in film restoration, the new Blu-ray of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a good place to begin.

Image - 5*

Audio - 5

Pass / Fail - Pass

Very Highly Recommended

RAH

 

JoHud

Producer
Joined
Sep 12, 2007
Messages
3,215
Reaction score
524
Points
4,110
Real Name
Joe Hudak
Also, Pocketful of Miracles has just been released. While certainly not the same caliber as the other two, it still makes a Capra three-some on blu-ray this holiday season.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF and Jimbo64

david hare

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 10, 2014
Messages
512
Reaction score
482
Points
610
Real Name
david hare
Just received this. The image (and sound) is absolutely sublime, unbelievably beautiful B&W. I don't have It Happened One night yet to compare it but I simply don't know how much better you could get with these Columbia 4k remasters.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF

Steve Tannehill

Ambassador
Joined
Jul 6, 1997
Messages
5,547
Reaction score
216
Points
0
Age
55
Location
DFW
Real Name
Steve Tannehill
And to think that if his original career path had worked out, Mr. Capra would have been a chemical engineer. When 20/20 did his obituary, they showed what was supposed to be his college diploma from Cal Tech. It was actually Capra's membership certificate to Tau Beta Pi, the National Engineering Honor Society. (I'm a fellow member.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF

Ed Lachmann

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
1,274
Reaction score
1,310
Points
1,610
Real Name
Edmund Lachmann
I really love all of Capra's films, too, but wish fervently that somewhere a decent surviving print of MEET JOHN DOE may be waiting to be discovered.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF and LaserKen

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
12,786
Reaction score
16,397
Points
9,110
Real Name
Robert Harris
Ed Lachmann said:
I really love all of Capra's films, too, but wish fervently that somewhere a decent surviving print of MEET JOHN DOE may be waiting to be discovered.
I believe orig elements are fine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF

Mike Frezon

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 9, 2001
Messages
53,036
Reaction score
15,217
Points
9,110
Age
61
Location
Rensselaer, NY
And I just peeked at Amazon where this title (digibook) is only $14.99. When I pre-ordered back on August 30th, it was $13.99!

Unbelievable.

And I, too, have my copies of Pocketful of Miracles (a blind buy for me) and It Happened One Night.

 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF

lukejosephchung

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 31, 2007
Messages
1,392
Reaction score
402
Points
0
Age
63
Location
San Francisco, CA., USA
Real Name
Luke J. Chung
The first 2 releases bearing fruit from Sony's restoration program supervised by Grover Krisp of the Capra Columbia film catalog gives me great hope for the recently-completed work done for "Lost Horizon"...already have "It Happened One Night" along with Kino-Lorber's "Pocketful Of Miracles"(which looks better than I've ever seen before) and am waiting somewhat impatiently for "Mr. Smith" to arrive on Dec. 2nd...thank you for your highly positive reviews of these initial Capra restorations, Robert!!! :cheers:
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF

atfree

Producer
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
3,606
Reaction score
3,169
Points
4,110
Age
57
Location
Boiling Springs, South Carolina
Real Name
Alex
lukejosephchung said:
The first 2 releases bearing fruit from Sony's restoration program supervised by Grover Krisp of the Capra Columbia film catalog gives me great hope for the recently-completed work done for "Lost Horizon"...already have "It Happened One Night" along with Kino-Lorber's "Pocketful Of Miracles"(which looks better than I've ever seen before) and am waiting somewhat impatiently for "Mr. Smith" to arrive on Dec. 2nd...thank you for your highly positive reviews of these initial Capra restorations, Robert!!! :cheers:
Watching "Pocketful of Miracles" right now. Excellent, probably the best Kino Lorber Studio Classic released so far. The transfer is superb IMO.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF

calvinm

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 28, 2013
Messages
92
Reaction score
28
Points
10
Real Name
Calvin
It sounds fantastic! The 'Capra Collection' banding gives me hope that my favourite of his films, The Bitter Tea of General Yen, will find its way to Blu-Ray.
 

