films seen
10/51
average score
1.25*
nationality
Italy - 94 years old
status
R.I.P. (1897 - 1991)
more info

Worthy but flawed

The Nazis Strike

by Frank Capra, Anatole Litvak
Specifics
1943 / 41m - USA
Genre
Documentary, War
More info:
rating
2.5*/5.0*
The Nazis Strike poster

One of the many short docs the USA made to "inform" the people about World War II. Some of them are extremely patriotic, others even cross over into pure propaganda, but a few of them also offer a more factual take on the war. The Nazis Strike is the latter, which is the approach I personally prefer.

There have been countless war docs since, what I appreciate about Capra's take is that it's very short and to the point. It's one of the best recaps detailing the start of World War II I've come across, which makes it an excellent introduction for people unfamiliar with the details of the war.

On the other hand, for someone my age, who has seen more than his fair share of WWII documentaries, there isn't that much here. Some cute animations, clear language and solid pacing make sure it's watchable, but content-wise it's all very basic. Not bad, but hard to recommend unless you're clueless about WWII.

Plain forgettable

Here Comes the Groom

by Frank Capra
Specifics
1951 / 113m - USA
Genre
Comedy, Romance, Musical
More info:
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Here Comes the Groom poster

The Battle of Britain

by Frank Capra, Anthony Veiller
Specifics
1944 / 54m - USA
Genre
Documentary, War
More info:
rating
1.5*/5.0*
The Battle of Britain poster

One of the infamous war propaganda films directed by Frank Capra. Best known for his light-hearted feelgood dramas, the US army asked Capra to direct some uplifting and energizing documentaries that would bring hope to all those fighting the Nazi armies (from home and/or in the trenches).

This episode focuses on the Battle of Britain (duh), Hitler's first big defeat that would put a big dent into the air of invincibility that the Nazi army had created for itself. No doubt the broad lines of this documentary are accurate enough, but I wouldn't pay too much attention to any particular details.

It's quite clear that this was a film with a specific mission. Because it's so energetic it's actually quite fun to watch, pretty different from most war documentaries, but that doesn't change the fact that this is little more than a piece of dedicated propaganda, meant to raise the spirit of all those fighting in the war. A fun curiosity, but nothing more.

Prelude to War

by Frank Capra, Anatole Litvak
Specifics
1943 / 52m - USA
Genre
Documentary, War
More info:
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Prelude to War poster

Big nopes

Know Your Enemy: Japan

by Frank Capra, Joris Ivens
Specifics
1945 / 63m - USA
Genre
Documentary, War
More info:
rating
1.0*/5.0*
Know Your Enemy: Japan poster

Tunisian Victory

by Frank Capra, Hugh Stewart, John Huston
Specifics
1944 / 75m - USA
Genre
Documentary, War
More info:
rating
1.0*/5.0*
Tunisian Victory poster

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

by Frank Capra
Specifics
1939 / 129m - USA
Genre
Comedy, Drama
More info:
rating
1.0*/5.0*
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington poster

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

by Frank Capra
Specifics
1936 / 115m - USA
Genre
Drama, Romance
More info:
rating
1.0*/5.0*
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town poster

Early Capra. While I think sound is one of the most undervalued and disregarded areas of cinema, I'm really not a fan of the early talkies. It seems they did their very best to catch up with years of silence, dumping as much dialogue into 90-120 minutes as they could muster. Not my kind of cinema.

Mr. Deeds is a simple man who enjoys the smaller things in life. When he inherits a big sum of money, he is urged to go to the city with the lawyers to complete all the paper work. Once there, he is overwhelmed by all the people wanting to take a piece of his fortune, becoming increasingly disappointed with people's greed.

At almost two hours, the film drags on for way too long. Characters can't stop chatting, almost everyone is a caricature and Capra's tendency to makes thing overly cheesy and sentimental don't improve the film either. It's quite a chore to sit through, I haven't really found the big appeal of Capra's work yet.

It Happened One Night

by Frank Capra
Specifics
1934 / 105m - USA
Genre
Comedy, Romance
More info:
rating
1.0*/5.0*
It Happened One Night poster

Irritation overload

It's a Wonderful Life

by Frank Capra
Specifics
1946 / 130m - USA
Genre
Drama, Fantasy
More info:
rating
0.5*/5.0*
It's a Wonderful Life poster