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Lady for a Day [Blu-ray] [Import]

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Product Details

  • Format: Full Screen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Inception
  • Release Date: March 20 2012
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B006QS9MC2
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa0107d20) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa015e7ec) out of 5 stars A Really Nice New Edition April 7 2012
By G.I Gurdjieff - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
Frank Capra directed this film twice. The second version was called Pocketful of Miracles, starred the fearless Bette Davis, and was made in glorious technicolor. Both were actually very good films.
I've always been a huge Bette Davis fan so it's interesting that I have a soft spot for the combination of the audacious May Robson and the suave and debonair Warren William, but I think they work off one another really well and Warren William comes off as a more Runyonesque hood with a heart of gold than his counterpart in the later version Glenn Ford. These films were adapted from the Damon Runyon short story Madame Le Gimp.
The plot is fairly simple. Apple Annie (May Robson)is a down on her luck apple vendor during the depression. William's character Dave the Dude is a gambling hood who views Annie's apples as a talisman that brings him good luck. Dave tips Annie well, but she lives in a tenement but uses a swank NYC hotel as her mailing address and that's where the story lies. She is letting her convent educated daughter who is living in Europe subsidized by Dave's generous tips think she is a high society diva.
Annie's lie apparently goes on without complications until she receives a letter from her daughter saying she is coming to NYC with her fiancée who is a nobleman. Of course, this comes with little notice and goes to worse when it looks like her lie is going to be exposed. The rest of the movie involves a collective conspiracy to transform Annie and make her dreams come true.
What makes this story really compeling in both films is that while a lot of the mayhem is played for laughs, there is an underlying sadness in the Annie character that is heartbreaking. Robson was probably well beyond seventy when she made this film. It was completely implausible that she could have been the mother of a young woman, but there is an element of suspension of reason at work here. Her Annie is so sad and sweet that the viewer can totally ignore the age factor and get into the moment of what is going on.
Warren William is admittedly a ham, but he balances irritation with a peculiar affability that makes him come across as a softie when it comes to his good luck charm, Annie. The supporting cast does a good job fleshing out the story, imbuing it with an odd assortment of characters that makes this movie interesting. The hoods in Dave'the Dude's employ include Nat Pendelton, Guy Kibbee, Irving Bacon, and the wonderful deadpan actor Ned Sparks. Perennial wise girl Glenda Farrell play's Dave's girlfriend with charm and a seriously semi-tough edge.
The bonuses on this Blu-ray copy, include Frank Capra Jr.'s commentary and a film essay by Scott Eyeman. It was copied from Frank Capra's personal copy. The quality is o.k., which means better than previously available sources.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa015ebf4) out of 5 stars The memories of long ago April 15 2012
By Charlene Johnson - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is one of my all time favorite movies! My great-grandmother babysat me whenever school was out. She was a huge movie fan and would tell me stories about where she was in her life when these movies came out. Her favorite director was Frank Capra so when one of his movies came on TV, we stopped everything and watched. This movie was one of her two favorites and has so much to offer. It is a bit of a Cinderella story for a poor apple peddler, it is a comedy, it will pull at your heartstrings - it is simply wonderful. If you want a light-hearted, feel-good movie, then this is it. I like this one better than the later version Pocketful of Miracles but both are great.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa015e9fc) out of 5 stars One perfect little movie by the great Frank Capra July 17 2012
By Dr. Michael Hauth - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Ok. This is my first review. I had virtually no idea what this movie was about,
basically never heard of it. But was familar with Capra's work. This movie
is a hell of little gem. Will actually buy some for friends. Talk about strong endings ! Please put out more classic black and whites on Blu-ray. Many thanks. It was beautiful. Dr. Michael Hauth
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa015ec30) out of 5 stars People are loving this gorgeous new transfer - see the Before and After! May 11 2012
By Mary Avery - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
I have seen some awesome reviews. Even Leonard Maltin loves this new restoration of the film! The Before/After segment is very cool, and really shows how much work goes into something like this. It's gorgeous. Oh, and four minutes are in this version that were missing from the original release. So that's great too. Definitely worth the money!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0163084) out of 5 stars Lady for a Day -- Tears and Laughter May 12 2013
By H. Snyder - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Lady for a Day was an original which established a long-running Hollywood genre, and its theme seems so familiar to us today because its storytelling style was widely imitated for many years. It offers a look into a pivotal time in American film history, only six years into the sound era. It also foretells the successful career of one of Hollywood's most charismatic directors, Frank Capra, whose own life story had the same fairy tale quality as the films he made.

In 1933 Capra was a rising star in Hollywood, directing pictures for the upstart Columbia Pictures studio, whose home neighborhood was derided by other studios as "Poverty Row". A Sicilian immigrant, Capra was self-driven to achieve the American Dream, and to do so he created it on film in picture after picture. Lady for a Day was crafted specifically to earn an Academy Award, which neither Capra nor Columbia Pictures had ever won. Utilizing a story by Damon Runyon, Capra and his frequent collaborator, screenwriter Robert Riskin, wove a tale of an impoverished Depression-era apple seller working the streets of the Broadway district in New York City. Apple Annie was also weaving her own tales in letters to her daughter in Europe, chatting about Annie's fanciful life of wealth and success. Typical of Damon Runyon, the story is replete with soft-hearted gangsters, flummoxed cops, and politicians capable of grand and magnanimous gestures.

The impending visit of Apple Annie's daughter from Europe, with not only her suitor in tow, but his aristocratic Spanish father as well, pitches Annie (Broadway actress May Robson) into despair, and the gangsters into action to make Apple Annie into a lady for a day. "Dave the Dude" (Warren William) orders his henchmen to pretend to be the high-society types with whom a grand lady would associate, just long enough to convince the Count that Annie's daughter is worthy of marriage into his family. Comic relief is provided by pool-shark "Judge" Blake (Guy Kibbee) who is to portray Annie's wealthy and influential husband, and Dude's wise-cracking sidekick Happy (Ned Sparks).

Lady for a Day was Capra's breakthrough picture, and he filled it with the teary-eyed pathos and whimsical comedy that became his trademarks. It was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Screenwriting. At the awards ceremony it lost all four, and in the most humiliating way imaginable. Host Will Rogers opened the envelope for Best Director, and in his typical folksy way, drawled that he had "known this boy for many years". Not mentioning either the full name of the director or the title of the winner's film, Rogers said "come on up and get your award, Frank". Unfortunately there were two "Franks" nominated for 1933, and both started toward the stage. But it was Frank Lloyd who had won for his film Cavalcade. Capra had to slink back to his table, calling it the worst experience of his life. But it set the stage for the 1934 Academy Awards, when Capra's It Happened One Night swept all five major awards, including Best Director.

The beautiful Blu-ray restoration of Lady for a Day was made from a print owned personally by Frank Capra, and provides a luminous and nearly perfect look at the film techniques of the 1930s. It is certain to be enjoyed by any fan of Capra, or of the films of a bygone era.

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