Raul Marquez

Supporting Actor
Joined
Apr 2, 2002
Messages
714
Reaction score
226
Points
610
Location
San Juan, Puerto Rico (USA)
Real Name
Raul H. Marquez, MD
The price keeps going up. I just pre-ordered it but the price both through the HTF link and straight to the Amazon site is $ 16.99.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (4K-Mastered + UltraViolet + Included Digibook) [Blu-ray]
Rated: NR (Not Rated) Format: Blu-ray
376 customer reviews

List Price: $19.99 Price: $16.99 Free Shipping for Prime Members You Save: $3.00 (15%)
 

Mike Frezon

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 9, 2001
Messages
53,036
Reaction score
15,217
Points
9,110
Age
61
Location
Rensselaer, NY
The constant ebb-and-flow of Amazon pricing...
 

Kyrsten Brad

Cinematographer
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
2,309
Reaction score
1,203
Points
1,610
Age
60
Location
Merritt Island, Florida
Real Name
Brad
Mike Frezon said:
The constant ebb-and-flow of Amazon pricing...
No joke there. I'm watching pricing on two Blu titles in my cart ("IAMMW", "Star Trek TNG, S6), both which had good price drops, and hope they stay that way or keep dropping till my pay catches up to my Blu buys. But Drat, drat and it's double Drat. Price went up $4 on the Blu for "Niagara".
 

ShellOilJunior

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 9, 2012
Messages
219
Reaction score
50
Points
110
A timeless work from a master. It makes me laugh and cry and it's just as relevant today as it was in 1939.


The Players - Wow, what a cast!
Claude Rains, Jean Arthur, Harey Carey, Thomas Mitchell (What a 1939 he had!), Eugene Pallette, H.B. Warner and others are all exceptional.

Oh, let's not forget James Stewart. His performance as Smith is beyond praise. Act III is as good as it gets in cinema, imo.
I wouldn't give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn't have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little looking out for the other fella, too. -Jefferson Smith
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF and MatthewA

Matt Hough

Director
Reviewer
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
21,759
Reaction score
11,324
Points
9,110
Location
Charlotte, NC
Real Name
Matt Hough
As is widely known, James Stewart placed second in the Academy Awards contest for Best Actor in 1939 just behind winner Robert Donat and before Clark Gable who placed third for Gone With the Wind. 1939 was the last year that the results of the voting other than the winners were revealed during the ceremony.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF

bujaki

Producer
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
4,370
Reaction score
3,731
Points
4,110
Age
70
Location
Richardson, TX
Real Name
Jose Ortiz-Marrero
Stewart won the New York Film Critics Award for Best Actor of 1939 for this picture.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF

Robert Crawford

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
47,538
Reaction score
23,580
Points
9,110
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
Raul Marquez said:
The price keeps going up. I just pre-ordered it but the price both through the HTF link and straight to the Amazon site is $ 16.99.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (4K-Mastered + UltraViolet + Included Digibook) [Blu-ray]
Rated: NR (Not Rated) Format: Blu-ray
376 customer reviews

List Price: $19.99 Price: $16.99 Free Shipping for Prime Members You Save: $3.00 (15%)
Right now, the Amazon price is $12.99. For those that haven't preorder it yet, I would do so now.
 

Oblivion138

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
413
Reaction score
266
Points
0
Real Name
James O'Blivion
Wow! That price is unbelievable. Thanks for the heads-up, Robert. Pre-ordered!
 

jim_falconer

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
762
Reaction score
409
Points
610
I was always planning on ordering this, but can't put it off any longer with this price...thanks Robert!
 

Brent Reid

Supporting Actor
Joined
Apr 27, 2013
Messages
799
Reaction score
804
Points
610
Location
Nottingham, UK
Website
www.brentonfilm.com
Real Name
Brent

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
343,671
Messages
4,686,512
Members
140,986
Latest member
sandeepumtneha