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.