Monday, March 11, 2013

1935 Movie: High Times, Hard Times

My group's film was called High Times, Hard Times. The movie will be directed by Frank Capra, highly acclaimed director of the time. The basic plot of the film was the lives of two men in the early thirties. James Cagney plays the gangster who lives the high life with money and women, but comes into trouble when his underground speakeasy is found out. Although he has many romantic affairs he has one girl played by Barbara Stanwyck that he always comes back to. The other man who is played by Jimmy Stewart is a classic hardworking family man who loses his job in the crash of 1929. Loretta Young plays his supportive wife who helps him through this difficult point in their lives. The two mens' lives cross paths and they develop an unlikely friendship that teaches them to have hope and make the best of every situation. 


We wanted to appeal to our audience of 1935 so we thought a gangster movie with a social issue like the Depression would be a smart choice. We chose to make a smaller budget film because not many people are going to see the big extravagant films, they wanted something more realistic. This is also why we chose Warners Bros. Studios, because we knew they had experience with gangster films and also made lower budget films. 

We chose James Cagney because he has a reputation in his films of being the "bad guy" and had done gangster movies previously. Also, he already was working with Warner Bros. so no trading or dealing was necessary. Jimmy Stewart was casted because he had worked with Frank Capra before in previous films and the role in this movie was the kind of man he always plays. We decided to trade Humphrey Bogart to MGM so we could have him for our movie. 

For the women in the film, we casted Barbara Stanwyck because she was working with Warners Bros. and had worked with Capra as well. Also, she had the look we wanted and was known for being a sex symbol of films. Loretta Young was known for playing sweet nice roles so we thought she would be perfect for the role, also she was loved by Frank Capra. 

We followed the Hays Code very well. Even though it is a gangster film and inappropriate things were going on, we did not show any of it. It was all suggested through the dialogue throughout the film. We did not show violence, sex or alcohol in the film. Also, something we wanted to highlight was the cinematography and lighting in the movie. We used some innovative editing techniques and new camera angles to show off the drastic difference between characters. 

I thought everyone in my group worked very well together and had their own input about actors, studios etc. I was very happy with how everything turned out and I would definitely see this movie if it was out, so overall I wouldn't change anything in our film.

1 comment:

  1. Good idea here. I think the gangster mix with a Capra film would be interesting. Careful though about audiences not seeing big budget films--in fact, they saw these a lot, and they tended to enjoy "escapist" films; in fact, a lot like today. Good choices with cast/crew. Good work.