Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Younger Generation

[The film was never released in Finland]. US 1929 D: Frank Capra. Based on the play It Is to Laugh di Fannie Hurst; SC: Sonya Levien; Dial: Howard J. Green; DP: Ted Tetzlaff, Ben Reynolds; ED: Arthur Roberts; DP: Harrison Wiley; CAST: Jean Hersholt (Julius “Pa” Goldfish), Lina Basquette (Birdie Goldfish), Ricardo Cortez Morris Goldfish), Rosa Rosanova (Tilda “Ma” Goldfish), Rex Lease (Eddy Lesser), Sid Crossley (Butler), Martha Franklin (Mrs. Lesser), Julanne Johnston (Irma Striker), Jack Raymond (Pinsky), Otto Fries (Tradesman), Julie Swayne Gordon (Mrs. Striker); P: Frank Capra; 35mm. B&w. [announced 75’ a 24 fps.] actual duration 83 min. From: Sony Columbia. - Presenta Rita Belda, [piano music announced, but screened was] a sound print of Columbia's first sound film, earphone commentary in Italian, viewed at Cinema Lumière 1, Bologna, 4 July 2009. - A new print of the sound film important for the history of Columbia Pictues. - A brilliant print. - Frank Capra's contribution to the great Jewish film cycle of the 1920s, which started with Frank Borzage's Humoresque and culminated with The Jazz Singer. - Capra is clearly influenced by them, starting with the fascinating half-documentary opening in New York's Lower East Side. - This is a story of rags to riches, and of assimilation. - Money does not bring happiness. Everybody is sad under the rule of the young businessman son Morris Goldfish. - Lina Basquette is charming in this film. - This is not a very good film, and it lacks the passion of Humoresque and The Jazz Singer, but it is extremely important (as Joseph McBride writes) as Frank Capra's veiled autobiography of "the catastrophe of success".

No comments: