Capra Conned: “Magic Town” (1947)

0000magictown      By the time director Frank Capra created his series of unrelenting Man of the People populist fantasies, it was clear that although he didn’t invent this particular genre (though even a cursory glance at the filmmaker’s autobiography cum declaration of divinity The Name Above the Title might certainly suggest otherwise), he certainly0000magictown5 perfected an archetypal formula by which a single individual imposes his ideals onto a greater citizenry to the exclusion of anyone daring to suggest alternative opinions lest they be pegged as (surprisingly without irony) demagogues or corrupt power brokers. The fact that the Capra formula was also steeped in a creepy masqueraded fascism that sugarcoated the proposition of a singularly enforced populist view being as unhealthy for the social collective with an abundance of aw shucks eccentricity-  generally identified as Capracorn  -that gives the impression a genuine philosophical difference in the division between opposing but ultimately similarly odious enforced ideas. Regardless from which side the populace is viewed, in a Capra film (and his resulting formula), the people are always portrayed as lemming-like rubes, instantaneously enamored of the most simplistic of societal constructs; a communal perception which reaches its zenith in the 1946 fantasy “It’s a Wonderful Life” which blatantly promotes the importance of one individual by the uncharitable sacrifice of everyone else in the town as being portrayed as grossly incapable of formulating neither a positive lifestyle nor personality.

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About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in comedy, Film Reviews, Frank Capra, James Stewart, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Capra Conned: “Magic Town” (1947)

  1. beetleypete says:

    Not the greatest fan of Capra myself, so I go along with most of what you say here. Mind you, I do have a soft spot for ‘It Happened One Night’. So sue me!
    Best wishes from England, Pete.

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