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THE BITTER TEA OF GENERAL YEN: Blu-ray re-issue (Columbia, 1933) Sony Home Entertainment

During Hollywood’s golden age, ostensibly, there was only one way a studio could affirm its faith in a burgeoning director; give him an ‘A’-list project to helm with a lot of money, time, effort and star power thrown into the mix. This ‘sink or swim’ trial by fire proved successful for the most part, and helped to promote many a burgeoning artist painting with light, though, in hindsight, only a handful achieved their ‘rock star’ status with the public. One such case was Frank Capra, whose threads for the common man have never been surpassed, and, in whom Columbia Studios’ mogul, Harry Cohn had the utmost faith. Retrospectively, we can now see that Capra was the right director for the Depression-era. Despite an initial fallow period, where Capra struggled to find work, once afforded the opportunity to do his best, he was never again to rest on his laurels, directing eighteen middling features for Columbia in just five short years, beginning with 1928’s silent, That Certain Thing. With…

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