Lady for a Day

1933

Comedy / Drama

2
IMDb Rating 7.5

Synopsis


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1.83G
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English
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96 min
P/S 42 / 36
1.16G
Normal
English
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96 min
P/S 18 / 22

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 7

Back in the days of the studio system only one B picture outfit managed to vault itself into the big time and compete with the majors. That studio was Harry Cohn&#39;s Columbia and the film that did it was Frank Capra&#39;s Lady For A Day.<br/><br/>In his very candid memoirs Capra said unabashedly that his goal was to win one of those statues nicknamed Oscar. The Motion Picture Academy Awards were only five years old, but still the awards were coveted then because it meant prestige and far bigger salaries and in a director&#39;s case, bigger budgets to work with. <br/><br/>Capra said he tried and failed with a very arty film, The Bitter Tea of General Yen which lost money for Columbia and Cohn. He set out try it a different way with a sentimental story from that most sentimental of writers, Damon Runyon. The original story was entitled Madame LaGimp and it was about a street beggar who the great city of New York takes to its heart for a brief period with the assistance of a gangster with a streak of sentiment.<br/><br/>But this was Columbia, the poverty row studio so Capra couldn&#39;t get the only old lady movie star around in Marie Dressler from MGM. May Robson was his second choice for Apple Annie, the street beggar who has a daughter in a convent school in Spain and engaged to marry into Spanish nobility. <br/><br/>As for the gangster Capra wanted James Cagney, but Harry Cohn couldn&#39;t pry him loose from Jack Warner. He was offered Warren William instead and certainly the dapper and elegant William played a different kind of gangster than Cagney would have. For William&#39;s moll, Capra&#39;s partner and screenwriter for Lady for a Day Robert Riskin persuaded his then girl friend Glenda Farrell to take the part. She Jack Warner was willing to part with.<br/><br/>With the great skill that Capra had in casting his films, some of the best character actors around like Guy Kibbee, Nat Pendleton, Ned Sparks, and Walter Connolly filled out his roster. A lot of these people would work for Frank Capra again and again.<br/><br/>Came Oscar time and Lady for a Day had the great distinction of being nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay adapted from another source. This was the first film from Columbia Pictures that was ever nominated for anything by the Motion Picture Academy. May Robson made Capra forget he ever wanted Marie Dressler. Unfortunately she lost to a young actress picking up her first of four Oscars, Katharine Hepburn.<br/><br/>Riskin lost to the writers of Little Women and the film itself lost that year to the British story Cavalcade. One of the most embarrassing moments in Frank Capra&#39;s life occurred when Awards host Will Rogers in announcing the Best Director said &quot;come up and get it Frank.&quot;<br/><br/>Capra rose thinking it was him and the spotlights came down on him. Then there was a frantic buzzing and the spotlight shifted to the opposite side of the hall where Frank Lloyd got up to accept the award that was meant for him for directing Cavalcade. Talk about feeling like a nickel looking for change.<br/><br/>However next year Capra&#39;s next film It Happened One Night swept all the major Oscars including his first. It sounds like something that only could have happened in a Frank Capra movie.

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Reviewed by Segalen1911 7

Almost 70 years on, this film is as fresh as ever, with brilliant performances, great dialogue, and an irresistible story, even if you don&#39;t believe in fairy tales. Watch out for the butler&#39;s line, addressing Happy MacGuire, who talks in the not-so-grammatically-correct mob-lingo of the 1930s: &quot;If I had a choice of weapon with you, Sir, I&#39;d choose grammar.&quot; Definitely a must see!

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Reviewed by diana-2 7

Others have said it all! However, check out the beautiful love scene photographed through a glass fountain. Absolutely GORGEOUS! Solid performances from the stars right down to the supporting actors. I think we hardly ever see great supporting actors like these any more. <br/><br/>Frank Capra wrote about this movie in his autobiography, apparently one of his first hits, using the recipe of lesser-known actors, a great scriptwriter, and a low budget. He relies heavily on the great supporting actors available to him and gave them all a Runyon-esquire quality which never fails to please. They are all just great! Check this movie out! It gets better every time I see it!

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