- Feb 8, 1999
- Reaction score
- Real Name
- Robert Harris
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