Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Sep 18, 2020

This week we've got a big one for you: the five films that Frank Capra and Barbara Stanwyck made together. Starting with LADIES OF LEISURE (1930), we interpret the Stanwyck character as the Capra stand-in, which leads to some interesting results. MEET JOHN DOE (1941) becomes LADIES OF LEISURE inverted (Stanwyck as artist, Cooper as model—but Stanwyck as stand-in either way); while MIRACLE WOMAN (1931) also foreshadows MEET JOHN DOE, this time with Stanwyck as Jane Doe. FORBIDDEN (1932) and BITTER TEA OF GENERAL YEN (1933) lie outside of this set of obsessions. The first is Capra doing a weepie with screwball lovers, not a very comfortable fit, while the newspaper setting and political intrigue point to future developments. The second is an interracial romance in which Stanwyck is, for once, the secondary figure, and General Yen is the near-obligatory Capra suicide. While expressing our astonishment at GENERAL YEN's sophisticated critique of white supremacy, which is beyond the capacity of most Hollywood movies of the era, we forgot to issue a trigger warning for the racist doll in MIRACLE WOMAN. John Carson's hobbies are uncool in more ways than one.

Time Codes:

0h 01m 00s:       Ladies of Leisure (1930)

0h 36m 41s:       The Miracle Woman (1931)

0h 52m 40s:       Forbidden (1932)

1h 06m 31s:       The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933)

1h 53m 07s:       Meet John Doe (1941)



* Check out our Complete Upcoming Episode Schedule

* Find Elise’s latest film piece on Depression era film romance

*And Read lots of Elise’s Writing at Bright Wall/Dark RoomCléo, and Bright Lights.*

Follow us on Twitter at @therebuggy

Write to us at

Theme Music:

“What’s Yr Take on Cassavetes?” – Le Tigre