Two more Frank Capra oldies are at the Avalon Theater this weekend, and beginning Wednesday two of the beloved director's best early films will play together.
Currently it's "Ladies of Leisure," a 1930 soaper about a woman (Barbara Stanwyck) with a shady past who falls in love with a wealthy artist, and "Dirigible," the 1931 story of America's Navy experiments with dirigibles in the Antarctic, with Fay Wray in the cast.On Wednesday the Capra festival continues with "Platinum Blonde" and "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town."
"Mr. Deeds" is a well-known Capra classic, with idealistic Gary Cooper trying to give away $20 million during the Depression, and falling for cynical reporter Jean Arthur along the way.
But the comedy "Platinum Blonde," named for star Jean Harlow, is a lesser-seen film from Capra's early years (1931), with wealthy Harlow marrying a wise-acre reporter (Robert Williams) who becomes disillusioned with high society life. Loretta Young co-stars.
Despite the presence of the two strong female leads, however, the film is said to belong to scene-stealing Williams, a manic comic actor whom Capra expected to become one of Hollywood's biggest stars. Unfortunately, Williams died shortly after making "Platinum Blonde."
Next in the series will be "You Can't Take it With You" and "It Happened One Night." The Avalon Theater is located at 3605 S. State St. For further information phone 266-0258. - Christopher Hicks