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||| Frank Capra |||
Frank Capra

It goes without saying that Capra is one of the greatest and most beloved directors of all time, especially renowned for his madcap romantic comedies. He is one of the few directors who ever managed to balance whimsy with meaningfulness without loosing the ability to entertain.

Only Frank Capra, with his light hand and good sense of allowing the actors to be their roles, could carry off this tale of a naive average American used by an unscrupulous politician through a nationwide goodwill drive. No one was ever better at having strong yet vulnerable women not only aid, but often come to the rescue, of the leading man.

Frank Capra's final film is a hilarious translation of a Damon Runyon tale set in 1930s New York, as gangster Glenn Ford repays street peddler Bette Davis for her "good luck" apples by passing her off as a well-to-do society lady for her visiting daughter (Ann-Margret in her film debut). This excellent and thoroughly enjoyable remake of his own 1933 "Lady for a Day" is a beautiful swan song to a master storyteller. Widescreen!

In this black comedy about two sweet old ladies whose basement holds a murderously funny secret, Capra utilizes star Cary Grant to his zany, patented “double take” best. Capra’s brilliance in comic casting is demonstrated with such reliable character actors as Raymond Massey, Peter Lorre and Jack Carson who manage to play their parts to the hilt without chewing up the scenery.

Recommended by CarrieSpecht

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Romar Releasing Faces Minor Bumps Upon First Major Release

By EdwardHavens

January 6th, 2006

In theory, what Billy Zane and his partners are attempting with Romar Releasing should be embraced by the independent film community. Create an independent distribution company which allows filmmakers to get their movies into the exhibition market for a small fee and lets filmmakers keep the rights to their own films. Again, in theory, it's a great idea and one I would love to see succeed.


Note: This article has been rewritten since its initial publication, to reflect information obtained after publication.

FilmJerk.com has received word that a number of prints for Romar's initial release, Uwe Boll's "BloodRayne," have been misdelivered to theatres not booked with the film, if prints have even been delivered at all. One theatre employee says their print of "BloodRayne" was originally shown as being cancelled by the company handling print delivery for Romar, before being located in the delivery company's system. The theatre will now get their print of "BloodRayne" sometime Saturday morning, wiping out the all important opening day ticket and concession sales.

The problems, according to another source at a major exhibitor, may be that Romar, helping to keep their costs down, has only one person handling distribution. As a former employee of a independent distribution company and has friends who work distribution at major studios, I know firsthand you need more than a single individual working in distribution. There is a reason why every major company that handles wide theatrical releases has their own distribution division, filled with dozens of people who work specific zones all across the nation, making sure any problems are handled quickly and effeciently.

However, after speaking with James Schramm, the very affable CEO of Romar, he assures me that while there were some problems with print misdelivery (a few theatres that were once tentatively booked with the film received prints they should not have), those instances were quite minor and that the "BloodRayne" release has gone off incredibly well. Mr. Schramm told me by phone that Romar has almost two dozen people working distribution, and will be adding ten more by the end of 2006. He also states one of those new people will be a highly respected industry veteran with more than twenty years experience at a major studio, whose appointment will be announced in the coming weeks.

Schramm confirmed for me that Romar is quite stabile, and they already have fifteen films scheduled for wide release over the next three years, including Uwe Boll's next film, "Dungeon Siege," set for a December bow. "We're not going anywhere," Schramm said. This is good to hear, because what they are offering could lead to a re-emergence of truly independent cinema unseen since the last great independent distribution age of the 1980s.