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Lady for a Day

Warren William , May Robson , Frank Capra    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 57.96
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Product Details


Product Description

Amazon.ca

Based on a story by Damon Runyon, this Frank Capra film was nominated for several Oscars® after it was released in 1933 (it was remade by Capra as Pocketful of Miracles in 1961). A tenderhearted Depression-era comedy, it tells the story of Apple Annie (May Robson), a panhandling street vendor who has kept her real identity hidden from a daughter being reared in Europe. When the grown-up daughter comes to New York for a visit, Annie turns to gambler Dave the Dude (Warren William) for help. He transforms her--temporarily--into a high-society grande dame, but not without complications. The film is nearly stolen by Guy Kibbee, as a judge posing as Annie's husband, but Warren William, a John Barrymore lookalike, and dour Ned Sparks get laughs too. --Marshall Fine

Special Features

The DVD features an an audio commentary track in which Frank Capra Jr. discusses his father's approach and techniques, as well as his outlook on life. --Marshall Fine

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Capra DVD Nov. 8 2001
Format:DVD
Lady for a Day is a fine Capra film. The story concerns a street vendor Apple Annie (May Robson) who has deceived her daughter that she is a High Society lady. The daughter, who has been living in Spain, decides to visit and what's more brings along her prospective fiancé plus his father, a Spanish count. So as not to scupper her daughter's marriage, Annie must enlist the help of her underworld friends to continue the deception. The film is at times very funny with a tone which looks ahead to the Screwball comedies of the later thirties. It is also often rather moving, with May Robson's terrific performance eliciting a great deal of sympathy. The rest of the cast is equally fine. Warren William as Dave the Dude is that most unusual of characters a gangster with a heart of gold. Guy Kibbee, familiar from so many thirties films, is always fun to watch. This time he plays a pool shark who agrees to pretend he is Apple Annie husband. Jean Parker, as Apple Annie's daughter Louise, will be familiar to anyone who has seen the 1933 version of Little Women in which she plays Beth. Her role in Lady for a Day could hardly match that role, but she still performs well with her memorably unusual voice. She also looks absolutely stunning. It's even possible to glimpse a young Ward Bond, as a policeman on a horse, obtaining an apple from Annie.
The print used for the Image DVD is not perfect. The main problem is that towards the end of the film, the right hand edge of the picture has been damaged so that white marks appear on the print. This only affects a small portion of the picture, but it is a little bit distracting. For the most part however, the print is clear and sharp. Even when there is some damage, the rest of the picture is fine.
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1.0 out of 5 stars The rating is for the DVD Dec 16 2003
By Yarby
Format:DVD
I should have listened to the other person who mentioned scratches on the movie. However, while he found them only slightly distracting...I found them to be so disruptive that I lost track of the movie. This print was transferred from a copy that had severe sprocket tooth scratches. These scratches lasted for almost 20 minutes.
While my rating of the movie itself would be 3-4 stars, I cannot recommend...even to fans of the movie...to buy this copy. I wouldn't even be happy if I had bought it for under 10 bucks....but at this steep price, I advise against it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Underappreciated Capra Classic Sept. 2 2001
Format:DVD
I love this movie. All of Frank Capra's films are great, but this is the one I like the most(this and YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU). It's a wonderful story of a "woman of the street" trying to put on a good show for her daughter when she comes to visit(and introduce her fiance). It's a touching and funny film and goes sadly unheralded(at least Criterion released in on laserdisc). I often think of it in the same class with the Barbara Stanwyck classic, STELLA DALLAS. A must for any classic film fan, an absolute must.
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1.0 out of 5 stars stay away Nov. 6 2001
Format:DVD
This wonderful film is a total disaster in its DVD format. Frank Capra Junior calls it a restored print which is a joke. The film is often dark, details are hard to see and there are sprocket holes, white spots and all kinds of detractions in the film. How could Image and Capra release this mess on DVD! This outstanding film deserves much better than is offered.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars stay away Nov. 6 2001
By A. Grossman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This wonderful film is a total disaster in its DVD format. Frank Capra Junior calls it a restored print which is a joke. The film is often dark, details are hard to see and there are sprocket holes, white spots and all kinds of detractions in the film. How could Image and Capra release this mess on DVD! This outstanding film deserves much better than is offered.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The rating is for the DVD Dec 16 2003
By Yarby - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I should have listened to the other person who mentioned scratches on the movie. However, while he found them only slightly distracting...I found them to be so disruptive that I lost track of the movie. This print was transferred from a copy that had severe sprocket tooth scratches. These scratches lasted for almost 20 minutes.
While my rating of the movie itself would be 3-4 stars, I cannot recommend...even to fans of the movie...to buy this copy. I wouldn't even be happy if I had bought it for under 10 bucks....but at this steep price, I advise against it.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Capra DVD Nov. 8 2001
By Mr Peter G George - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Lady for a Day is a fine Capra film. The story concerns a street vendor Apple Annie (May Robson) who has deceived her daughter that she is a High Society lady. The daughter, who has been living in Spain, decides to visit and what's more brings along her prospective fiancé plus his father, a Spanish count. So as not to scupper her daughter's marriage, Annie must enlist the help of her underworld friends to continue the deception. The film is at times very funny with a tone which looks ahead to the Screwball comedies of the later thirties. It is also often rather moving, with May Robson's terrific performance eliciting a great deal of sympathy. The rest of the cast is equally fine. Warren William as Dave the Dude is that most unusual of characters a gangster with a heart of gold. Guy Kibbee, familiar from so many thirties films, is always fun to watch. This time he plays a pool shark who agrees to pretend he is Apple Annie husband. Jean Parker, as Apple Annie's daughter Louise, will be familiar to anyone who has seen the 1933 version of Little Women in which she plays Beth. Her role in Lady for a Day could hardly match that role, but she still performs well with her memorably unusual voice. She also looks absolutely stunning. It's even possible to glimpse a young Ward Bond, as a policeman on a horse, obtaining an apple from Annie.
The print used for the Image DVD is not perfect. The main problem is that towards the end of the film, the right hand edge of the picture has been damaged so that white marks appear on the print. This only affects a small portion of the picture, but it is a little bit distracting. For the most part however, the print is clear and sharp. Even when there is some damage, the rest of the picture is fine. I have seen any number of thirties and forties films which have survived in worse condition than Lady for a Day. Moreover the sound quality on this DVD is above average for a film from this period. The wonderful dialogue is easily audible and the soundtrack has very little background noise. As an extra the DVD includes a commentary by Frank Capra Junior. This is a DVD which Capra fans should enjoy.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still worth a look! April 4 2005
By Perm Damage "Martin" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Sad to say, I have to agree with the previous reviews of the dvd. I saw this film on AMC years ago and recently rented the dvd, only to discover a somewhat inferior print. That's not to say, however, that it was unwatchable. "Lady for a Day" is still a great movie (way better than the watered-down remake "A Pocketful of Miracles") and deserves a larger audience. Until a better dvd master comes along, I'll endorse this one.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warren William Appreciation Thread July 22 2005
By Kevin Killian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Not a good transfer but the price is still affordable, and I don't think the white streaks made the film totally unwatchable. Wonder how something like that happens and how it could be restored?

Warren William, the leading character actor, is dapper and sophisticated, funny and downright hot. Underrated for many years, Warren William's films are undergoing a revival in film circles today, coinciding with a renewed interest in so-called "Pre Code" films, of which he was just about the biggest star in the world, for a brief time. This picture is just one of five he starred in that were released in 1933, and the actor stayed pretty busy, even as the quality of his movies went downhill, until his too early death in 1948. What he had to offer was a combination of assets, a particular alchemy he shared with someone like Clark Gable. Where Gable was straight up, however, Warren William was sort of shifty, you didn't really know where you were with him. If both Gable and William offered Depression audiences slightly competing versions of optimism, William was also far more capable than Gable of showing life's bleaker side. He was one man whom the heroine actually might not be able to make over into her bourgeois hero.

Capra captures William's anarchic, slightly dangerous spirit well as Dave the Dude in LADY FOR A DAY. His interactions with Glenda Farrell, who plays Missouri the Texas Guinan-style nightclub hostess with the mostest, are clever studies in sex appeal and a knowing, sort of alcoholic ease with each other. And his compulsion for the apples that May Robson provides (they bring him luck in his gambling ventures) is just that sort of obsessive twist that Warren William could really go to town on.

I like the remake too, with Glenn Ford and Hope Lange, but let's face it, Glenn Ford just didn't have the (only slightly hidden) nuttiness Dave the Dude's just got to have.
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