Poll

What is your favorite film directed by Gregory La Cava?

Womanhandled
0 (0%)
So's Your Old Man
0 (0%)
Running Wild
0 (0%)
Big News
0 (0%)
Laugh and Get Rich
0 (0%)
Smart Woman
0 (0%)
Symphony of Six Million
0 (0%)
The Age of Consent
1 (7.7%)
Gabriel Over the White House
0 (0%)
Bed of Roses
0 (0%)
Gallant Lady
0 (0%)
The Affairs of Cellini
0 (0%)
What Every Woman Knows
0 (0%)
Private Worlds
0 (0%)
She Married Her Boss
0 (0%)
My Man Godfrey
4 (30.8%)
Stage Door
3 (23.1%)
5th Ave Girl
0 (0%)
Primrose Path
0 (0%)
Unfinished Business
1 (7.7%)
Lady in a Jam
0 (0%)
Living in a Big Way
0 (0%)
Haven't Seen Any
4 (30.8%)
Don't Like Any
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 13

Author Topic: La Cava, Gregory  (Read 1154 times)

1SO

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Re: La Cava, Gregory
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2018, 12:56:38 AM »

Gabriel Over the White House (1933)
"The United States of America is a democracy! We are not yet ready to give up the government of our time!"
"You have given it up. You've turned your backs, you've closed your ears to the appeals of the people.
You've been traitors to the concept of democracy upon which this government was founded."


Quote from: Michael Phillips
"Gabriel Over the White House" is one of the more astonishing wish-fulfillment fables to come out of Depression-era Hollywood. You can't quite believe what you're watching even as you're watching it.

I highly recommend reading his full review.

I've watched a lot of movies, but I have never seen a political drama like this. Usually with political films, there's an obvious conservative or (more often) liberal slant to them. The characters and the drama become vessels for the writer to make a pitch for some sweeping social agenda or surgical change in the political process. Gabriel Over the White House supposes a benevolent demagogue, a man who grabs for power because he best knows how to apply it, something proven right again and again in the film. Suppose our leader had a socialist agenda fused to his bullying, iron-willed method for getting his way. Coming out at a time when FDR and Hitler were continuing to rise on the world stage, the script here merges the two to show how closely related they are.

Walter Huston, who I've seen excel in hero and villain roles, has the right moral shiftiness to play this Republican party hack turned progressive Democrat. Franchot Tone is also really good as the Secretary to the President. But it's the wild turns of the plot that really make this memorable. The President declares war on mobsters, using military resources to cease gangland violence. Some of these scenes are filmed with stylized sets that reminded me of German Expressionism and the Nazi architecture of Albert Speer. You can read whatever Trump parallels you want to into this, but the film is audacious enough on its own that further connections are not needed.
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pixote

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Re: La Cava, Gregory
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2018, 01:11:13 AM »
Director Andrew Bergman has some good thoughts on that one in his dissertation/book We're in the Money: Depression America and Its Films.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

1SO

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Re: La Cava, Gregory
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2019, 09:36:54 PM »

Primrose Path (1940)

While La Cava doesn't have an easily identifiable style, if watching this I had said it was from the director of Stage Door, you would say, "Of course." It's in the diner scenes, where people snap at and support each other. It's in the drama, which is way more honest and raw than other Hollywood films of the era. It's in the way La Cava's camera loves Ginger Rogers without glamorizing her. He know she can do anything so he pushes her sharp tongue to cut people down in ways that might not be forgivable with another actress.


The camerawork here is unique in places. When La Cava goes to a location it has the ragged look of neorealism. Sometimes on stage, he gets in closer than typical Hollywood fare, and moves within the stars. (Character actor supreme Charles Lane (above) has 370 credits on IMDB and I've never seen him look so human, like he popped up in a Cassavetes film.) The story has been so heavily tampered with by the code of the time that I had trouble knowing what was happening. (Ginger's mother isn't just poor, she earns money as a prostitute. It's something never spoken about but important to know.) Joel McCrea is in this too which made me think of Chance at Heaven, but the real romance is between Rogers and La Cava.
RATING: ★ ★ ★ - Good
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oldkid

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Re: La Cava, Gregory
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2019, 10:48:19 PM »
Can someone add a button so we can change our vote?  Stage Door needs my vote.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

1SO

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Re: La Cava, Gregory
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2019, 11:26:14 PM »
Take that, Godfrey!
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pixote

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Re: La Cava, Gregory
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2019, 12:06:30 PM »
I guess I've been away from movies for too long because I was surprised the El Norte guy had a poll.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

1SO

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Re: La Cava, Gregory
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2019, 02:14:55 PM »
La Cava > Nava
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MartinTeller

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Re: La Cava, Gregory
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2019, 02:39:06 PM »
wrong!
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Re: La Cava, Gregory
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2019, 04:20:07 PM »
Nava > LaCava > Bava
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