Swell Double Header at Film Forum Tonight
Lady for a Day is one of Frank Capra’s almost-classics, and his last film prior to the monster success of It Happened One Night. Based on a Damon Runyon story, the film features May Robson as a drunken Times Square apple seller whom a bunch of gangsters transform into a “lady” in order to impress her estranged daughter. With awesome character actors in the cast like Ned Sparks, Warren William and Guy Kibbee it’s almost-can’t-lose, although I still say the script needs work. Still it’s better than Capra’s nauseatingly cutesy (and downright weird) 1961 re-make Pocketful of Miracles with Bette Davis and Glenn Ford (Capra’s last feature film).
This is of course not the 1945 Rogers and Hammerstein musical film, but rather the 1933 non-musical original it was based on, featuring Will Rogers, Lew Ayres and Janet Gaynor. The pre-code version has some racy scenes that were cut when the film was shown in 1934. Essentially the son (Norman Foster) “loses it” to a trapeze artist (Sally Eilers). It’s unmistakable, and pretty sexy.
Show times are here.