The following year Capra made 'Mr. Smith goes to Washington' with pretty much the same cast. Amazing how the actors are able to bring you into their new characters and cause you to forget who they were the last time you saw them. The writing is hilarious and the story is simple yet engagingly deep. Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur are a match made in heaven. I find Arthur's unique voice, zaniness, disarming good looks, and genuine expression a joy to watch. Stewart plays off her flawlessly.
The theme is as the title says. The movie contrasts the pursuit of wealth against the pursuit of happiness, contentment, friends and family. The dialogue is priceless and makes the film. It has an ability to develop relationships through a light hearted comedy. As old people tend to say, "They don't make them like this anymore". While I am a current day movie fan, it does amaze me that I can be completely absorbed in a movie, made on black and white film, 76 years ago. Again a testament to the never ending relevance of fundamental life principles.
Capra was greatly disturbed by the changes that went through Hollywood causing these masterpieces to be socially shelved forever.
He wrote in his autobiography, "The winds of change blew through the dream factories of make-believe, tore at its crinoline tatters.... The hedonists, the homosexuals, the hemophiliac bleeding hearts, the God-haters, the quick-buck artists who substituted shock for talent, all cried: "Shake 'em! Rattle 'em! God is dead. Long live pleasure! Nudity? Yea! Wife-swapping? Yea! Liberate the world from prudery. Emancipate your films from morality!".... Kill for thrill – shock! Shock! To hell with the good in man, Dredge up his evil – shock! Shock!"
For the future to unfold as it's foretold, these types of things have to be done away with. And for the most part they have been. These small reminders are a welcome relief from the endless daily losses being racked up against the Christian remnant. It is a slow death but we will and should hang on till the end. Look for him in whatever indirect expression he happens to show himself.