Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week

Posted By , , , , and on Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Page 5 of 6

miracle woman barbara stanwyck frank capra movie 1931
The Miracle Woman (1931)
Directed by Frank Capra
This shockingly good Capra film is about a born-again lady evangelist based on Aimee Semple McPherson. The director knew how to milk hysteria, strength and tragic dignity out of Barbara Stanwyck, and he frames it with fire, lions, screams and spectacle. One of the most fascinating things about reading The Film Criticism of Otis Ferguson, which covers roughly 1934-1942 (before he died during WWII), is watching Frank Capra fall in Ferguson's eyes. By 1937, Capra transitions from a critical darling who cares about people, Ferguson writes, to a man who cares about ideas and lives in the clouds, "reading Variety and occasionally getting overcast and raining on us." But this is Capra at his best. Miriam Bale (Dec 6 at Film Forum, part of its Stanwyck)

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